Friday Reads: Political Bestsellers

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Did you watch the presidential debate this week? News is swirling about what change in format might be implemented for the next Trump-Biden debate on October 15th. The most important thing in these last weeks before the election is to be informed and vote. To that end, here are a bevy of bestsellers by some of our most respected, award-winning, teachers and journalists – all writing about the issues our country faces today:


The System by Robert B. ReichTHE SYSTEM: WHO RIGGED IT, HOW WE FIX IT by Robert B. Reich

From the best-selling author of Saving Capitalism and The Common Good, an urgent analysis of how the “rigged” systems of American politics and power operate, how this status quo came to be, and how average citizens can enact change. Millions of Americans have lost confidence in our political and economic system. With the characteristic clarity and passion that has made him a central civil voice, Robert B. Reich shows how wealth and power have interacted to install an elite oligarchy, eviscerate the middle class, and undermine democracy. Reich’s objective is not to foster cynicism, but rather to demystify the system so that we might instill fundamental change and demand that democracy works for the majority once again.



Big Oil and Gas versus democracy…Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one, or it disappears.”


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieWE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.


How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. KendiHOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST by Ibram X. Kendi

In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.


Surviving Autocracy by Masha GessenSURVIVING AUTOCRACY by Masha Gessen

A galvanizing analysis of the destruction the Trump administration has waged on our institutions, the cultural norms we hoped would save us, and our very sense of identity—from a bestselling, National Book Award-winning journalist. Tightrope



Tightrope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunnTIGHTROPE: AMERICANS REACHING FOR HOPE by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky now issue a plea—deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans—to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.


The Soul of America by Jon MeachamTHE SOUL OF AMERICA: THE BATTLE FOR OUR BETTER ANGELS by Jon Meacham

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.



The Hardest Job in the World by John DickersonTHE HARDEST JOB IN THE WORLD: THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY by John Dickerson

The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. “The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors,” writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to “the little brother who can’t keep up.” As Dickerson writes, “Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is now set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be.”


True Crimes and Misdemeanors by Jeffrey ToobinTRUE CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: THE INVESTIGATION OF DONALD TRUMP by Jeffrey Toobin

From CNN chief legal analyst and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, a real-life legal thriller about the prosecutors and congressional investigators pursuing the truth about Donald Trump’s complicity in several crimes—and why they failed. Based on dozens of interviews with prosecutors in Mueller’s office, Trump’s legal team, Congressional investigators, White House staffers, and several of the key players, including some who are now in prison, True Crimes and Misdemeanors is a revelatory narrative that makes sense of the seemingly endless chaos of the Trump years.


Front Row at the Trump Show by Jonathan KarlFRONT ROW AT THE TRUMP SHOW by Jonathan Karl

An account like no other from the ABC Chief White House Correspondent who has known President Trump for more than 25 years.These are the behind-the-scenes moments that define Trump’s presidency—an extraordinary look at the president, the person, and those closest to him.




Casting aside partisanship and sensationalism, Rigged reveals new details about what Russia achieved in 2016, how the Obama administration responded, and why Putin has also been interfering covertly in elections across the globe in recent years, while American presidents have largely refrained from doing so. Shimer also makes disturbingly clear that this type of intrusion can be used to harm Democrats and Republicans alike. Russia’s central aim is to undermine and disrupt our democracy, to the detriment of all Americans.


For more on these titles visit the collection Political Bestsellers

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Posted: October 2, 2020