Archive for 2010

Matt Taibbi

November 22 . 2010

Griftopia is the dramatic story behind the most audacious power grab in American history and Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi unravels the whole fiendish story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications of the rise of the grifters, those who made up the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding.

Greil Marcus

November 19 . 2010

Greil Marcus’ book, Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus begins in Berkeley in 1968, and ends with a piece on the singer’s  show at the University of Minnesota—his very first appearance at his alma mater—on election night 2008. The dozens of pieces collected comprise a portrait of how, throughout his career, Bob Dylan has drawn upon and reinvented the landscape of traditional American song, its myths and choruses, heroes and villains.

Lynn Stout, Mark Vonnegut

November 18 . 2010

In Cultivating Conscience, author and professor Lynn Stout proves that if we care about effective laws and civilized society, the powers of conscience are simply too important for us to ignore. And later, more than thirty years after the publication of his acclaimed memoir The Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut continues his remarkable story in Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So, a funny, iconoclastic account of coping with mental illness, finding his calling as a pediatrician, and learning that willpower isn’t nearly enough.

Wendell Potter, Kate Hanni

November 17 . 2010

In Deadly Spin, Wendell Potter takes readers behind the scenes to show how a huge chunk of our absurd health care spending actually bankrolls a propaganda campaign and lobbying effort focused on protecting one thing: profits. Next, are pat downs and full body scans at airports degrading? Kate Hanni, president of thinks so.

Bernard Schweizer

November 16 . 2010

In Hating God, Bernard Schweizer looks at men and women who do not question God’s existence, but deny that He is merciful, competent, or good. Sifting through a wide range of literary and historical works, the author  finds that people hate God for a variety of reasons.

Michael Berkman, Eric Plutzer

November 15 . 2010

Who should decide what children are taught in school? This question lies at the heart of the evolution–creation wars that have become a regular feature of the U.S. political landscape. Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer show that, since the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial,” many have argued that the people should decide by majority rule and through political institutions; others variously point to the federal courts, educational experts, or scientists as the ideal arbiters in Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms.

Deborah Cadbury

November 12 . 2010

Deborah Cadbury, author of Chocolate Wars follows the history of the British Cadbury chocolate company, owned by a couple of extraordinarily decent and virtuous Quaker brothers,  who disdained the callous and ruthless business practices of many of their rivals.

Michael Wolraich

November 11 . 2010

In Blowing Smoke, Michael Wolraich founder of documents, dissects, and deconstructs the myths that underlie the right’s growing reliance on the politics of persecution, from Joe McCarthy to the Tea Party movement.

Jan Reid

November 10 . 2010

Musical magic hit Austin, Texas, in the early 1970s. At legendary venues such as Threadgill’s, Vulcan Gas Company, and the Armadillo World Headquarters, a host of country, rock-and-roll, blues, and folk musicians came together and created a sound and a scene that Jan Reid vividly detailed in his 1974 book, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock now revitalized in a new edition.

Charles Seife

November 9 . 2010

In Proofiness, author Charles Seife conducts a thorough investigation into why so many of us find it so easy to believe things that are patently ridiculous. It’s all comes down to numbers, the author argues, and the ways they can be used to make people believe things that are not true.