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Politicians to Pundits

September 4th, 2012
Carole · Staff Recommendations

Politics. Love it. Hate it. It can be divisive. It can be inclusive. Political issues always make for dynamic discourse.

In 2012, the Publishing industry is bursting with titles exploring the many issues, economic, social and philosophical, encompassing the political spectrum. There is no better time to do some reading on the subject than today. The Library’s expansive selection of recent books allows readers to explore what those on all sides of the issues have to say. As a member of the American Library Association Library the Harrison Public Library adheres to the Library Bill of Rights which states “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval”. In this vein, the library includes books representing all points of view.

What you discover may serve to support your opinion, clarify uncertainties, or alter your political views.

Discussions of the election process in general and historical views of previous elections can be found in the following titles:

Selecting a PresidentOutlines the presidential electoral system while drawing on historical anecdotes from past campaigns, explaining how they have evolved from eighteenth century mechanisms and how today’s technologies are impacting elections.

Where They StandAn analysis of how presidential politics works and the differences between how historians and voters have judged presidents evaluates how and why various presidencies have been considered successes or failures.

The CandidateThere are two winners in every presidential election campaign: The inevitable winner when it begins–such as Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton in 2008–and the inevitable victor after it ends. In The Candidate, Samuel Popkin explains the difference between them.

Below is a sample of titles appearing on many “Must-Read Political Books” lists, with excerpted publisher annotations. These are examinations of policies and philosophies written by some of the more vocal, opinionated and at times controversial political talking heads. Some objective, some perhaps not, you be the judge.

The Party Is OverA veteran Congressional analyst’s expose of the irrational and dysfunctional dealings that have come to define Washington politics, cites misbehavior by both Republicans and Democrats.

DemoCRIPSA former governor who ran on an independent ticket argues that the two-party system is fundamentally corrupt and asserts that a no-party system could save American democracy.

What the (Bleep) Just HappenedA Fox News contributor and popular national radio host takes a tour through the damage she asserts was caused by Barack Obama’s reckless spending and radical political agenda, and sets the stage for a conservative comeback.

It’s the Middle Class, StupidExplores how worldviews on the state of the American economy differ between the public and elected officials, sharing assessments of areas where the government has erred and actions that voters can take.

As Texas GoesDiscusses the conservative political agenda that began in Texas and how it became a national movement with far-reaching social and economic consequences.

Who Stole the American DreamThe Pulitzer Prize-winning author presents a step-by-step account of how the American Dream has been dismantled throughout the past four decades by a series of landmark legislative, electoral and corporate decisions that have compromised the middle class and minimized individual economic and political power.

The Parties versus the PeopleA former congressman draws on his first-hand experience with legislative battles to present a solution-based, practical way to break the stranglehold of the political party system and banish the negative effects of partisan warfare.

The TeavangelicalsDescribes the history, platform, and inside people of the Tea Party and evaluates the alliance it has fostered between social conservatives and the evangelical movement and the influence it has had on national politics.

A Nation of WussesPennsylvania governor’s political career and argues that many leaders of today avoid sacrificing re-election for the greater good.

Age of GreedA vivid chronicle of the events that led to today’s economic troubles cites the promotion of the idea that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns.

Independents RisingExplores the growing influence of the Independent Party and how it is increasingly challenging the political establishment and shaping elections, tracing its history to offer insight into the views and power of disenfranchised voters and how they can gain greater audiences for their issues.

Authentic PatriotismAnalyzes American patriotism and honors individuals who the author believes live in accord with founding-father intents, from a minister’s multicultural choir to a retiree who created a health-care plan for people without insurance.

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