6 books on the list
Latest Recommendations First
Discover the forgotten history behind America's interventionist policy in the bestselling book that transports readers to the dawn of the twentieth century. In "True Flag," Stephen Kinzer reveals how the nation's brightest leaders fiercely debated imperialism, shaping the course of foreign affairs for generations to come. From Theodore Roosevelt to Mark Twain, this epic confrontation speaks to us today and continues to influence our role in the world.
Good sentiment. But to be accurate, TR was a racist who wanted to conquer other lands because he believed their people were inferior. See Stephen Kinzer’s book, “The True Flag.” – source
The Campaign of the Century
Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics
This book explores the incredible story of how Upton Sinclair, a lifelong socialist and author of "The Jungle," won the Democratic primary for governor of California in 1934. His mass movement EPIC aimed to end poverty in the state and was met with over one thousand chapters formed, similar to Occupy Wall Street. Sinclair's opponents launched an unprecedented public relations attack against him, resulting in a revolution in American politics and the birth of the "spin doctor" era. The book is a riveting blow-by-blow narrative, featuring famous figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Louis B. Mayer, and Katharine Hepburn that brings to life an outrageous campaign that forever transformed the electoral process.
“Mank” is a wonderfully made film, and you should watch it. But several key points are outright fiction, and @GregMitch, who wrote a brilliant book on the 1934 CA gov campaign, tells us the truth. Read his NYT piece after you see the @netflix movie. – source
Also recommended byCharles Pierce
Discover the thrilling world of organized crime through Nicholas Pileggi's gripping true-crime novel. Follow the life of Henry Hill, a working-class Brooklyn kid who believed that "to be a wiseguy is to own the world". Experience the violence, the excess, the families, the wives and girlfriends, the drugs, the payoffs, the paybacks, the jail time, and the Feds. Seen through Hill's eyes, Pileggi's journalistic account of his life has been hailed as "the best book ever written on organized crime". This is the bestselling story that inspired Martin Scorsese's film classic, GoodFellas.
If I recall correctly, the place had a mob connection that is explained in the great book Wiseguy, which was the basis for "Goodfellas." – source
This nonfiction graphic novel delves into the broken democracy of the United States and the heroic efforts of those unrigging the system to return power to the people. Written by a democracy reform leader and illustrated by an artist, the book takes readers behind the scenes of where politicians acquire their funds, from corporate CEOs to billionaire supporters. Unrig also provides solutions to limit the influence of big money and redraw the lines of political power. If you're searching for hope in the current political climate, this book will restore your faith in the path forward to fix our democracy.
My take on the new graphic book "Unrig:" Dramatic and inspiring tales of champions of democracy fighting for and implementing practical solutions. It’s a great read—with important lessons for any citizen who gives a damn. @danielgnewman – source
Also recommended byTim O’Reilly
A sweeping and dramatic portrait of Ulysses S. Grant, one of America's most underappreciated presidents. Chernow's masterful biography sheds light on Grant's military genius and his lifelong struggle with alcoholism, as well as his work to seek justice for black Americans. With meticulous research and literary brilliance, Chernow brings to life the man that Walt Whitman called "the greatest hero." A must-read for anyone interested in American history. Named one of the best books of the year by Goodreads, Amazon, The New York Times, and more.
Read the recent Grant bio by Ron Chernow. A fantastic book that chronicles Grant’s amazing narrative. He went from being a failed businessman (broke, couldn’t afford rent in a SF flophouse) to a transformative military commander to a president who combatted white supremacists. – source
Also recommended byBarack ObamaHugh HewittMark HertlingBethany S. Mandel
This book delves into the catastrophic eruption of the world's most dangerous volcano, Krakatoa, and the enduring effects it had on the world. The eruption caused an immense tsunami that killed nearly 40,000 people and dust swirled around the planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with unsettling displays of light. Beyond the physical destruction, the eruption also triggered anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims in Java, making it one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Simon Winchester's blend of travel, history, and geology brings this fascinating event back to life.
It’s a great book. Get it. Read it. – source