Reclaiming Gotham; Bill de Blasio and the Movement to End America’s Tale of Two Cities by Juan González. The New Press, 2017. De Blasio’s administration is the most progressive New York City government since Fiorello La Guardia’s in the 1930s. The alternative is a political world filled with rich men’s money.
The Givers; Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age by David Callahan. Knopf, 2017. The few controlling the American capitalist structure; add to that their increasing direction of philanthropy.
Loan Sharks; The Birth of Predatory Lending by Charles Geisst. Brookings Institute, 2017 Private and unregulated lending to high-rise borrowers has been around for at least a century. It never was successfully regulated and still isn’t.
The Unexpected Scalia; A Conservative Justice’s Liberal Opinions by David Dorsen. Cambridge University Press, 2017 paper. Opinionated in so many ways, this Supreme Court justice will, however, follow his arguments through to some surprisingly liberal opinions.
History of the Innocence Movement by Robert Norris. New York University Press, 2017. It is estimated that 1,800 people have been set free in recent decades after being convicted of crimes they didn’t comment, largely on DNA analysis.
Surviving Justice; America’s Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated by Dave Eggers, et alii. Verso, 2017 paper. The stories of thirteen people who were the victims of overzealous prosecutors and judges, inept defense lawyers, false eyewitness testimony, and coercive interrogation tactics.
Unusually Cruel; Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism by Marc Howard. Oxford University Press, 2007 paper. We incarcerate a larger percentage of our population and for longer periods of time.
No God But Gain; The Untold Story of Cuban Slavery, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Making of the United States by Stephen Chambers. Verso, 2017 paper. Despite the abolitionist movement on both sides of the Atlantic 3.2 million Africans landed in the Western Hemisphere as slaves after the slave trade had been banned.
Beyond Snowden; Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA by Timothy Edgar. Brookings Institution, 2017. Argues that the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs are a threat to privacy around the world.
White Lies Matter; Race, Crime and the Politics of Fear by Tim Wise. City Lights, 2017 paper. The politics of black outrage and the subsequent white backlash against its calls for racial equality.
Dark Money; The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer. Anchor, 2017 paper. Even worse will be the day when they finance the radical right, and the radical left, and every part of the political spectrum in between.
The Ideas Industry by Daniel Drezner. Oxford University Press, 2017. The influence of the public intellectual has declined, their ‘podiums’ dismantled as we have acquired what the author calls “thought leaders.”
Democracy in Chains; The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Plan for America by Nancy MacLean. Viking, 2017. The radical right is hoping to change the rules of democratic governance. They reside within the Republican Party, labeling themselves conservatives. MacLean calls them libertarian radicals.
Imaginary Cities; a Tour of Dream Cities, Nightmare Cities, and Everywhere in Between by Darren Anderson. University of Chicago Press, 2017 paper. Ideas drawn from real and imaginary cities around the global and arguing that this imaginary tour has influenced the shape of real cities.