NEW BOOKS: American studies.

Bible Nation; The United States of Hobby Lobby by Candida Moss & Joel Baden. Princeton University Press, 2017. How the billionaire owners of this chain are spending millions of dollars to influence our social and political thinking.

Rival Power; Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe by Dimitar Bechey. Yale University Press, 2017. Russia’s continued interest in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey and the responses of that region to its attention.

Blind Injustice; A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions by Mark Godsey. University of California Press, 2017. How psychological flaws such as faulty memory, “group think” mindsets and a “tough on crime” political environment can lead to the conviction of innocent people.

Inside Private Prisons; An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Lauren-Brooke Eisen. Columbia University Press, 2017. Our previous tough-on-crime politics resulted in overcrowded state prisons and encouraged private companies to enter the business. There is now a private sector with a vested interest in supporting a revived tough-on-crime politics.

The Pentagon’s Wars; The Military’s Undeclared War Against America’s Presidents by Mark Perry. Basic, 2017. The internal civilian-military animus that has long shaped American foreign policy.

Chocolate Cities; The Black Map of American Life by Marcus Hunter & Zandria Robinson. University of California Press, 2017 paper. Locates the ebb and flow of the Black American experience on illustrative maps.

Democracy’s Schools; The Rise of Public Education in America by Johann Neem. Johns Hopkins, 2017 paper. The story of how ordinary Americans built a nation-wide public school system in the decades between the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Reinventing America’s Schools; Creating a Twenty-First-Century Education System by David Osborn. Bloomsbury 2017. A close look at charter schools and their answer to revitalizing US education.

Unbelievable; My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Kary Tur. MIT Press, 2017.  His claim may be a bit of a stretch; we have had many a crazy presidential campaign.

2016 Election; The Log Cabin; An Illustrated History by Andrew Belonsky. Countryman Press, 2017. When times get tough, we head for the shelter (metaphor- log cabin) for our security.

Identity Crisis; The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America by John Sides, et alii Princeton University Press, 2018. Perhaps by February of 2018 we’ll have changed our minds several times about last November’s unexpected results.

Impeachment; A Citizen’s Guide by Cass Sunstein. Harvard University Press, 2017. An essential tool of self-government; just in case.

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