Current Issues

Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation by Andrew Marantz - Book Review

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$28.00
ISBN: 9780525522263
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Published: Viking - October 8th, 2019

A gem among the manure of hot takes about how we got to here. Taking social media as his beat, New Yorker writer Marantz embedded himself with the internet cretins who tweeted while America burned. He shows how the trollish likes of Mike Cernovitch and Milo Yiannopolis seized the national conversation away from gatekeepers like CNN and the New York Times, and steered it towards a fateful reckoning at the Charlottesville Unite the Right valley. There's a bit of Didion and Foster Wallace to Marantz's writing, but he has fashioned a tapestry of keyboard warriors who cry about free speech but are unable to accept the sometimes violent consequences of their superficial supplement-addled thinking. A stick of TNT that's lit in every sense of the word. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


Factfulness Illustrated: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling - Book Review

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$35.00
ISBN: 9781250624956
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Published: Flatiron Books - November 12th, 2019

Worried about the negative barrage from TV News, social media, and other sources? Think we're living in the worst era ever? Fear the sky is falling? This data-driven analysis, loaded with colorful charts and graphs, may happily, and logically, allay your anxieties. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow - Book Review

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$30.00
ISBN: 9780316486637
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 15th, 2019

It is no exaggeration to say that few journalists have had a larger impact on our society than Ronan Farrow has in recent times. There may have been others reporting on the multiple harassment rumors swirling around Harvey Weinstein and many others over the past countless years, but it was Farrow's dogged determination and journalistic integrity that finally tipped the scales- and the world is still realigning itself in the aftermath. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof - Book Review

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$27.95
ISBN: 9780525655084
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Published: Knopf - January 14th, 2020

Widespread poverty in the world's richest country is a juxtaposition the authors tackle head-on. While dreadful personal decisions are prevalent with the poor, their opportunities are further compromised by decades of short-sighted government actions that often make "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" a cruel taunt. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents (Sunlight Editions) by Margaret Kimberley - Book Review

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$14.95
ISBN: 9781586422486
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Published: Truth to Power - February 4th, 2020

American Presidents radically reassessed regarding race. Jefferson's legacy is known to be problematic; Andrew Johnson's legacy is manifestly a problem; but even Kennedy, Obama, and Franklin Roosevelt, in Kimberley's eyes, fell grievously short of advocating, advancing, or administering genuine racial equality. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell - Book Review

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780316346627
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Published: Back Bay Books - January 7th, 2002

What do 90s trends, syphilis, crime waves, and Paul Revere’s midnight ride have in common? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Seriously, they don’t share a single common trait. And yet in the first few pages of his book, Malcolm Gladwell foolishly tried to pull the wool over my eyes and hoodwink me into believing that all those random events are, at their core, the very same thing. I was not going to fall for it. Not this time.

Yeah no he convinced me. Trends of the 90s, crime waves, diseases, and even Paul Revere’s ride are all different forms of epidemics. Their spreads are caused, accelerated, and ended by the same core set of factors and by examining one epidemic, we can come to understand them all. Just that concept alone is fascinating, and this book’s exploration of viral events and their causes is riveting. If you have any interest in psychology, criminology, sociology, or marketing, this book is perfect for you. Or, if you’re like me and desperate to find out why fidget spinners and Silly Bandz (oh yeah) blew up like they did, then The TIpping Point has all the answers. ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso


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