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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

American Government & Foreign Policy

HIDDEN HIST OF THE WAR ON VOTI

HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE WAR ON VOTING

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Hartmann's history of voter suppression in America is necessary information given current news about voter registration purges and redistricting...a particularly timely topic for an election year, and anyone who is seriously concerned about the survival of American democracy will want to read this book and apply its lessons.--Booklist

America's #1 progressive radio host looks at how elites have long tried to disenfranchise citizens--particularly people of color, women, and the poor--and shows what we can do to ensure everyone has a voice in this democracy.

In today's America, only a slim majority of people register to vote, and a large percentage of registered voters don't bother to show up: Donald Trump was elected by only 26 percent of eligible voters. Unfortunately, this is not a bug in our system, it's a feature. Thom Hartmann unveils the strategies and tactics that conservative elites in this country have used, from the foundation of the Electoral College to the latest voter ID laws, to protect their interests by preventing the wrong people--such as the poor, women, and people of color--from voting while making it more convenient for the wealthy and white. But he also lays out a wide variety of simple, commonsense ways that we the people can fight back and reclaim our right to rule through the ballot box.

HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE

HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely."--The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITH BOOK PRIZE - SHORTLISTED FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - Time - Foreign Affairs - WBUR - Paste

Donald Trump's presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we'd be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang--in a revolution or military coup--but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die--and how ours can be saved.

Praise for How Democracies Die

"What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that."--The Washington Post

"Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics."--Ezra Klein, Vox

"If you only read one book for the rest of the year, read How Democracies Die. . . .This is not a book for just Democrats or Republicans. It is a book for all Americans. It is nonpartisan. It is fact based. It is deeply rooted in history. . . . The best commentary on our politics, no contest."--Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (via Twitter)

"A smart and deeply informed book about the ways in which democracy is being undermined in dozens of countries around the world, and in ways that are perfectly legal."--Fareed Zakaria, CNN

HOW TO READ THE CONSTITUTION--

HOW TO READ THE CONSTITUTION--

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A must-read for this era."--Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent

An insightful, urgent, and perennially relevant handbook that lays out in common sense language how the United States Constitution works, and how its protections are eroding before our eyes--essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and parse the constantly breaking news about the backbone of American government.

The Constitution is the most significant document in America. But do you fully understand what this valuable document means to you? In How to Read the Constitution--and Why, legal expert and educator Kimberly Wehle spells out in clear, simple, and common sense terms what is in the Constitution, and most importantly, what it means. In compelling terms and including text from the United States Constitution, she describes how the Constitution's protections are eroding--not only in express terms but by virtue of the many legal and social norms that no longer shore up its legitimacy--and why every American needs to heed to this "red flag" moment in our democracy.

This invaluable--and timely--resource includes the Constitution in its entirety and covers nearly every significant aspect of the text, from the powers of the President and how the three branches of government are designed to hold each other accountable, to what it means to have individual rights--including free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to an abortion. Finally, the book explains why it has never been more important than now for all Americans to know how our Constitution works--and why, if we don't step in to protect it now, we could lose its protections forever.

How to Read the Constitution--and Why is essential reading for anyone who cares about maintaining an accountable government and the individual freedoms that the Constitution enshrines for everyone in America--regardless of political party.

LOST IN A GALLUP: POLLING FAIL

LOST IN A GALLUP: POLLING FAIL

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A sweeping look at the messy and contentious past of US presidential pre-election polls and why they aren't as reliable as we think.

Polls in U.S. presidential elections can and do get it wrong--as surprising outcomes in 2020, in 2016, in 2012, in 2004, in 2000 all remind us. Lost in a Gallup captures in lively and unprecedented fashion the stories of polling flops, epic upsets, unforeseen landslides, and exit poll fiascoes in presidential elections since 1936. Polling's checkered record in elections has rarely been considered in detail and, until now, has never been addressed collectively.

Polling embarrassments are not all alike. Pollsters have anticipated tight elections when landslides occurred; they have indicated the wrong winner in closer elections; state polls have confounded expected national outcomes. Exit polling has thrown Election Day into confusion. The work of venerable pollsters has been singularly and memorably in error. It is a rare presidential election not to be marred by polling controversies. Lost in a Gallup casts a critical eye on major figures in election polling such as George Gallup, a prickly founding father of public opinion research. The book also considers the polling innovations of Warren Mitofsky, whose admonition rings true across generations: "There's a lot of room for humility in polling. Every time you get cocky, you lose."

Lost in a Gallup examines how polling failure often equates to journalistic failure. Historically, poll-bashing was quite pronounced among prominent journalists, including well-known newspaper columnists such as Mike Royko in Chicago and Jimmy Breslin in New York. They and other journalists challenged the presumption that polls could accurately measure or interpret what the public was thinking. Even so, polls drive news media narratives about presidential elections, shaping conventional wisdom about how competitive those races are. As Lost in a Gallup makes clear, polls are not always in error. But when they fail, they can fail in surprising ways.

On Tyranny Graphic Edition: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

On Tyranny Graphic Edition: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

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A graphic edition of historian Timothy Snyder's bestselling book of lessons for surviving and resisting America's arc toward authoritarianism, featuring the visual storytelling talents of renowned illustrator Nora Krug

"Nora Krug has visualized and rendered some of the most valuable lessons of the twentieth century, which will serve all citizens as we shape the future."--Shepard Fairey, artist and activist

Timothy Snyder's New York Times bestseller On Tyranny uses the darkest moments in twentieth-century history, from Nazism to Communism, to teach twenty lessons on resisting modern-day authoritarianism. Among the twenty include a warning to be aware of how symbols used today could affect tomorrow ("4: Take responsibility for the face of the world"), an urgent reminder to research everything for yourself and to the fullest extent ("11: Investigate"), a point to use personalized and individualized speech rather than clichéd phrases for the sake of mass appeal ("9: Be kind to our language"), and more.

In this graphic edition, Nora Krug draws from her highly inventive art style in Belonging--at once a graphic memoir, collage-style scrapbook, historical narrative, and trove of memories--to breathe new life, color, and power into Snyder's riveting historical references, turning a quick-read pocket guide of lessons into a visually striking rumination. In a time of great uncertainty and instability, this edition of On Tyranny emphasizes the importance of being active, conscious, and deliberate participants in resistance.

ON TYRANNY: TWENTY LESSONS FRO

ON TYRANNY: TWENTY LESSONS FRO

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#1 New York Times Bestseller - A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present. --The New York Times

Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

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From New York Times bestselling author of Lead From The Outside and political leader Stacey Abrams, a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country.

With each page, she inspires and empowers us to create systems that reflect a world in which all voices are heard and all people believe and feel that they matter. --Kerry Washington

A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the first African American woman governor, but experienced these effects firsthand, despite running the most innovative race in modern politics as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. Abrams didn't win, but she has not conceded. The book compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership.

Our Time Is Now draws on extensive research from national organizations and renowned scholars, as well as anecdotes from her life and others' who have fought throughout our country's history for the power to be heard. The stakes could not be higher. Here are concrete solutions and inspiration to stand up for who we are now.

This is a narrative that describes the urgency that compels me and millions more to push for a different American story than the one being told today. It's a story that is one part danger, one part action, and all true. It's a story about how and why we fight for our democracy and win. - Stacey Abrams

U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction

U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction

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For 30 years, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse chronicled the activities of the U.S. Supreme Court and its justices as a correspondent for the New York Times. In this Very Short Introduction, she draws on her deep knowledge of the court's history and of its written and
unwritten rules to show readers how the Supreme Court really works.

Greenhouse offers a fascinating institutional biography of a place and its people--men and women who exercise great power but whose names and faces are unrecognized by many Americans and whose work often appears cloaked in mystery. How do cases get to the Supreme Court? How do the justices go about
deciding them? What special role does the chief justice play? What do the law clerks do? How does the court relate to the other branches of government? Greenhouse answers these questions by depicting the justices as they confront deep constitutional issues or wrestle with the meaning of confusing
federal statutes. Throughout, the author examines many individual Supreme Court cases to illustrate points under discussion, ranging from Marbury v. Madison, the seminal case which established judicial review, to the recent District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), which struck down the District of
Columbia's gun-control statute and which was, surprisingly, the first time in its history that the Court issued an authoritative interpretation of the Second Amendment. To add perspective, Greenhouse also compares the Court to foreign courts, revealing interesting differences. For instance, no other
country in the world has chosen to bestow life tenure on its judges.

The second edition of Greenhouse's Very Short Introduction tracks the changes in the Court's makeup over the last eight years, considers the landmark decisions of the Obama and Trump eras, and reexamines the precarious fates of such precedents as Roe v. Wade.

A superb overview packed with telling details, this volume offers a matchless introduction to one of the pillars of American government.

US CONSTITUTION & FASCINATING

US CONSTITUTION & FASCINATING

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In The U.S. Constitution & Fascinating Facts About It you'll see the entire text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence -- and much more! You'll find interesting insights into the men who wrote the Constitution, how it was created, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution in the two centuries since its creation.