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Politics & Political Science

AMERICAN PRISON: A REPORTER'S

AMERICAN PRISON: A REPORTER'S

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An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform." --NPR.org

New York Times Book Review

10 Best Books of 2018 * One of President Barack Obama's favorite books of 2018 *
Winner of the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism * Winner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism Award * A New York Times Notable Book

A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history.

In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still.

The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone.

A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.

ARE PRISONS OBSOLETE?

ARE PRISONS OBSOLETE?

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With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly, the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable.
In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.
CAPITALIST REALISM

CAPITALIST REALISM

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After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system - a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.
CODDLING OF THE AMER MIND

CODDLING OF THE AMER MIND

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A finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction

A New York Times Notable Book

Bloomberg Best Book of 2018

The New York Times bestseller!

Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising--on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen?

First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn't kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being and ancient wisdom from many cultures. Embracing these untruths--and the resulting culture of safetyism--interferes with young people's social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life.

Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths. They explore changes in childhood such as the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. They examine changes on campus, including the corporatization of universities and the emergence of new ideas about identity and justice. They situate the conflicts on campus within the context of America's rapidly rising political polarization and dysfunction.

This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.

COMMANDER IN CHEAT

COMMANDER IN CHEAT

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Reilly pokes more holes in Trump's claims than there are sand traps on all of his courses combined. It is by turns amusing and alarming." -- The New Yorker
"Golf is the spine of this shocking, wildly humorous book, but humanity is its flesh and spirit." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Every one of Trump's most disgusting qualities surfaces in golf." -- The Ringer

An outrageous indictment of Donald Trump's appalling behavior when it comes to golf -- on and off the green -- and what it reveals about his character.
Donald Trump loves golf. He loves to play it, buy it, build it, and operate it. He owns 14 courses around the world and runs another five, all of which he insists are the best on the planet. He also claims he's a 3 handicap, almost never loses, and has won an astonishing 18 club championships.

How much of all that is true? Almost none of it, acclaimed sportswriter Rick Reilly reveals in this unsparing look at Trump in the world of golf.

Based on Reilly's own experiences with Trump as well as interviews with over 100 golf pros, amateurs, developers, and caddies, Commander in Cheat is a startling and at times hilarious indictment of Trump and his golf game. You'll learn how Trump cheats (sometimes with the help of his caddies and Secret Service agents), lies about his scores (the "Trump Bump"), tells whoppers about the rank of his courses and their worth (declaring that every one of them is worth $50 million), and tramples the etiquette of the game (driving on greens doesn't help). Trump doesn't brag so much, though, about the golf contractors he stiffs, the course neighbors he intimidates, or the way his golf decisions wind up infecting his political ones.

For Trump, it's always about winning. To do it, he uses the tricks he picked up from the hustlers at the public course where he learned the game as a college kid, and then polished as one of the most bombastic businessmen of our time. As Reilly writes, "Golf is like bicycle shorts. It reveals a lot about a man." Commander in Cheat "paints a side-splitting portrait of a congenital cheater" (Esquire), revealing all kinds of unsightly truths Trump has been hiding.

CRISIS CARAVAN: WHAT'S WRONG W

CRISIS CARAVAN: WHAT'S WRONG W

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In her controversial, no-holds-barred exposé Linda Polman shows how a vast industry has grown up around humanitarian aid. The Crisis Caravan takes us to war zones around the globe, showing how aid operations and the humanitarian world have become a feature of military strategy. Impassioned, gripping, and even darkly absurd, journalist Linda Polman "gives some powerful examples of unconscionable assistance...a world where aid workers have become enablers of the atrocities they seek to relieve" (The Boston Globe).

GREAT RISK SHIFT: THE NEW ECON

GREAT RISK SHIFT: THE NEW ECON

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Well before the late-2000s financial crisis, economic risk was shifting from the broad shoulders of government and business onto the fragile backs of American families. In this fully revised second edition, Jacob Hacker presents startling new evidence of Americans' increasing insecurity in the post-financial crash era and compelling new ideas to restore the American Dream.
HIDDEN HIST OF THE WAR ON VOTI

HIDDEN HIST OF THE WAR ON VOTI

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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.

LET THE PEOPLE PICK THE PRESID

LET THE PEOPLE PICK THE PRESID

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"Wegman combines in-depth historical analysis and insight into contemporary politics to present a cogent argument that the Electoral College violates America's 'core democratic principles' and should be done away with... --Publishers Weekly

The framers of the Constitution battled over it. Lawmakers have tried to amend or abolish it more than 700 times. To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how it works. It deepens our national divide and distorts the core democratic principles of political equality and majority rule. How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose?

Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question--and creating a false picture of a country divided into bright red and blue blocks when in fact we are purple from coast to coast. Even when the popular-vote winner becomes president, tens of millions of Americans--Republicans and Democrats alike--find that their votes didn't matter. And, with statewide winner-take-all rules, only a handful of battleground states ultimately decide who will become president.

Now, as political passions reach a boiling point at the dawn of the 2020 race, the message from the American people is clear: The way we vote for the only official whose job it is to represent all Americans is neither fair nor just. Major reform is needed--now. Isn't it time to let the people pick the president?

In this thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms, Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman draws upon the history of the founding era, as well as information gleaned from campaign managers, field directors, and other officials from twenty-first-century Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, to make a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President he shows how we can at long last make every vote in the United States count--and restore belief in our democratic system.

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.

Donald Trump's unexpected victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election brought sweeping criticism of election polls and poll-based statistical forecasts, which had signaled that Hillary Clinton would win the White House. Surprise ran deep in 2016, but it was not unprecedented. Lost in a Gallup examines in lively and engaging fashion the history of polling flops, epic upsets, unforeseen landslides, and exit poll fiascoes in American presidential elections. Drawing on archival collections and contemporaneous sources, W. Joseph Campbell presents insights on notable pollsters of the past, including George Gallup, Elmo Roper, Archibald Crossley, Warren Mitofsky, and Louis Harris.

The story is one of media failure, too, as journalists invariably take their lead from polls in crafting campaign narratives. Lost in a Gallup describes how numerous prominent journalists--including Edward R. Murrow, Jimmy Breslin, Mike Royko, Christopher Hitchens, and Haynes Johnson--were outspoken poll-bashers and critics. In assessing polling's messy, uneven, and controversial past, Campbell emphasizes that although election polls are not always wrong, their inherent drawbacks invite skepticism and wariness. Readers will come away better prepared to weigh the efficacy and value of pre-election polls in presidential races, the most important of all American elections.

PERMANENT RECORD

PERMANENT RECORD

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Edward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government's system of mass surveillance, reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.


In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it.

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online--a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet's conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.

RIGGED: AMERICA, RUSSIA, AND O

RIGGED: AMERICA, RUSSIA, AND O

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"This pioneering and judicious history of foreign intervention in elections should be read by everyone who wants to defend democracy now." --Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny

The definitive account of covert operations to influence elections from the Cold War to 2016, why the threat to American democracy is greater than ever in 2020, and what we can do about it.

Russia's interference in 2016 marked only the latest chapter of a hidden and revelatory history. In Rigged, David Shimer tells the sweeping story of covert electoral interference past and present. He exposes decades of secret operations--by the KGB, the CIA, and Vladimir Putin's Russia--to shape electoral outcomes, melding deep historical research with groundbreaking interviews with more than 130 key players, from leading officials in both the Trump and Obama administrations, to CIA and NSA directors, to a former KGB general.

What Americans should make of Russia's attack in 2016 is still hotly debated, even after the Mueller report and years of media coverage. Shimer shows that Putin's operation was, in fact, a continuation of an ongoing struggle, using familiar weapons radically enhanced by new technology. Throughout history and in 2016, both Russian and American operations achieved their greatest success by influencing the way voters think, rather than tampering with actual vote tallies.

Casting aside partisanship and sensationalism, Rigged reveals new details about what Russia achieved in 2016, how the Obama administration responded, and why Putin has also been interfering covertly in elections across the globe in recent years, while American presidents have largely refrained from doing so. Shimer also makes disturbingly clear that this type of intrusion can be used to harm Democrats and Republicans alike. Russia's central aim is to undermine and disrupt our democracy, to the detriment of all Americans.

Understanding 2016 as one battle in a much longer war is essential to understanding the critical threat currently posed to America's electoral sovereignty and how to defend against it. Illuminating how the lessons of the past can be used to protect our democracy in the future, Rigged is an essential book for readers of every political persuasion.

THANK YOU FOR VOTING: THE MADD

THANK YOU FOR VOTING: THE MADD

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In this concise, lively look at the past, present, and future of voting, a journalist examines the long and continuing fight for voting equality, why so few Americans today vote, and innovative ways to educate and motivate them; included are checklists of what to do before election day to prepare to vote and encourage others.

Voting is a prized American right and a topic of debate from the earliest days of the country. Yet in the 2016 presidential election, about 40 percent of Americans--and half of the country's young adults--didn't vote. Why do so many Americans choose not to vote, and what can we do about it?

The problem, Erin Geiger Smith contends, is a lack of understanding about our electoral system and a need to make voting more accessible. Thank You for Voting is her eye-opening look at the voting process, starting with the Framers' perspective, through the Equal Protection amendment and the Voting Rights Act, to the present and simple actions individuals can take to increase civic participation in local, state, and national elections.

Geiger Smith expands our knowledge about our democracy--including women's long fight to win the vote, attempts to suppress newly enfranchised voters' impact, state prohibitions against felons voting, charges of voter fraud and voter suppression, and other vital issues. In a conversational tone, she explains topics that can confuse even the most informed voters: polling, news literacy, gerrymandering and the Electoral College. She also explores how age, race, and socioeconomic factors influence turnout.

Ultimately, Thank You for Voting offers hope. Geiger Smith challenges corporations to promote voting, and offers examples of how companies like Patagonia and Walmart have taken up the task in a non-partisan way. And she reveals how get-out-the-vote movements--such as television star Yara Shahidi's voting organization, Michelle Obama's When We All Vote campaign, and on-the-ground young activists--innovatively use technology and grassroots techniques to energize first-time voters.


--Library Journal
THOUSAND SMALL SANITIES

THOUSAND SMALL SANITIES

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A stirring defense of liberalism against the dogmatisms of our time from an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author.
Not since the early twentieth century has liberalism, and liberals, been under such relentless attack, from both right and left. The crisis of democracy in our era has produced a crisis of faith in liberal institutions and, even worse, in liberal thought.
A Thousand Small Sanities is a manifesto rooted in the lives of people who invented and extended the liberal tradition. Taking us from Montaigne to Mill, and from Middlemarch to the civil rights movement, Adam Gopnik argues that liberalism is not a form of centrism, nor simply another word for free markets, nor merely a term denoting a set of rights. It is something far more ambitious: the search for radical change by humane measures. Gopnik shows us why liberalism is one of the great moral adventures in human history -- and why, in an age of autocracy, our lives may depend on its continuation.
THREAT

THREAT

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#1 New York Times Bestseller
#1 Washington Post Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller

On March 16, 2018, just twenty-six hours before his scheduled retirement from the organization he had served with distinction for more than two decades, Andrew G. McCabe was fired from his position as deputy director of the FBI. President Donald Trump celebrated on Twitter: "Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy."

In The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, Andrew G. McCabe offers a dramatic and candid account of his career, and an impassioned defense of the FBI's agents, and of the institution's integrity and independence in protecting America and upholding our Constitution.

McCabe started as a street agent in the FBI's New York field office, serving under director Louis Freeh. He became an expert in two kinds of investigations that are critical to American national security: Russian organized crime--which is inextricably linked to the Russian state--and terrorism. Under Director Robert Mueller, McCabe led the investigations of major attacks on American soil, including the Boston Marathon bombing, a plot to bomb the New York subways, and several narrowly averted bombings of aircraft. And under James Comey, McCabe was deeply involved in the controversial investigations of the Benghazi attack, the Clinton Foundation's activities, and Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

The Threat recounts in compelling detail the time between Donald Trump's November 2016 election and McCabe's firing, set against a page-turning narrative spanning two decades when the FBI's mission shifted to a new goal: preventing terrorist attacks on Americans. But as McCabe shows, right now the greatest threat to the United States comes from within, as President Trump and his administration ignore the law, attack democratic institutions, degrade human rights, and undermine the U.S. Constitution that protects every citizen.

Important, revealing, and powerfully argued, The Threat tells the true story of what the FBI is, how it works, and why it will endure as an institution of integrity that protects America.

TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY: THE SED

TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY: THE SED

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"How did our democracy go wrong? This extraordinary document . . . is Applebaum's answer." --Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else.

Despotic leaders do not rule alone; they rely on political allies, bureaucrats, and media figures to pave their way and support their rule. The authoritarian and nationalist parties that have arisen within modern democracies offer new paths to wealth or power for their adherents. Applebaum describes many of the new advocates of illiberalism in countries around the world, showing how they use conspiracy theory, political polarization, social media, and even nostalgia to change their societies.

Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

UNFREEDOM OF THE PR

UNFREEDOM OF THE PR

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From six-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, FOX News star, and radio host Mark R. Levin comes a groundbreaking and enlightening book that shows how the great tradition of the American free press has degenerated into a standardless profession that has squandered the faith and trust of the American public, not through actions of government officials, but through its own abandonment of reportorial integrity and objective journalism.

Unfreedom of the Press is not just another book about the press. Levin shows how those entrusted with news reporting today are destroying freedom of the press from within: "not government oppression or suppression," he writes, but self-censorship, group-think, bias by omission, and passing off opinion, propaganda, pseudo-events, and outright lies as news.

With the depth of historical background for which his books are renowned, Levin takes the reader on a journey through the early American patriot press, which proudly promoted the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, followed by the early decades of the Republic during which newspapers around the young country were open and transparent about their fierce allegiance to one political party or the other.

It was only at the start of the Progressive Era and the twentieth century that the supposed "objectivity of the press" first surfaced, leaving us where we are today: with a partisan party-press overwhelmingly aligned with a political ideology but hypocritically engaged in a massive untruth as to its real nature.

WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: WHY THE WE

WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: WHY THE WE

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From one of the world's best-known development economists--an excoriating attack on the tragic hubris of the West's efforts to improve the lot of the so-called developing world

In his previous book, The Elusive Quest for Growth, William Easterly criticized the utter ineffectiveness of Western organizations to mitigate global poverty, and he was promptly fired by his then-employer, the World Bank. The White Man's Burden is his widely anticipated counterpunch--a brilliant and blistering indictment of the West's economic policies for the world's poor. Sometimes angry, sometimes irreverent, but always clear-eyed and rigorous, Easterly argues that we in the West need to face our own history of ineptitude and draw the proper conclusions, especially at a time when the question of our ability to transplant Western institutions has become one of the most pressing issues we face.

WORLD: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

WORLD: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

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An invaluable primer from Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, that will help anyone, expert and non-expert alike, navigate a time in which many of our biggest challenges come from the world beyond our borders.

Like it or not, we live in a global era, in which what happens thousands of miles away has the ability to affect our lives. This time, it is a Coronavirus known as Covid-19, which originated in a Chinese city many had never heard of but has spread to the corners of the earth. Next time it could well be another infectious disease from somewhere else. Twenty years ago it was a group of terrorists trained in Afghanistan and armed with box-cutters who commandeered four airplanes and flew them into buildings (and in one case a field) and claimed nearly three thousand lives. Next time it could be terrorists who use a truck bomb or gain access to a weapon of mass destruction. In 2016 hackers in a nondescript office building in Russia traveled virtually in cyberspace to manipulate America's elections. Now they have burrowed into our political life. In recent years, severe hurricanes and large fires linked to climate change have ravaged parts of the earth; in the future we can anticipate even more serious natural disasters. In 2008, it was a global financial crisis caused by mortgage-backed securities in America, but one day it could well be a financial contagion originating in Europe, Asia, or Africa. This is the new normal of the 21st century.

The World is designed to provide readers of any age and experience with the essential background and building blocks they need to make sense of this complicated and interconnected world. It will empower them to manage the flood of daily news. Readers will become more informed, discerning citizens, better able to arrive at sound, independent judgments. While it is impossible to predict what the next crisis will be or where it will originate, those who read The World will have what they need to understand its basics and the principal choices for how to respond.

In short, this book will make readers more globally literate and put them in a position to make sense of this era. Global literacy--knowing how the world works--is a must, as what goes on outside a country matters enormously to what happens inside. Although the United States is bordered by two oceans, those oceans are not moats. And the so-called Vegas rule--what happens there stays there--does not apply in today's world to anyone anywhere. U.S. foreign policy is uniquely American, but the world Americans seek to shape is not. Globalization can be both good and bad, but it is not something that individuals or countries can opt out of. Even if we want to ignore the world, it will not ignore us. The choice we face is how to respond.

We are connected to this world in all sorts of ways. We need to better understand it, both its promise and its threats, in order to make informed choices, be it as students, citizens, voters, parents, employees, or investors. To help readers do just that, The World focuses on essential history, what makes each region of the world tick, the many challenges globalization presents, and the most influential countries, events, and ideas. Explaining complex ideas with wisdom and clarity, Richard Haass's The World is an evergreen book that will remain relevant and useful as history continues to unfold.