Best Selling Books in Government - Congresses, Senates, & Legislative Bodies

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release date: May 30, 2017
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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book - also unusual - because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy." - Louise Erdrich, The New York Times

From Senator Al Franken - #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum - comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.


This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.



release date: Oct 30, 2017
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Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide

“Sunstein has written the story of impeachment every citizen needs to know. This is a remarkable, essential book.” ― Doris Kearns Goodwin

As Benjamin Franklin famously put it, Americans have a republic, if we can keep it. Preserving the Constitution and the democratic system it supports is the public’s responsibility. One route the Constitution provides for discharging that duty―a route rarely traveled―is impeachment.

Cass R. Sunstein provides a succinct citizen’s guide to an essential tool of self-government. He illuminates the constitutional design behind impeachment and emphasizes the people’s role in holding presidents accountable. Despite intense interest in the subject, impeachment is widely misunderstood. Sunstein identifies and corrects a number of misconceptions. For example, he shows that the Constitution, not the House of Representatives, establishes grounds for impeachment, and that the president can be impeached for abuses of power that do not violate the law. Even neglect of duty counts among the “high crimes and misdemeanors” delineated in the republic’s foundational document. Sunstein describes how impeachment helps make sense of our constitutional order, particularly the framers’ controversial decision to install an empowered executive in a nation deeply fearful of kings.

With an eye toward the past and the future, Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide considers a host of actual and imaginable arguments for a president’s removal, explaining why some cases are easy and others hard, why some arguments for impeachment have been judicious and others not. In direct and approachable terms, it dispels the fog surrounding impeachment so that Americans of all political convictions may use their ultimate civic authority wisely.

release date: Apr 01, 1995
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Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom)
The landmark legal document of the United States, the U.S. Constitution comprises the primary law of the Federal Government. Signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, the Constitution outlines the powers and responsibilities of the three chief branches of the Federal Government, as well as the basic rights of the citizens of the United States. This beautiful gift edition contains the complete text of the United States Constitution, as well as all of its amendments. It is a treasure for Americans of all ages.
release date: Apr 04, 2017
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A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
New York Times bestelling author T. R. Reid travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of America's failing tax code, unravelling a complex topic in plain English - and telling a rollicking story along the way. 

The U.S. tax code is a total write-off. Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one except tax lawyers, accountants, and huge corporations. Not for the first time, we have reached a breaking point. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. In other words, every thirty-two years. Which means that the next complete overhaul is due in 2018. But what should be in this new tax code? Can we make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we cut tax rates and still bring in more revenue? Yes.
 
Other rich countries, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes that are equitable, effective, and easy on the taxpayer.  But the United States has languished. So byzantine are the current statutes that, by our government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes! Successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic inequality.
 
In A Fine Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems. With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping, he investigates what makes good taxation (no, that’s not an oxymoron) and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most. Never talking down or reflexively siding with either wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for sensible root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This affects everyone. Doing our taxes will never be America's favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier and fairer.
release date: Apr 11, 2006
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Profiles in Courage

The Pulitzer Prize winning classic by President John F. Kennedy, with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy and a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy.

Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage serves as a clarion call to every American.

In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation’s history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.

Now, a half-century later, the book remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues. It resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Profiles in Courage is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword: “not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us."

Along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, this book features Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award.  Introduction by John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, forward by John F. Kennedy’s brother Robert F. Kennedy.

release date: Nov 06, 2007
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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.”

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.

A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”
release date: Apr 18, 2017
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This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class

#1 New York Times bestseller

The fiery U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and bestselling author offers a passionate, inspiring book about why our middle class is under siege and how we can win the fight to save it

Senator Elizabeth Warren has long been an outspoken champion of America’s middle class, and by the time the people of Massachusetts elected her in 2012, she had become one of the country’s leading progressive voices. Now, at a perilous moment for our nation, she has written a book that is at once an illuminating account of how we built the strongest middle class in history, a scathing indictment of those who have spent the past thirty-five years undermining working families, and a rousing call to action.

Warren grew up in Oklahoma, and she’s never forgotten how difficult it was for her mother and father to hold on at the ragged edge of the middle class. An educational system that offered opportunities for all made it possible for her to achieve her dream of going to college, becoming a teacher, and, later, attending law school. But now, for many, these kinds of opportunities are gone, and a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful. Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal ushered in an age of widespread prosperity; in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan reversed course and sold the country on the disastrous fiction called trickle-down economics. Now, with the election of Donald Trump--a con artist who promised to drain the swamp of special interests and then surrounded himself with billionaires and lobbyists--the middle class is being pushed ever closer to collapse.

Written in the candid, high-spirited voice that is Warren’s trademark, This Fight Is Our Fight tells eye-opening stories about her battles in the Senate and vividly describes the experiences of hard-working Americans who have too often been given the short end of the stick. Elizabeth Warren has had enough of phony promises and a government that no longer serves its people--she won’t sit down, she won’t be silenced, and she will fight back.

release date: Aug 25, 2008
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Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Joe Biden, the author of Promise Me, Dad, tells the story of his extraordinary life and career prior to his emergence as Barack Obama’s beloved, influential vice president.
 
In Promises to Keep, Joe Biden reveals the experiences that shaped him with his customary candor and charm. He movingly recounts growing up in a staunchly Catholic multigenerational household in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware; overcoming personal tragedy, life-threatening illness, and career setbacks; his relations, as a United States senator for more than thirty-five years, with fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle; and his leadership of powerful Senate committees.
 
Through these and other recollections, Biden shows us how the guiding principles he learned early in life—to work to make people’s lives better; to honor family and faith; to value persistence, candor, and honesty—are the foundation on which he has based his life’s work as husband, father, and legislator.
 
Promises to Keep is the story of a man who surmounted numerous challenges to become one of our most effective leaders. It is also an intimate series of reflections from a public servant who witnessed and participated in a momentous epoch of American history and refuses to be cynical about political leadership—a stirring testament to the promise of the United States.
release date: Jan 15, 2018
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Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?
While the hyper-partisanship in Washington that has stunned the world has been building for decades, Ira Shapiro argues that the U.S. Senate has suffered most acutely from the loss of its political center.

In Broken, Ira Shapiro, a former senior Senate staffer and author of the critically-acclaimed book The Last Great Senate, offers an expert’s account of some of the most prominent battles of the past decade and lays out what must be done to restore the Senate’s lost luster. Shapiro places the Senate at “ground zero for America’s political dysfunction”--the institution that has failed the longest and the worst. Because the Senate, at its best, represented the special place where the Democrats and Republicans worked together to transcend ideological and regional differences and find common ground, its decline has intensified the nation’s polarization, by institutionalizing it at the highest level. Shapiro documents this decline and evaluates the prospects of restoration that could provide a way out of the polarized morass that has engulfed Congress.

With a narrative that runs right through the first year of the Trump presidency, Broken will be essential reading for all concerned about the state of American politics and the future of our country.
release date: Apr 11, 2017
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Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse than You Think
Lavish parties. Committee chairmanships for sale. Pay-to-play corruption. Backroom arm-twisting. Votes on major legislation going to the highest bidder. Welcome to Washington, D.C., the swamp that President Donald Trump was elected to drain.

Congressman Ken Buck is blowing the whistle on the real-life House of Cards in our nation's capital. Elected in 2014 as president of one of the largest Republican freshman classes ever to enter Congress, Buck immediately realized why nothing gets done in Congress, and it isn't because of political gridlock—in fact, Republicans and Democrats work together all too well to fleece taxpayers and plunge America deeper into debt.

"It is an insular process directed by power-hungry party elites who live like kings and govern like bullies," Buck reports.

Buck has witnessed first-hand how the unwritten rules of Congress continually prioritize short-term political gain over lasting, principled leadership. When Buck tangled with Washington power brokers like former Speaker John Boehner, he faced petty retaliation. When he insisted Republicans keep their word to voters, he was berated on the House floor by his own party leaders. When other members of Congress dared to do what they believed to be right for America instead of what the party bosses commanded, Buck saw them stripped of committee positions and even denied dining room privileges by the petty beltway bullies.

In Drain the Swamp, Buck names names and tells incredible true stories about what really happened behind closed doors in Congress during legislative battles that have ensued over the last two years including budget, continuing resolutions, omnibus, trade promotion authority, Iran, and more. If the Trump administration is going to bring real change to Washington, it first needs to get the whole story—from deep inside the swamp.
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