Best Selling Books in Politics - History & Theory

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release date: Oct 31, 2017
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Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit
New York Times Bestseller

A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before, by bestselling author Chris Matthews, an esteemed Kennedy expert and anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball.

With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century.

Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother’s administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.
release date: Sep 01, 2000
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The 48 Laws of Power
Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this New York Times bestseller is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control. 


In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.
 
Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence (“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.
release date: Nov 07, 2017
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Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Explosive... A blistering tell-all."---Washington Post

"People should sit up, take notes and change things."---Ace Smith, Los Angeles Times

"Brazile most certainly has a story to tell.... Vivid."---The Guardian

From Donna Brazile, former DNC chair and legendary political operative, an explosive and revealing new look at the 2016 election: the first insider account of the Russian hacking of the DNC and the missteps by the Clinton campaign and Obama administration that enabled a Trump victory.

In the fallout of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee--and as chaos threatened to consume the party's convention--Democrats turned to a familiar figure to right the ship: Donna Brazile. Known to millions from her frequent TV appearances, she was no stranger to high stakes and dirty opponents, and the longtime Democratic strategist had a reputation in Washington as a one-stop shop for fixing sticky problems.

What Brazile found at the DNC was unlike anything she had experienced before--and much worse than is commonly known. The party was beset by infighting, scandal, and hubris, while reeling from a brazen and wholly unprecedented attempt by a foreign power to influence the presidential election. Plus, its candidate, Hillary Clinton, faced an opponent who broke every rule in the political playbook.

Packed with never-before-reported revelations about what went down in 2016, Hacks is equal parts campaign thriller, memoir, and roadmap for the future. With Democrats now in the wilderness after this historic defeat, Hacks argues that staying silent about what went wrong helps no one. Only by laying bare the missteps, miscalculations, and crimes of 2016, Brazile contends, will Americans be able to salvage their democracy.
release date: Sep 12, 2017
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Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Compelling… this book couldn’t be more timely.” – Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review

From the Recipient of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.

Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple.

From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.

None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.

Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?

release date: Oct 10, 2017
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Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump

Americans didn’t just go to the polls in 2016. They joined a movement that swept the unlikeliest of candidates, Donald Trump, into the Oval Office. Can he complete his agenda? Or will his opponents in the media, protestor class, and political establishment block his efforts and choke off the movement he represents?

In Billionaire at the Barricades, Laura Ingraham gives readers a front row seat to the populist revolution as she witnessed it. She reveals the origins of this movement and its connection to the Trump presidency. She unmasks the opposition, forecasts the future of the Make America Great Again agenda and offers her own prescriptions for bringing real change to the swamp of Washington.

Unlike most of her media colleagues, Ingraham understood Trump’s appeal and defied those who wrote his political obituary. Now she confronts the president’s critics and responds to those who deny the importance of his America First agenda. With sharp humor and insight she traces the DNA of the populist movement: from Goldwater’s 1964 campaign, to Nixon’s Silent Majority, to Reagan’s smashing electoral victories.

Populism fueled the insurgency campaigns of Buchanan and Perot, the election of George W. Bush, and the Tea Party rallies of the Obama presidency. But a political novice―a Manhattan billionaire―proved to be the movement’s most vocal champion. This is the inside story of his victory and the fitful struggle to enact his agenda.

release date: May 02, 2017
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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

A Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Best Books of 2017
Long-listed for the National Book Award

"Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation." ―William Julius Wilson

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation―that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation―the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments―that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north.

As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

13 illustrations
release date: Nov 14, 2017
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The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush

A groundbreaking look at the lives of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, the most consequential father-son pair in American history, often in their own words.

In this endearing, illuminating work, presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove tracks the two Bush presidents from their formative years through their post-presidencies and the failed presidential candidacy of Jeb Bush, derailing the Bush presidential dynasty.

Drawing extensively on exclusive access and interviews with both Bush presidents, Updegrove reveals for the first time their influences and perspectives on each other’s presidencies; their views on family, public service, and America’s role in the world; and their unvarnished thoughts on Donald Trump, and the radical transformation of the Republican Party he now leads.

In 2016 George W. Bush lamented privately that he might be “the last Republican president.” Donald Trump’s election marked the end not only to the Bushes’ hold on the White House, but of a rejection of the Republican principles of civility and international engagement and leadership that the Bushes have long championed.

The Last Republicans offers revealing and often moving portraits of the forty-first and forty-third presidents, as well as an elegy for the Republican “establishment,” which once stood for putting the interests of the nation over those of any single man.

release date: Nov 07, 2017
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Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life
“We come to see in FDR the magisterial, central figure in the greatest and richest political tapestry of our nation’s entire history” —Nigel Hamilton, Boston Globe

“Meticulously researched and authoritative” —Douglas Brinkley, The Washington Post

“A workmanlike addition to the literature on Roosevelt.” —David Nasaw, The New York Times

“Dallek offers an FDR relevant to our sharply divided nation” —Michael Kazin


“Will rank among the standard biographies of its subject” Publishers Weekly

A one-volume biography of Roosevelt by the #1 New York Times bestselling biographer of JFK, focusing on his career as an incomparable politician, uniter, and deal maker


In an era of such great national divisiveness, there could be no more timely biography of one of our greatest presidents than one that focuses on his unparalleled political ability as a uniter and consensus maker. Robert Dallek’s Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life takes a fresh look at the many compelling questions that have attracted all his biographers: how did a man who came from so privileged a background become the greatest presidential champion of the country’s needy? How did someone who never won recognition for his intellect foster revolutionary changes in the country’s economic and social institutions? How did Roosevelt work such a profound change in the country’s foreign relations?
 
For FDR, politics was a far more interesting and fulfilling pursuit than the management of family fortunes or the indulgence of personal pleasure, and by the time he became president, he had commanded the love and affection of millions of people. While all Roosevelt’s biographers agree that the onset of polio at the age of thirty-nine endowed him with a much greater sense of humanity, Dallek sees the affliction as an insufficient explanation for his transformation into a masterful politician who would win an unprecedented four presidential terms, initiate landmark reforms that changed the American industrial system, and transform an isolationist country into an international superpower.
 
Dallek attributes FDR’s success to two remarkable political insights. First, unlike any other president, he understood that effectiveness in the American political system depended on building a national consensus and commanding stable long-term popular support. Second, he made the presidency the central, most influential institution in modern America’s political system. In addressing the country’s international and domestic problems, Roosevelt recognized the vital importance of remaining closely attentive to the full range of public sentiment around policy-making decisions—perhaps FDR’s most enduring lesson in effective leadership.
release date: Dec 01, 1991
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Behold a Pale Horse
Bill Cooper, former United States Naval Intelligence Briefing Team member, reveals information that remains hidden from the public eye. This information has been kept in topsecret government files since the 1940s. His audiences hear the truth unfold as he writes about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the war on drugs, the secret government, and UFOs. Bill is a lucid, rational, and powerful speaker whose intent is to inform and to empower his audience. Standing room only is normal. His presentation and information transcend partisan affiliations as he clearly addresses issues in a way that has a striking impact on listeners of all backgrounds and interests. He has spoken to many groups throughout the United States and has appeared regularly on many radio talk shows and on television. In 1988 Bill decided to "talk" due to events then taking place worldwide, events that he had seen plans for back in the early 1970s. Bill correctly predicted the lowering of the Iron Curtain, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the invasion of Panama. All Bill's predictions were on record well before the events occurred. Bill is not a psychic. His information comes from top secret documents that he read while with the Intelligence Briefing Team and from over seventeen years of research.
release date: May 30, 2017
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Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?
CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE HEADING TOWARD A WAR NEITHER WANTS. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war.

In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.
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