Books read, to read, and/or write about

Just found this older list that I planned to do short takes on, but now have returned the books and don’t recall much so have to recheck out, but here is the list for your consideration. Some duplicates with other posts may occur if I did manage to do some write ups but I am too lazy too check each one.

For some reason, the links to a lot of the books are gone. I may have missed one or two, but I KNOW I DID NOT MISS all the ones now missing GoodReads links, darn it. So I’m sorry, but I am not going to spend another hour or more redoing them when I don’t know why they disappeared in the first place.

book jacket with cowboy boot like flag colors
Mary Beth Rogers

Turning Texas Blue: What it will take to Break the GOP Grip on America’s Reddest State by Mary Beth Rogers





book jacketIllustrated Great Decisions of the Supreme Court by Tony Mauro (2000)





book jacket portrait of Victoria WoodhullThe woman who ran for president: the many lives of Victoria Woodhull Lois Beachy UnderhillGloria Steinem (Translator)(1995)




book jacket with a little rounded flag symbolThat’s not what we meant to do: reform and its unintended consequences in twentieth-century America by Steven M. Gillon (2000)




book jacket with little drawing of American flag

Blasphemy: how the religious right is hijacking our declaration of independence by Alan Dershowitz (2007)




book jacketBetter, stronger, faster: the myth of American decline — and the rise of a new economy by Daniel Gross (2012)



book jacket with bar code under illustration of capitol buildingDollarocracy: how the money-and-media election complex is destroying America by John Nichols




book jacket with political donkey and elephant and crossGod’s Politics: why the Right gets it wrong and the Left doesn’t get it by Jim Wallis




book jacket photo with George W. Bush and Dick CheneyTakeover: the return of the imperial presidency and the subversion of American democracy by Charlie Savage (2007)




book jacketThe Supreme Court on unions: why labor law is failing American workers by Julius G. Getman
(checked out via ILL)



book jacket with cartoon of fat bankerThe Age of Acquiescence: the life and death of American resistance to organized wealth and power by Steve Fraser




book jacket photo of suffragettesThe Concise History of Woman Suffrage: selections from History of woman suffrage, edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Edited by Paul Buhle (2005)



book cover reading right to vote with the r crossed out and changed to F for fight to vote

The Fight to Vote by Michael Waldman


book jacketFICTION The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood





book jacket photo Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton


The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the rivalry that defined a generation (2008)



book jacket with golden dust panThe Servant Economy: where America’s elite is sending the  middle class by Geoffrey P. Faux (2012)




book jacketWar is the Force that gives us Meaning by Chris Hedges (2002)




book jacketWhat’s the matter with White People: why we long for a golden age that never was by Joan Walsh (2012)




book jacketWriting with intent: essays, reviews, personal prose, 1983-2005 by Margaret Atwood (2005)




book jacketA Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen (2012)




book jacket photo of Ayn RandAyn Rand Nation: The hidden struggle for America’s Soul by Gary Weiss (2012)




book jacket with hand marking a ballotBending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the transformation of American democracy by Gary May (2013)




book jacketGive us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in America by Ari Berman ( 2015)




book jacketGreat Cases in Constitutional Law by Robert P. George (2000)




video jacket PBS seriesOne Woman, one vote by Ruth Pollak (2005)





[no image] The ACLU Freedom Files: voting rights by Jeremy Paul Kagan (2005)

[no image] The Democratic Party: Opposing Views by Noah Berlatsky

[no image] The United States Constitution: Questions and Answers by John R. Vile

video jacket capital building covered in dollar billsThe Best Government Money Can Buy? by Francis Megahy (2010)




book jacket red elephant graphic part of blue donkeyThe Party is Over: how Republicans went crazy, Democrats became useless, and the middle class got shafted by Mike Lofgren (2012)



book jacket image of old fashioned keyFICTION The Winter Siege  [large print] by Ariana Franklin




video jacket photo of Ralph NaderUnreasonable Man [Ralph Nader video] by Henriette Mantel (2006)




book jackets tarot card-like graphicsThe New Prophets of Capital:  A deft and caustic takedown of the new prophets of profit, from Bill Gates to Oprah by Nicole Ashcroft (2015) [checked out via ILL]



book jacketBecause of sex: one law, ten cases, and fifty years that Changed American Women’s Lives at Work by Gillian Thomas (lawyer)




book jacket graphic ear of cornBetting on famine: why the world still goes hungry by Jean Ziegler





book jacket photo of protestors hemmed in by armed policeProfit over People: neoliberalism and global order by Noam Chomsky (1999)




book jacketRat F**ked: the true story behind the secret plan to steal America’s democracy by David Daley




[no image] The End of Poverty? Think Again by Beth Portello (2010) – heartbreaking

book jacket of protestorsThe People’s Pension: the struggle to defend Social Security since Reagan by Eric Laursen (2012)




book jacketEmpire of Capital by Ellen Meiksins Wood  (2003)[checked out via ILL]




book jacket photo of Milton FriedmanCapitalism and freedom by Milton Friedman (2002) [author I am happy to say died in 2006; he created the false doctrine of neoliberalism]




book jacketIll Fares the Land by Tony Judt (2010)





book jacketNation on the Take: how big money corrupts our democracy and what we can do about it by Wendell Potter (2016)




book jacket graphic of Ben Franklin from the $50 bill in bandit maskThe Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republican and Clinton Democrats enriched Wall Street while mugging Main Street by Robert Scheer (2010)



book jacketThe New Road to Serfdom: a letter of warning to America [listened to book on cd] by Daniel Hannan (2011)




book jacketThe Road to Serfdom: text and documents by Friedrich A. von Hayek (2007)




book jacket with graphic of necktie shaped dollar billWhy we can’t afford the rich by R. Andrew Sayer





book jacketThe Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: dispatches from the front lines by Michael E. Mann (2012)




book jacketBill of Wrongs: The Executive branch’s assault on America’s fundamental rights [cd] by Molly Ivins (2007)



book jacket with stains glass graphic around capitol buildingC Street: the fundamentalist threat to American democracy by Jeff Sharlet (2010)




book jacket photo of the authorDemocracy Maters: Winning the Fight against Imperialism [cd] by Cornel West (2004)




book jacketF*U*B*A*R: America’s right wing nightmare [cd] by Sam Seder (2006) for the innocents out there, FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, and variation of SNAFU, Situation Normal, All Fucked Up



book jacketUnthinking: the surprising forces behind what we buy [cd] by Harry Beckwith (2011)




book jacket with partial image of the statue of LibertyAll the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the rise of an independent nation by Rebecca Traister (2016)



book jacketFICTION Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (2002)





book jacketPeople Get Ready: the fight against a jobless economy and a citizenless democracy by Robert Waterman McChesney



book jacketFICTION The Peripheral by William Gibson





book jacket by Thom Hartmann





book jacketTheft of a Nation [checked out via ILL]





book jacket with portrait of Dred ScottDred Scott and the problem of Constitutional Evil [checked out via ILL]





The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

book jacket with title and authorThe Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, (2008 Large Type has a different cover image). Cover also says it was a New York Times Bestseller.

Well written and argued. Many people I know are mystified at the seriously problem of willful ignorance that has developed in this country. I thought W. had personified ignorance with his sanctimonious smirk and refusal to read newspapers because he didn’t want to be influenced by thinkers other than his staff who absolutely would not tell him anything he did not want to hear. And I had forgotten the case of decorum by the real president, Dick Cheney, who shouted at Senator Patrick Leahy to  “Go fuck yourself!” on the Senate floor.  (p. 40, 44) This provides the great contrast between the Founding Fathers, and especially the insults penned by Shakespeare. She cites an example of a better insult from the 1890s,

. . . Speaker of the House Thomas Reed took care of one opponent by observing that with ‘with a few more brains he could be  a halfwit.’ Of another politician Reed remarked, ‘He never opens his mouth without subtracting from the sum of human intelligence.’ Americans once heard (or rather read) such genuinely witty remarks and tried to emulate that wit. Today we parrot the witless and halfwitted [sic] language used by politicians and radio shock jocks alike.” (p. 41)

Alas we have slumped even further into the abyss with Trump, Cruz, Walker, et al on the Republican side. And the anointed corporate puppet pick, Hillary, of the Bankruptcy Act treason of the people, and the Iraq war of the military industrial complex. She who cannot claim any bill or legislation passed that helped women or people of color.

Continue reading The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

The Great Escape by Angus Deaton

title text great escape: health, wealth, and the origins of inequalityThe Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton (2013)

This is a good book. Highly recommended to read. Full of details that are really informative but results in a lot of numbers and statistics. The following tidbits are in random order rather than sequentially by chapters.


I have been puzzled a lot by how poverty is established because when I do the math, to pay for all the basics (rent, food, utilities, phone, Internet, medical insurance, drug insurance, co-pays and deductibles) it exceeds poverty by a lot. I don’t even remotely understand how any one can manage just the cost of tampons and diapers alone, much less clothing, especially for growing kids — the mind boggles. Prior to this section there was an informative but this part was a bit tedious on the GDP and how it is calculated. Informative true, but also depressing because he described how inadequate and somewhat spurious our economic system is based on the GDP.

Continue reading The Great Escape by Angus Deaton

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, Lola Rogers (Translation)

the core of the sunI don’t remember now how I learned about The Core of the Sun, but I am so glad I did, and so glad my public librarians are astute and consistently have almost every book I want to read. Johanna Sinisalo is Finnish, so that is unusual to have the opportunity to read books by Finnish authors. But, WOW, this book is so original and odd and the dystopia envisioned is akin to what all the critics are saying when they compare it to The Handmaid’s Tale, one of my favorite books ever.

On Goodreads, after reading some of the reviews, I wrote:

Michael’s description was well done, but did include an error: it is Vanna, the morlock lead character who becomes addicted to chilies. Manna is the sister she is looking for. And it must have been important to the author to also head the chapters with Vanna/Vera because it represents how they even took her original name away from her, just because they could or as a deliberate psychological ploy. The comment is made a bit later about not allowing women to have r in their names, but it was not explored or explained further, beyond her later meeting a morlock woman with an r in her name. But she just leaves it there, without attributing any significance to it. So I was kind of waiting for that to be a foreshadowing of a twist of some sort, or some further exploration on gendered names, but none was developed. It is a slim book, and probably would be too digressive from the narrative if she didn’t have a consistent basis for it in her world-building.

Continue reading The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, Lola Rogers (Translation)