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Politics/Current Events

AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD IN

AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD IN

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At the Center of the World in Ethiopia by S. W. Omamo As the world lurches seemingly non-stop from one major humanitarian crisis to another, and as development challenges grow in complexity and urgency, this first-person account of leadership at the humanitarian and development frontline could not be more relevant or timely. The setting is Ethiopia from 2018 to 2021. The narrator is a former United Nations agency Representative to Ethiopia who framed his team's core purpose as helping the country meet its crisis-ridden transformation challenge, impartially and neutrally. His narrative is rooted in his self-identity as a black African man in the "international community" - an identity that defined how he understood and responded to Ethiopian expressions of potent global social, political, and economic forces, and the sharp tensions and contradictions they generated. Racism in his organization and the wider "international community" loomed large. Fundamental questions regarding privilege, responsibility, and impact had to be confronted. As the narrator and his team did so, they found themselves firmly at the center of the world. About the Author S. W. Omamo is CEO of New Growth International (www.newgrowthint.com). He has published numerous books and articles. Two books, Private Solutions - A Tale of Political Awakening and Coming-of-Age (1999) and The Men Do Not Eat Wings (2004), were also published by Richardson-Omamo Books.
BILL OF OBLIGATIONS

BILL OF OBLIGATIONS

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A New York Times Bestseller

A provocative guide to how we must reenvision citizenship if American democracy is to survive

The United States faces dangerous threats from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, terrorists, climate change, and future pandemics. The greatest peril to the country, however, comes not from abroad but from within, from none other than ourselves. The question facing us is whether we are prepared to do what is necessary to save our democracy.

The Bill of Obligations is a bold call for change. In these pages, New York Times bestselling author Richard Haass argues that the very idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded. The Bill of Rights is at the center of our Constitution, yet our most intractable conflicts often emerge from contrasting views as to what our rights ought to be. As former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer pointed out, "Many of our cases, the most difficult ones, are not about right versus wrong. They are about right versus right." The lesson is clear: rights alone cannot provide the basis for a functioning, much less flourishing, democracy.

But there is a cure: to place obligations on the same footing as rights. The ten obligations that Haass introduces here are essential for healing our divisions and safeguarding the country's future. These obligations reenvision what it means to be an American citizen. They are not a burden but rather commitments that we make to fellow citizens and to the government to uphold democracy and counter the growing apathy, anger, selfishness, division, disinformation, and violence that threaten us all. Through an expert blend of civics, history, and political analysis, this book illuminates how Americans can rediscover and recover the attitudes and behaviors that have contributed so much to this country's success over the centuries.

As Richard Haass argues, "We get the government and the country we deserve. Getting the one we need, however, is up to us." The Bill of Obligations gives citizens across the political spectrum a plan of action to achieve it.

British Prime Ministers

British Prime Ministers

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There is a distinct lack of readily available information about the British prime ministers, especially as a group. There are thick biographies of the big names Pitt, Gladstone, Churchill - but who were the others? There are plenty of short booklets and pamphlets for all the monarchs but little or nothing on most of the fifty-three PMs. What better way to introduce these individuals than through a short, accurate review of each Prime Minister, briefly describing their background and influence, their role in British history and in major world events. On closer inspection, the PMs are revealed to be more colourful figures than might be imagined, whose unique personalities and individual deeds shaped important historical events. British Prime Ministersoffers a handy and accessible guide to all of Britain's heads of government, from Sir Robert Walpole right through to Boris Johnson, thereby lifting the veil of obscurity from an all-too-neglected cast of characters.
COBALT RED

COBALT RED

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An unflinching investigation reveals the human rights abuses behind the Congo's cobalt mining operation--and the moral implications that affect us all.

Cobalt Red is the searing, first-ever exposé of the immense toll taken on the people and environment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by cobalt mining, as told through the testimonies of the Congolese people themselves. Activist and researcher Siddharth Kara has traveled deep into cobalt territory to document the testimonies of the people living, working, and dying for cobalt. To uncover the truth about brutal mining practices, Kara investigated militia-controlled mining areas, traced the supply chain of child-mined cobalt from toxic pit to consumer-facing tech giants, and gathered shocking testimonies of people who endure immense suffering and even die mining cobalt.

Cobalt is an essential component to every lithium-ion rechargeable battery made today, the batteries that power our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and electric vehicles. Roughly 75 percent of the world's supply of cobalt is mined in the Congo, often by peasants and children in sub-human conditions. Billions of people in the world cannot conduct their daily lives without participating in a human rights and environmental catastrophe in the Congo. In this stark and crucial book, Kara argues that we must all care about what is happening in the Congo--because we are all implicated.

Corporate Bullsh*t: Exposing the Lies and Half-Truths That Protect Profit, Power, and Wealth in America

Corporate Bullsh*t: Exposing the Lies and Half-Truths That Protect Profit, Power, and Wealth in America

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Greedy corporate interests have been lying to us for centuries. Here's an illustrated, entertaining road map for navigating through their hypocrisy and deception

From praising the health benefits of cigarettes to moralizing on the character-building qualities of child labor, rich corporate overlords have gone to astonishing, often morally indefensible lengths to defend their profits. Since the dawn of capitalism, they've told the same lies over and over to explain why their bottom line is always more important than the greater good: You say you want to raise the federal minimum wage? Why, you'll only make things worse for the very people you want to help! Should we hold polluters accountable for the toxins they're dumping in our air and water? No, the free market will save us! Can we raise taxes on the rich to pay for universal healthcare? Of course not--that will kill jobs! Affordable childcare? Socialism! It's always the same tired threats and finger-pointing, in a concentrated campaign to keep wealth and power in the hands of the wealthy and powerful.


Corporate Bullsh*t will help you identify this pernicious propaganda for the wealthiest 1 percent, and teach you how to fight back. Structured around some of the most egregious statements ever made by the rich and powerful, the book identifies six categories of falsehoods that repeatedly thwart progress on issues including civil rights, wealth inequality, climate change, voting rights, gun responsibility, and more. With amazing illustrations and a sharp sense of humor, Corporate Bullsh*t teaches readers how to never get conned, bamboozled, or ripped off ever again.

Feminist Papers: A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Feminist Papers: A Vindication of the Rights of Women

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Part of the Gibbs Smith Women's Voices series: A collection of literary voices written by, and for, extraordinary women--to encourage, challenge, and inspire.

By the matriarch of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women tackles womens-rights-as-human-rights decades before the women's suffrage movement began. In what is widely considered the very first feminist manifesto, Wollstonecraft argues on behalf of women's natural intellect and character--considered radical at the time, her writing has paved the way of progress for generations to come.

Continue your journey in the Women's Voices series with Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (ISBN: 978-1-4236-5099-7), Hope Is the Thing with Feathers, the complete poems of Emily Dickinson (ISBN: 978-1-4236-5098-0), Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (ISBN: 978-1-4236-5211-3), and The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (ISBN: 978-1-4236-5213-7).

HOLDING THE LINE

HOLDING THE LINE

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Throughout my tenure as US attorney, Trump's Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining - in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired. I walked this tightrope for two and a half years. Eventually, the rope snapped. - from Holding the Line

A cautionary tale about how political forces can undermine the quest for justice. - Barbara McQuade, The Washington Post

The gripping and explosive memoir of serving as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in the face of the Justice Department's attempts to protect Trump's friends and punish his enemies.

Ascending to the leadership role of US Attorney for the Southern District, which includes Manhattan and several counties to the north, is a capstone to any legal career: it entails guiding a team of the best lawyers in America in selecting and winning cases that often have global import. Geoffrey Berman was honored to be tapped for the job by Donald Trump in 2018. The manner in which Trump had dispatched his predecessor Preet Bharara was troubling, but the institution was fabled for its independence. Surely he could manage.

So began one of the most tumultuous two-and-a-half-year stretches in the over two-hundred-thirty year history of the office. Almost immediately, Berman found himself pushing back against the Trump Justice Department's blatant efforts to bring weak cases against political foes and squash worthy cases that threatened to tarnish allies and Trump himself. When Bill Barr became attorney general, Berman hoped and believed things would get better, but instead they got much worse. The heart of Holding the Line is his never-before-told account of the lengths Barr went to in corrupting the independence of the office, and the lengths Berman had to go in preserving it. Finally, Trump and Barr, fed up with Berman's principles, summarily fired him, though he refused to go quietly and prevented Barr from installing someone who might be more compliant. Berman's determined defense of the values of prosecutorial independence, without fear or favor, made him a hero to everyone who shares those values.

Holding the Line also relates the remarkable casework of the Southern District in Berman's time there, including taking down notorious sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Lawrence Ray, Big Pharma executives, and vicious criminal syndicates, and repatriating Nazi-looted art. Riveting in themselves, these stories showcase the esprit de corps that makes the Southern District so special, and the stakes Berman felt in protecting its integrity against all foes, up to and including the US attorney general and the president of the United States.

HT DO NOTHING

HT DO NOTHING

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** A New York Times Bestseller **

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time - The New Yorker - NPR - GQ - Elle - Vulture - Fortune - Boing Boing - The Irish Times - The New York Public Library - The Brooklyn Public Library

"A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."--Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review

One of President Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of 2019"

Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year

In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity, it can seem impossible to escape. But in this inspiring field guide to dropping out of the attention economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives.

Odell sees our attention as the most precious--and overdrawn--resource we have. And we must actively and continuously choose how we use it. We might not spend it on things that capitalism has deemed important ... but once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind's role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress.

Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book will change how you see your place in our world.

HT STAND UP TO A DICTATOR

HT STAND UP TO A DICTATOR

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Introduction by Amal Clooney

From the recipient of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, an impassioned and inspiring memoir of a career spent holding power to account.

Maria Ressa is one of the most renowned international journalists of our time. For decades, she challenged corruption and malfeasance in her native country, the Philippines, on its rocky path from an authoritarian state to a democracy. As a reporter from CNN, she transformed news coverage in her region, which led her in 2012 to create a new and innovative online news organization, Rappler. Harnessing the emerging power of social media, Rapplercrowdsourced breaking news, found pivotal sources and tips, harnessed collective action for climate change, and helped increase voter knowledge and participation in elections.

But by their fifth year of existence, Rappler had gone from being lauded for its ideas to being targeted by the new Philippine government, and made Ressa an enemy of her country's most powerful man: President Duterte. Still, she did not let up, tracking government seeded disinformation networks which spread lies to its own citizens laced with anger and hate. Hounded by the state and its allies using the legal system to silence her, accused of numerous crimes, and charged with cyberlibel for which she was found guilty, Ressa faces years in prison and thousands in fines.

There is another adversary Ressa is battling. How to Stand Up to a Dictator is also the story of how the creep towards authoritarianism, in the Phillipines and around the world, has been aided and abetted by the social media companies. Ressa exposes how they have allowed their platforms to spread a virus of lies that infect each of us, pitting us against one another, igniting, even creating, our fears, anger, and hate, and how this has accelerated the rise of authoritarians and dictators around the world. She maps a network of disinformation--a heinous web of cause and effect--that has netted the globe: from Duterte's drug wars to America's Capitol Hill; Britain's Brexit to Russian and Chinese cyber-warfare; Facebook and Silicon Valley to our own clicks and votes.

Democracy is fragile. How to Stand Up to a Dictator is an urgent cry for Western readers to recognize and understand the dangers to our freedoms before it is too late. It is a book for anyone who might take democracy for granted, written by someone who never would. And in telling her dramatic and turbulent and courageous story, Ressa forces readers to ask themselves the same question she and her colleagues ask every day: What are you willing to sacrifice for the truth?

PERSUADERS

PERSUADERS

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - An insider account of activists, politicians, educators, and everyday citizens working to change minds, bridge divisions, and fight for democracy--from disinformation fighters to a leader of Black Lives Matter to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more--by the best-selling author of Winners Take All and award-winning former New York Times columnist

"Anand Giridharadas shows the way we get real progressive change in America--by refusing to write others off, building more welcoming movements, and rededicating ourselves to the work of changing minds." --Robert B. Reich, best-selling author of The System

The lifeblood of any free society is persuasion: changing other people's minds in order to change things. But America is suffering a crisis of faith in persuasion that is putting its democracy and the planet itself at risk. Americans increasingly write one another off instead of seeking to win one another over. Debates are framed in moralistic terms, with enemies battling the righteous. Movements for justice build barriers to entry, instead of on-ramps. Political parties focus on mobilizing the faithful rather than wooing the skeptical. And leaders who seek to forge coalitions are labeled sellouts.

In The Persuaders, Anand Giridharadas takes us inside these movements and battles, seeking out the dissenters who continue to champion persuasion in an age of polarization. We meet a leader of Black Lives Matter; a trailblazer in the feminist resistance to Trumpism; white parents at a seminar on raising adopted children of color; Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; a team of door knockers with an uncanny formula for changing minds on immigration; an ex-cult member turned QAnon deprogrammer; and, hovering menacingly offstage, Russian operatives clandestinely stoking Americans' fatalism about one another.

As the book's subjects grapple with how to call out threats and injustices while calling in those who don't agree with them but just might one day, they point a way to healing, and changing, a fracturing country.