● The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace
By Eric Rauchway
Review via The Economist
Old-fashioned historians recoil at the idea of learning from the past to inform the present. But in “The Money Makers”, Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis, tries to do just that. His book looks at the economic policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a four-time American president from 1933 to 1945, and how he was influenced by John Maynard Keynes, a British economist. Mr Rauchway argues that policymakers today could learn “valuable lessons” from Roosevelt, who shook up the economic orthodoxy to rescue America from the Great Depression of the 1930s and to keep the Allies going during the second world war.
● Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America
By Tim Wise
Summary via publisher (City Lights)
Tim Wise argues that far from any culture of poverty, it is the culture of predatory affluence that deserves the blame for America’s simmering economic and social crises. He documents the increasing contempt for the nation’s poor, and reveals the forces at work to create and perpetuate it. With clarity, passion and eloquence, he demonstrates how America’s myth of personal entitlement based on merit is inextricably linked to pernicious racial bigotry, and he points the way to greater compassion, fairness, and econimic justice.
● 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation
By Clint Emerson
Summary via publisher (Simon & Schuster)
A hands-on, practical survival guide from retired Navy SEAL Clint Emerson—adapted for civilians from actual special forces operations—to eluding pursuers, evading capture, and surviving any dangerous situation. In today’s increasingly dangerous world, threats to your personal safety are everywhere. From acts of terror to mass shootings, and from the unseen (and sometimes virtual) matrix of everyday crime, danger is no longer confined to dark alleys or unstable regions. Potentially life-threatening circumstances can arise anywhere, anytime, and Clint Emerson—former Navy SEAL—wants you to be prepared. 100 Deadly Skills contains proven self-defense skills, evasion tactics, and immobilizing maneuvers—modified from the world of black ops—to help you take action in numerous “worst case” scenarios from escaping a locked trunk, to making an improvised Taser, to tricking facial recognition software. With easy-to-understand instructions and illustrations, Emerson outlines in detail many life-saving strategies and teaches you how to think and act like a member of the special forces.
● Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice
By Les Leopold
Excerpt via The Huffington Post
The United States is among the richest countries in all of history. But if you’re not a corporate or political elite, you’d never know it.
In the world working people inhabit, our infrastructure is collapsing, our schools are laying off teachers, our drinking water is barely potable, our cities are facing bankruptcy, and our public and private pension funds are nearing collapse. We – consumers, students, and homeowners – are loaded with crushing debt, but our real wages haven’t risen since the 1970s.
How can we be so rich and still have such poor services, so much debt and such stagnant incomes?
The answer: runaway inequality – the ever-increasing gap in income and wealth between the super-rich and the rest of us.
By Emanuel Druon
Summary via publisher (Triarchy Press)
Asked to choose between ecology and competitiveness, Emmanuel Druon, President of Pocheco, the French envelope manufacturer, has chosen ecolonomy: a business model that respects the planet and its staff and gives it 70% market share in France. In 15 years, Emmanuel Druon has increased annual production from 850,000 to 2 billion envelopes. His recipe for success is ecolonomy. For him, engaging in sustainable development is a way to achieve savings, reduce stress for employees and stand out in an ultra-competitive market.
● The Filth of Progress: Immigrants, Americans, and the Building of Canals and Railroads in the West
By Ryan Dearinger
Summary via publisher (University of California Press)
The Filth of Progress explores the untold side of a well-known American story. For more than a century, accounts of progress in the West foregrounded the technological feats performed while canals and railroads were built and lionized the capitalists who financed the projects. This book salvages stories often omitted from the triumphant narrative of progress by focusing on the suffering and survival of the workers who were treated as outsiders. Ryan Dearinger examines the moving frontiers of canal and railroad construction workers in the tumultuous years of American expansion, from the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 to the joining of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in 1869. He tells the story of the immigrants and Americans—the Irish, Chinese, Mormons, and native-born citizens—whose labor created the West’s infrastructure and turned the nation’s dreams of a continental empire into a reality. Dearinger reveals that canals and railroads were not static monuments to progress but moving spaces of conflict and contestation.