Current Affairs

AGE OF AMBITION: CHASING FORTUNE TRUTH

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$16.00
New/Used: New

Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction finalist

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award in nonfiction

An Economist Best Book of 2014

Winner of the bronze medal for the Council on Foreign Relations' 2015 Arthur Ross Book Award

A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation

From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes.
As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth?
Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780374535278
Publication Date: 
2015-05-05
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Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of Bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State

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$18.95
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In early 2011, the heart of the Muslim world roiled in protest, consumed with the upheaval of the Arab Spring. The governments of Tunisia and Egypt had already fallen; those of Libya and Yemen would soon follow. Watching the chaos from his hideout in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden saw a historic opportunity: "the next stage," he declared, "will be the reinstating of the rule of the caliphate."

Within weeks, bin Laden was dead, shot in the dark by a U.S. Navy SEAL. Commentators around the world began to prophesy al-Qaeda's imminent demise. But six years later, the reality is the reverse. The group's affiliates have swollen, and the Islamic State--al-Qaeda's most brutal spinoff to date--proclaims itself the reborn caliphate bin Laden foretold in his final weeks.

In Anatomy of Terror, former FBI special agent and New York Times best-selling author Ali Soufan dissects bin Laden's brand of jihadi terrorism and its major offshoots, revealing how these organizations were formed, how they operate, their strengths, and--crucially--their weaknesses. This riveting account examines the new Islamic radicalism through the eyes of its flag-bearers, including a Jordanian former drug dealer whose cruelties shocked even his fellow militants, an Air Force colonel who once served Saddam Hussein, and a provincial bookworm who declared himself caliph of all Muslims. We meet Ayman al-Zawahiri, titular head of al-Qaeda; Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian ex-soldier who faked his own death to become the group's security chief; and bin Laden's own beloved son Hamza, a prime candidate to lead the organization his late father founded.

To eliminate the scourge of terrorism, we must first know who the enemy actually is, and what his motivations are. Anatomy of Terror lays bare the psychology and inner workings of al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and their spawn, and shows how the spread of terror can be stopped.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393355888
Publication Date: 
2018-05-08
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Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies

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$28.00
A blistering critique of the forces threatening the American intelligence community, beginning with the President of the United States himself, in a time when that community's work has never been harder or more important

In the face of a President who lobs accusations without facts, evidence, or logic, truth tellers are under attack. Meanwhile, the world order is teetering on the brink. North Korea is on the verge of having a nuclear weapon that could reach all of the United States, Russians have mastered a new form of information warfare that undercuts democracy, and the role of China in the global community remains unclear. There will always be value to experience and expertise, devotion to facts, humility in the face of complexity, and a respect for ideas, but in this moment they seem more important, and more endangered, than they've ever been. American Intelligence--the ultimate truth teller--has a responsibility in a post-truth world beyond merely warning of external dangers, and in The Assault on Intelligence, General Michael Hayden takes up that urgent work with profound passion, insight and authority.

It is a sobering vision. The American intelligence community is more at risk than is commonly understood, for every good reason. Civil war or societal collapse is not necessarily imminent or inevitable, but our democracy's core structures, processes, and attitudes are under great stress. Many of the premises on which we have based our understanding of governance are now challenged, eroded, or simply gone. And we have a President in office who responds to overwhelming evidence from the intelligence community that the Russians are, by all acceptable standards of cyber conflict, in a state of outright war against us, not by leading a strong response, but by shooting the messenger.

There are fundamental changes afoot in the world and in this country. The Assault on Intelligence shows us what they are, reveals how crippled we've become in our capacity to address them, and points toward a series of effective responses. Because when we lose our intelligence, literally and figuratively, democracy dies.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780525558583
Publication Date: 
2018-05-01
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Black Flags: The Rise of Isis

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$16.00
WINNER OF THE 2016 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION

"A Best Book of 2015"--The New York Times, The Washington Post, People Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, and Kirkus Reviews

In a thrilling dramatic narrative, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick traces how the strain of militant Islam behind ISIS first arose in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents. Drawing on unique high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves gripping, moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it. Black Flags is a brilliant and definitive history that reveals the long arc of today's most dangerous extremist threat.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780804168939
Publication Date: 
2016-09-06
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Black Presidency

$15.95
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

"A brilliant and complicated portrait of a brilliant and complicated president."--Salon


Michael Eric Dyson dives deep into the true meaning of Barack Obama's historic presidency and its effects on the changing landscape of race and blackness in America. How has race shaped Obama's identity, career, and presidency? What can we learn from his major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?

Dyson was granted an exclusive interview with the president for this book, and Obama's own voice shines through. Along with interviews with Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, and others, this intimate access provides a unique depth to this engrossing analysis of the nation's first black president, and how race shapes and will shape our understanding of his achievements and failures alike.

"Readers will recognize Dyson's practiced flair for language and metaphor as he makes an important and layered argument about American political culture and the narrowness of presidential speech. . . [The Black Presidency] might well be considered an interpretive miracle."--New York Times Book Review

"Immensely engaging, unflinchingly honest, and appropriately provocative, Michael Eric Dyson proves, once again, that he is without peer when it comes to contextualizing race in twenty-first-century America. . . a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand America's racial past, present, and future."--Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Devil in the Grove
ISBN/SKU: 
9780544811805
Publication Date: 
2017-01-10
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Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West

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$28.00

"Whoever you are, whatever side you're on, if you care about the American west and what's happening to it, read this book."
--Caroline Fraser, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Prairie Fires

An extraordinary inside look at America's militia movement that shows a country at the crossroads of class, culture, and insurrection.

In a remote corner of Oregon, James Pogue found himself at the heart of a rebellion. Granted unmatched access by Ammon Bundy to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Pogue met ranchers and militiamen ready to die fighting the federal government.

He witnessed the fallout of communities riven by politics and the danger (and allure) of uncompromising religious belief. The occupation ended in the shooting death of one rancher, the imprisonment of dozens more, and a firestorm over the role of government that engulfed national headlines.

In a raw and restless narrative that roams the same wild terrain as his literary forebears Edward Abbey and Hunter S. Thompson, Pogue's Chosen Country examines the underpinnings of this rural uprising and struggles to reconcile diverging ideas of freedom, tracing a cultural fault line that spans the nation.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250169129
Publication Date: 
2018-05-22
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Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet

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$17.99

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former head of the Sierra Club Carl Pope comes a manifesto on how the benefits of taking action on climate change are concrete, immediate, and immense. They explore climate change solutions that will make the world healthier and more prosperous, aiming to begin a new type of conversation on the issue that will spur bolder action by cities, businesses, and citizens--and even, someday, by Washington.

"Climate of Hope is an inspiring must read." --Former Vice President Al Gore, Chairman of The Climate Reality Project

"Climate change threatens to reshape the future of our world's population centers. Bloomberg and Pope have been leaders on fortifying our cities against this threat, and their book proves that victory is possible--and imperative." --Leonardo DiCaprio

"If Trump is looking for a blueprint, he could not do better than to read a smart new book, Climate of Hope." --Thomas Friedman in The New York Times

The 2016 election left many people who are concerned about the environment fearful that progress on climate change would come screeching to a halt. But not Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope.

Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader, approach climate change from different perspectives, yet they arrive at similar conclusions. Without agreeing on every point, they share a belief that cities, businesses, and citizens can lead--and win--the battle against climate change, no matter which way the political winds in Washington may shift.

In Climate of Hope, Bloomberg and Pope offer an optimistic look at the challenge of climate change, the solutions they believe hold the greatest promise, and the practical steps that are necessary to achieve them. Writing from their own experiences, and sharing their own stories from government, business, and advocacy, Bloomberg and Pope provide a road map for tackling the most complicated challenge the world has ever faced. Along the way, they turn the usual way of thinking about climate change on its head: from top down to bottom up, from partisan to pragmatic, from costs to benefits, from tomorrow to today, and from fear to hope.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250142085
Publication Date: 
2018-04-03
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Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle

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$27.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "A thoughtful defense of traditional conservatism and a thorough assault on the way Donald Trump is betraying it."--David Brooks, in his New York Times column

In a bold act of conscience, Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes his party to task for embracing nationalism, populism, xenophobia, and the anomalous Trump presidency. The book is an urgent call for a return to bedrock conservative principle and a cry to once again put country before party.

Dear Reader,

I am a conservative.

I believe that there are limits to what government can and should do, that there are some problems that government cannot solve, and that human initiative is best when left unfettered, free from government interference or coercion. I believe that these ideas, tested by time, offer the most freedom and best outcomes in the lives of the most people.

But today, the American conservative movement has lost its way. Given the state of our politics, it is no exaggeration to say that this is an urgent matter.

The Republican party used to play to a broader audience, one that demanded that we accomplish something. But in this era of dysfunction, our primary accomplishment has been constructing the argument that we're not to blame. We have decided that it is better to build and maintain a majority by using the levers of power rather than the art of persuasion and the battle of ideas. We've decided that putting party over country is okay. There are many on both sides of the aisle who think this a good model on which to build a political career--destroying, not building.

And all the while, our country burns, our institutions are undermined, and our values are compromised. We have become so estranged from our principles that we no longer know what principle is.

America is not just a collection of transactions. America is also a collection of ideas and values. And these are our values. These are our principles. They are not subject to change, owing to political fashion or cult of personality. I believe that we desperately need to get back to the rigorous, fact-based arguments that made us conservatives in the first place. We need to realize that the stakes are simply too high to remain silent and fall in line.

That is why I have written this book and am taking this stand.

--Jeff Flake

ISBN/SKU: 
9780399592911
Publication Date: 
2017-08-01
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Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

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$28.00
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.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780544935273
Publication Date: 
2017-05-30
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DIY Resistance

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$14.95
DIY Resistance celebrates the power of the people and shows how readers can take inspiration from the actions and words of leaders, activists, and historical heroes; how we can learn to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally in troubled times, and do our part to look after the larger community around us. Our fight is not a new one. It has been going on continuously for thousands of years, as individuals and movements have stood up to despots and demagogues. DIY Resistance recalls the successful actions people's movements use to defeat tyrants: defend free speech, look after your community, fight racism and misogyny, organize, protest, network, publish. The lessons of successful resistance are rich and they are everywhere around us. Take note, find your inspiration and your strength, and join others around you who share your commitment.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781609808129
Publication Date: 
2018-07-03
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