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December 19, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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Image from "Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work), in Words and Pictures"

Understanding Economics in Plain English

Fedspeak, vague and convoluted answers to economic questions, was popularized by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. It allowed him to essentially say “no comment” without admitting that he was avoiding questions.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 READ MORE


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Fighting Manifest Destiny

“A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico” is a probing and timely study of “the rise of America’s first national anti-war movement.”

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 READ MORE



Dreams of His Father

In “Stranger to History,” a memoir recounting Aatish Taseer’s travels through several predominantly Muslim countries, Pakistan emerges much worse after an attempt to “fix” it, a project that also eventually leads to the killing of the author’s father.

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 READ MORE



More Medea Than Madonna

In Colm Toibin’s “The Testament of Mary,” the mother of God is a troubled woman, haunted by Golgotha, hunted by assassins and waiting for death.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 READ MORE



Restoring Personhood

“Participation in the arts is a guarantor of other human rights because the first thing that is taken away from vulnerable, unpopular, or minority groups is the right to self-expression,” Francois Matarasso says in “Acting Together, Volume II.”

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 READ MORE



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Imagine All My Words

“The John Lennon Letters” collects and reproduces 285 postcards, telegrams, to-do lists and other writings from the former Beatle’s early childhood to Dec. 8, 1980, hours before he was killed.

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 READ MORE



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A Raid Without the Rush

Mark Bowden’s “The Finish” reveals something you might not have known about the plan to kill Osama bin Laden: The Obama administration had considered a third option for taking out the al-Qaida leader—a sniper drone still under development.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 READ MORE



Rowman & Littlefield

A Failed Argument for Barack Obama

If Barack Obama is to be held accountable by the aggravated left for his first term in office, it’s for “the damage that his capitulation to Republican extremism has caused.” That’s the central assumption of “The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective,” an early 2012 apologetic by Gary Dorrien.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama’s Way With Words

“Articulate While Black” moves us away from the content of the president’s messages to an exploration of their delivery, and effectively parlays his style shifting from Black Language to white American English into a national conversation on how we see and hear race.

Posted on Oct 24, 2012 READ MORE



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The Revolutionary Refused the Torch

“Master of the Mountain” by Henry Wiencek reveals that Thomas Jefferson’s slavery practices evolved not in moral terms but in commercial ones.

Posted on Oct 17, 2012 READ MORE


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