Presidents’ Day just passed, and primary season is getting underway, so here are some political picks from the New and Noteworthy collection. And don’t forget to vote early and often! (Get more information about voting in North Carolina here or check out the schedule of all the primaries here). On and consider checking out Duke University’s Campaign Stop page for scholarly commentary, debate, and media resources.
- All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power by Nomi Prins starts with Teddy Roosevelt and chronologically works its way through to the present, shedding new light on the powerful alliances forged between those holding public office and those holding private wealth.
- Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney combines elements of memoir, historical narrative, and sociopolitical analysis to explore a century and a half of African-American participation in US electoral politics. Pinckney covers a lot of ground, from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the ongoing debate over voter ID laws.
- The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House by Thomas F. Schaller, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This book contextualizes the nation’s increasingly polarized political climate by examining the connection between the GOP’s focus on congressional politics and the growth of radical conservatism since 1989.
- Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to Presidents Bush & Obama, 2001-2014 by Ralph Nader is a compilation of over 100 unanswered letters on a broad variety of domestic and international issues. This book even includes a letter on the dangers of mutating bacteria and viruses written from the point of view of E. coli and signed “E-cologically yours.”
- Nut Country: Right-wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy by Edward H. Miller. Taking its title from JFK’s remarks on Dallas just hours before his assassination, this book examines the role of the city’s ultraconservatives in the reshaping of the Republican Party over several decades.