The Sanders Institute Library
by Noam Chomsky
Climate change: watershed or endgame?
In this compelling new book, Noam Chomsky, the world’s leading public intellectual, and Robert Pollin, a renowned progressive economist, map out the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change—and present a realistic blueprint for change: the Green New Deal.
Together, Chomsky and Pollin show how the forecasts for a hotter planet strain the imagination: vast stretches of the Earth will become uninhabitable, plagued by extreme weather, drought, rising seas, and crop failure. Arguing against the misplaced fear of economic disaster and unemployment arising from the transition to a green economy, they show how this bogus concern encourages climate denialism.
Humanity must stop burning fossil fuels within the next thirty years and do so in a way that improves living standards and opportunities for working people. This is the goal of the Green New Deal and, as the authors make clear, it is entirely feasible. Climate change is an emergency that cannot be ignored. This book shows how it can be overcome both politically and economically.
by Jeffrey Sachs
Today’s most urgent problems are fundamentally global. They require nothing less than concerted, planetwide action if we are to secure a long-term future. But humanity’s story has always been on a global scale. In this book, Jeffrey D. Sachs, renowned economist and expert on sustainable development, turns to world history to shed light on how we can meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.
Sachs takes readers through a series of seven distinct waves of technological and institutional change, starting with the original settling of the planet by early modern humans through long-distance migration and ending with reflections on today’s globalization. Along the way, he considers how the interplay of geography, technology, and institutions influenced the Neolithic revolution; the role of the horse in the emergence of empires; the spread of large land-based empires in the classical age; the rise of global empires after the opening of sea routes from Europe to Asia and the Americas; and the industrial age. The dynamics of these past waves, Sachs demonstrates, offer a fresh perspective on the ongoing processes taking place in our own time—a globalization based on digital technologies. Sachs emphasizes the need for new methods of international governance and cooperation to prevent conflicts and to achieve economic, social, and environmental objectives aligned with sustainable development. The Ages of Globalization is a vital book for all readers aiming to make sense of our rapidly changing world.
by Bill McKibben
Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out.
Bill McKibben's groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience.
Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben's experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We're at a bleak moment in human history -- and we'll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away.
Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity itself.
by Jeffrey Sachs
The American Century began in 1941 and ended on January 20, 2017. While the United States remains a military giant and is still an economic powerhouse, it no longer dominates the world economy or geopolitics as it once did. The current turn toward nationalism and “America first” unilateralism in foreign policy will not make America great. Instead, it represents the abdication of our responsibilities in the face of severe environmental threats, political upheaval, mass migration, and other global challenges.
In this incisive and forceful book, Jeffrey D. Sachs provides the blueprint for a new foreign policy that embraces global cooperation, international law, and aspirations for worldwide prosperity—not nationalism and gauzy dreams of past glory. He argues that America’s approach to the world must shift from military might and wars of choice to a commitment to shared objectives of sustainable development. Our pursuit of primacy has embroiled us in unwise and unwinnable wars, and it is time to shift from making war to making peace and time to embrace the opportunities that international cooperation offers. A New Foreign Policy explores both the danger of the “America first” mindset and the possibilities for a new way forward, proposing timely and achievable plans to foster global economic growth, reconfigure the United Nations for the twenty-first century, and build a multipolar world that is prosperous, peaceful, fair, and resilient.
by Bill McKibben
"I hope no one secedes, but I also hope that Americans figure out creative ways to resist injustice and create communities where everybody counts. We've got a long history of resistance in Vermont and this book is testimony to that fact."
A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.
As the host of Radio Free Vermont--"underground, underpowered, and underfoot"--seventy-two-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location." With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.
In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever--seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of 'Ethan Allen Day' and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.
by Dr. Cornel West
The fundamental litmus test for American democracy-its economy, government, criminal justice system, education, mass media, and culture-remains: how broad and intense are the arbitrary powers used and deployed against black people. In this sense, the problem of the twenty-first century remains the problem of the color line. --from the new Preface
First published in 1993 on the one-year anniversary of the L.A. riots, Race Matters was a national best-seller, and it has since become a groundbreaking classic on race in America.
Race Matters contains West's most powerful essays on the issues relevant to black Americans today: despair, black conservatism, black-Jewish relations, myths about black sexuality, the crisis in leadership in the black community, and the legacy of Malcolm X. And the insights that he brings to these complicated problems remain fresh, exciting, creative, and compassionate. Now more than ever, Race Matters is a book for all Americans, as it helps us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.
by Robert Reich
From the best-selling author of Saving Capitalism and The Work of Nations, a passionate, clear-eyed manifesto on why we must restore the idea of the common good to the center of our economics and politics.
With the warmth and lucidity that have made him one of our most important public voices, Robert B. Reich makes the case for a generous, inclusive understanding of the American project, centering on the moral obligations of citizenship. Rooting his argument in everyday reality and common sense, Reich demonstrates the existence of a common good, and argues that it is this that defines a society or a nation. Societies and nations undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce and build the common good, as well as vicious cycles that undermine it. Over the course of the past five decades, Reich contends, America has been in a slowly accelerating vicious cycle–one that can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh what really matters, and how we as a country should relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership.
Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers: a fundamental statement about the purpose of society and a cri de coeur to save America's soul.
by Van Jones
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A passionate manifesto that exposes hypocrisy on both sides of the political divide and points a way out of the tribalism that is tearing America apart--by the CNN political contributor and host hailed as "a star of the 2016 campaign" (The New York Times) who coined the term "whitelash"
Van Jones burst into the American consciousness during the 2016 presidential campaign with an unscripted, truth-telling style and an already established history of bridge-building across party lines. His election night commentary became a viral sensation. A longtime progressive activist with deep roots in the conservative South, Jones has made it his mission to challenge voters and viewers to stand in one another's shoes and disagree constructively.
Now, in Beyond the Messy Truth, Jones offers a blueprint for transforming our collective anxiety into meaningful change. Tough on Donald Trump but showing respect and empathy for his supporters, Jones takes aim at the failures of both parties before and after Trump's victory. He urges both sides to abandon the politics of accusation and focus on real solutions. Calling us to a deeper patriotism, he shows us how to get down to the vital business of solving, together, some of our toughest problems.
"The entire national conversation today can be reduced to a simple statement--'I'm right, and you're wrong, '" Jones has said. But the truth is messier; both sides have flaws. Both parties have strayed from their highest principles and let down their core constituencies. Rejecting today's political tribalism, Jones issues a stirring call for a new "bipartisanship from below." Recognizing that tough challenges require the best wisdom from both liberals and conservatives, he points us toward practical answers to problems that affect us all regardless of region or ideology: rural and inner-city poverty, unemployment, addiction, unfair incarceration, and the devastating effects of the pollution-based economy on both coal country and our urban centers.
In explaining how he arrived at his views, Jones shares behind-the-scenes memories from his decades spent marching and protesting on behalf of working people, inspiring stories of ordinary citizens who became champions of their communities, and little-known examples of cooperation that have risen from the fog of partisan conflict. In his quest for positive solutions, Van Jones encourages us to set fire to our old ways of thinking about politics and come together where the pain is greatest.
by Bernie Sanders
In the Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution, Independent congressman, presidential candidate and activist Bernie Sanders continues his fight against the imbalances in the nation's status quo, and shows you how to make a difference to effect the changes America--and the world--need to create a better tomorrow.
Throughout the Presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders promised voters a future to believe in through his progressive platform and a vision for America worth fighting for. This vision calls for an economic, environmental, health care, and social justice revolution beyond the stagnant agendas of Democrat and Republican politicians to build an equitable future for all Americans--especially the younger generation that will inherit the consequences of decisions made now.
Inside this practical and inspiring guide to effecting change in today's world, you'll learn how to:
- Understand and navigate the current system of policy and government
- Work to change the system to reflect your values and to protect our society's most vulnerable
- Organize for the causes you care about most
- Resources for further reading and organizations to get involved with
With more than two decades of Washington D.C. insider knowledge and experience, Senator Sanders knows how to fight and change the system from within, a system desperately in need of reform in health care, immigration, taxes, higher education, climate change, and criminal justice.
The political revolution is just beginning. What role will you play?
by Nancy Altman
A growing chorus of prominent voices in Congress and elsewhere are calling for the expansion of our Social Security system—people who know that Social Security will not “go broke” and does not add a penny to the national debt. Social Security Works! will amplify these voices and offer a powerful antidote to the three-decade-long, billionaire-funded campaign to make us believe that this vital institution is destined to collapse. It isn’t.
From the Silent Generation to Baby Boomers, from Generation X to Millennials and Generation Z, we all have a stake in understanding the real story about Social Security. Critical to addressing the looming retirement crisis that will affect two- thirds of today’s workers, Social Security is a powerful program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.
All Americans deserve to have dignified retirement years as well as an umbrella to protect them and their families in the event of disability or premature death. Sure to be a game-changer, Social Security Works! cogently presents the issues and sets forth both an agenda and a political strategy that will benefit us all. At stake are our values and the kind of country we want for ourselves and for those that follow.
by Rosa DeLauro
The outspoken Connecticut congresswoman’s impassioned defense of America’s safety net in the time of Trump
Cynical politicians like Paul Ryan and Donald Trump argue that the people of the United States would be better off without food stamps, Obamacare, and workplace protections. Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro knows these folks are just plain wrong.
Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, DeLauro saw firsthand how vulnerable hard-working people are in the face of corporate indifference and government neglect. From fatal industrial fires to devastating childhood poverty, DeLauro witnessed it all—and emerged convinced that social programs are worth going to the mat for, again and again. Worker protections, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance lift up all Americans; they fulfill this country’s promise of opportunity for everyone, and are essential for our country's health.
For twenty-five years, DeLauro has been fighting for everyday Americans, earning a reputation as the most impassioned defender of our social safety net. The Least Among Us tells the story of a quarter century of deal-making on behalf of people too often overlooked, told by a woman as fearless as she is opinionated. Part House of Cards, part progressive manifesto, The Least Among Us shares lessons about power—how it’s gained and how to wield it for everyone’s benefit.
by W.E.B. DuBois
The pioneering work in the study of the role of Black Americans during Reconstruction by the most influential Black intellectual of his time.
This pioneering work was the first full-length study of the role black Americans played in the crucial period after the Civil War, when the slaves had been freed and the attempt was made to reconstruct American society. Hailed at the time, Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 has justly been called a classic.
by Simon Sinek
The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.
In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time.
Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
by Noam Chomsky
In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky examines the way that the United States, despite the rise of Europe and Asia, still largely sets the terms of global discourse. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the sordid history of U.S. involvement with Cuba to the sanctions on Iran, he details how America's rhetoric of freedom and human rights so often diverges from its actions. He delves deep into the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel-Palestine, providing unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet. And, in a new afterword, he addresses the election of Donald Trump and what it shows about American society.
Fierce, unsparing, and meticulously documented, Who Rules the World? delivers the indispensable understanding of the central issues of our time that we have come to expect from Chomsky.
An American Empire Project
by Jeffrey Sachs
In this passionate and powerful book--part manifesto, part plan of action--the renowned economist Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a practical strategy to move America, seemingly more divided than ever, toward a new consensus: sustainable development. Sustainable development is a holistic approach that emphasizes economic, social, and environmental objectives in shaping policy. In focusing too much on economic growth, the United States has neglected rising economic inequality and dire environmental threats. Now, even growth is imperiled.
Sachs explores issues that have captivated the nation and political debate, including infrastructure, trade deals, energy policy, the proper size and role of government, the national debt, and income inequality. Not only does he provide illuminating and accessible explanations of the forces at work in each case, but he also presents specific policy solutions. His argument rises above the pessimism born of political paralysis, economic stagnation, and partisanship to devise a brighter way forward, achievable both individually and collectively. In Building the New American Economy, Sachs shows how the United States can find a path to renewed economic progress that is fair and environmentally sustainable.
by Bernie Sanders
When Bernie Sanders began his race for the presidency, it was considered by the political establishment and the media to be a “fringe” campaign, something not to be taken seriously. After all, he was just an Independent senator from a small state with little name recognition. His campaign had no money, no political organization, and it was taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.
By the time Sanders’s campaign came to a close, however, it was clear that the pundits had gotten it wrong. Bernie had run one of the most consequential campaigns in the modern history of the country. He had received more than 13 million votes in primaries and caucuses throughout the country, won twenty-two states, and more than 1.4 million people had attended his public meetings. Most important, he showed that the American people were prepared to take on the greed and irresponsibility of corporate America and the 1 percent.
In Our Revolution, Sanders shares his personal experiences from the campaign trail, recounting the details of his historic primary fight and the people who made it possible. And for the millions looking to continue the political revolution, he outlines a progressive economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda that will create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, and provide health care for all?and ultimately transform our country and our world for the better. For him, the political revolution has just started. The campaign may be over, but the struggle goes on.
by Howard Zinn
With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this updated edition of the classic national bestseller reviews the book’s thirty-five year history and demonstrates once again why it is a significant contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.
Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.
Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
by Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the presidency of the United States has galvanized people all over the country, putting economic, racial, and social justice into the spotlight, and raising hopes that Americans can take their country back from the billionaires and change the course of history.
In this book, Sanders tells the story of a passionate and principled political life. He describes how, after cutting his teeth in the Civil Rights movement, he helped build a grassroots political movement in Vermont, making it possible for him to become the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years. The story continues into the US Senate and through the dramatic launch of his presidential campaign.
by Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world's most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.
Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs's twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.
by Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West
A revealing collection that restores Dr. King as being every bit as radical as Malcolm X
“The radical King was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people in the class struggle taking place in capitalist societies. . . . The response of the radical King to our catastrophic moment can be put in one word: revolution—a revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life, and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens. . . . Could it be that we know so little of the radical King because such courage defies our market-driven world?” —Cornel West, from the Introduction
Every year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is celebrated as one of the greatest orators in US history, an ambassador for nonviolence who became perhaps the most recognizable leader of the civil rights movement. But after more than forty years, few people appreciate how truly radical he was.
Arranged thematically in four parts, The Radical King includes twenty-three selections, curated and introduced by Dr. Cornel West, that illustrate King’s revolutionary vision, underscoring his identification with the poor, his unapologetic opposition to the Vietnam War, and his crusade against global imperialism. As West writes, “Although much of America did not know the radical King—and too few know today—the FBI and US government did. They called him ‘the most dangerous man in America.’ . . . This book unearths a radical King that we can no longer sanitize.”
by Bill McKibben
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet
Bill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find handcuffed and behind bars, but that's where he found himself in the summer of 2011 after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House.
With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Irene scouring the Atlantic, McKibben recognized that action was needed if solutions were to be found. Some of those would come at the local level, where McKibben joins forces with a Vermont beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole.
Oil and Honey is McKibben’s account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight—from the center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels, telling the story of raising one year’s honey crop and building a social movement that’s still cresting.
by Jonathan Haidt
This well-researched examination of human moral impulses will appeal to liberals and conservatives alike following the 2016 presidential campaign and election.
As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.
by Harry Belafonte
An eloquently told personal account of an era of enormous cultural and political change, which reveals Harry Belafonte as not only one of America’s greatest entertainers, but also one of our most profoundly influential activists.
Harry Belafonte spent his childhood in both Harlem and Jamaica, where the toughness of the city and the resilient spirit of the Caribbean lifestyle instilled in him a tenacity to face the hurdles of life head-on and channel his anger into positive, life-affirming actions. He returned to New York City after serving in the Navy in World War II, and found his calling in the theater, before transitioning into a career as a singer and Hollywood leading man. During the 1960s civil rights movement, Belafonte became close friends with Martin Luther King, Jr., and used his celebrity as a platform for his activism in civil rights and countless other political and social causes. My Song tells the inspiring story of a startlingly original and powerful entertainer who has always engaged fiercely with the issues of his day.
by Robert Reich
America’s economy and democracy are working for the benefit of an ever-fewer privileged and powerful people. But rather than just complain about it or give up on the system, we must join together and make it work for all of us.
by Jeffrey Sachs
In this forceful and impassioned book, Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills, and an urgent call for Americans to restore the core virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, profoundly underestimating globalization’s long-term effects and offering shortsighted solutions. He describes a political system that is beholden to big donors and influential lobbyists and a consumption-driven culture that suffers shortfalls of social trust and compassion. He bids readers to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and each one another. Most important, he urges each of us to accept the price of civilization, so that together we restore America to its great promise. The Price of Civilization is a masterly road map for prosperity, founded on America’s deepest values and on a rigorous understanding of the twenty-first-century world economy.
by Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West
As the middle class disappears and the safety net is shredded, Smiley and West, building on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., ask us to confront our fear and complacency with 12 poverty changing ideas. They challenge us to re-examine our assumptions about poverty in America what it really is and how to eliminate it now.
by Bill McKibben
This is a book for all of us: students, activists, Earthlings. Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, GWR is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon's discovery in the late 19th century to the present. What is happening to our planet—and what can we do about it? This collection, which includes criticism of the very concept of global warming (by doubters U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and Michael Crichton), attempts to answer these all-important questions.
Divided into three parts—Science, Politics, and Meaning—the book contains a transcript of NASA scientist James Hansen's testimony before the U.S. Congress; George Monbiot's biting, convincing indictment of who is really using up the planet's resources; Elizabeth Kolbert's groundbreaking essay "The Darkening Sea," and excerpts from the work of Al Gore, Naomi Klein, and many others. Even in this age of electronic archives, GWR is essential, as much for Bill McKibben's selection and introductions as it is for its broad spectrum of content.
by Michelle Alexander, Cornel West
by Bernie Sanders
On Friday, December 10, 2010, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders walked on to the floor of the United States Senate and began speaking. It turned out to be a very long speech, lasting over eight and a half hours. And it hit a nerve. Millions followed the speech online until the traffic crashed the Senate server. A huge, positive grassroots response tied up the phones in the senator's offices in Vermont and Washington. President Obama reportedly held an impromptu press conference with former President Clinton to deflect media attention away from Sanders' speech. Editorials and news coverage appeared throughout the world.
In his speech, Sanders blasted the agreement that President Obama struck with Republicans, which extended the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, lowered estate tax rates for the very, very rich, and set a terrible precedent by establishing a "payroll tax holiday" diverting revenue away from the Social Security Trust Fund, threatening the fund's very future. But the speech was more than a critique of a particular piece of legislation. It was a dissection of the collapse of the American middle class and a well-researched attack on corporate greed and on public policy which, over the last several decades, has led to a huge growth in millionaires even as the United States has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. It was a plea for a fundamental change in national priorities, for government policy that reflects the needs of working families, and not just the wealthy and their lobbyists.
Finally, Sanders' speech-published here in its entirety with a new introduction by the senator-is a call for action. It is a passionate statement informing us that the only people who will save the middle class of this country is the middle class itself, but only if it is informed, organized, and prepared to take on the enormously powerful special interests dominating Washington.
by Bill McKibben
"Read it, please. Straight through to the end. Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important." —Barbara Kingsolver
Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.
That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend—think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we've managed to damage and degrade. We can't rely on old habits any longer.
Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.
by James Zogby
The Arab World is a region that has been vastly misunderstood in the West. "Arab Voices" asks the questions, collects the answers, and shares the results that will help us see Arabs clearly. The book will bring into stark relief the myths, assumptions, and biases that hold us back from understanding this important people. Here, James Zogby debuts a brand new, comprehensive poll, bringing numbers to life so that we can base policy and perception on the real world, rather than on a conjured reality.
Based on a new poll run by Zogby International exclusively for this book, some of the surprising results revealed include:
* Despite the frustration with the peace process and the number of wars of the past few years, 74% of Arabs still support a two state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And over one-third of Lebanese, Saudis, and Jordanians think that their governments should do more to advance peace.
* Despite wars in and around their region and the worldwide economic crisis, when asked "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" 42% of those polled say they are better off, 19% worse off.
* Arabs like American people (59% favorable rating), values (52%) and products (69%), giving them all high ratings. And Canada gets high favorability ratings everywhere (an overall rating of 55% favorable and 32% unfavorable).
* However, Arabs overwhelmingly rate American society "more violent and war-like" (77%) or "less respectful of the rights ofothers" (78%) than their own society. Why? Because of the Iraq war and continuing fallout from Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the treatment of Arab and Muslim immigrants and visitors to the United States.
* What type of TV show do Saudis and Egyptians prefer to watch? The answer is, "Movies," which draws over 50% of the first and second choice votes. In Morocco, the top rated shows are "soap operas" and music and entertainment programs, drawing almost two-thirds of the first and second choice votes. Religious programs are near the bottom of the list of viewer preferences, garnering less than 10% of votes in all three countries.
by Robert Reich
When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.
by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
"Merchants of Doubt "tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.
by Jeffrey Sachs
In Common Wealth, Jeffrey D. Sachs-one of the world's most respected economists and the author of The New York Times bestseller The End of Poverty- offers an urgent assessment of the environmental degradation, rapid population growth, and extreme poverty that threaten global peace and prosperity. Through crystalline examination of hard facts, Sachs predicts the cascade of crises that awaits this crowded planet-and presents a program of sustainable development and international cooperation that will correct this dangerous course. Few luminaries anywhere on the planet are as schooled in this daunting subject as Sachs, and this is the vital product of his experience and wisdom.
by Robert Reich
Supercapitalism argues that a clear separation of politics and capitalism will foster an enviroment in which both business and government thrive, by putting capitalism in the service of democracy, and not the other way around.
by Bill McKibben
As America and the world grapple with the consequences of global environmental change, writer and activist Bill McKibben offers this unprecedented, inspiring, and timely anthology gathering the best and most significant American environmental writing from the last two centuries. "Each advance in environmental practice" in our nation's history, McKibben observes in his introduction, "was preceded by a great book." Here, for the first time in a single volume, are the words that made a movement.
Classics of the environmental imagination—the essays of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and John Burroughs; Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac; Rachel Carson's Silent Spring—are set alongside an emerging activist movement, revealed by newly uncovered reports of pioneering campaigns for conservation, passages from landmark legal opinions and legislation, and searing protest speeches. Throughout, some of America's greatest and most impassioned writers take a turn toward nature, recognizing the fragility of our situation on earth and the urgency of the search for a sustainable way of life. Thought-provoking essays on overpopulation, consumerism, energy policy, and the nature of "nature" join ecologists' memoirs and intimate sketches of the habitats of endangered species. The anthology includes a detailed chronology of the environmental movement and American environmental history, as well as an 80-page color portfolio of illustrations.
by Bill McKibben
Bestselling author Bill McKibben turns activist in the first hands-on guidebook to stopping climate change, the world's greatest threat
Hurricane Katrina. A rapidly disappearing Arctic. The warmest winter on the East Coast in recorded history. The leading scientist at NASA warns that we have only ten years to reverse climate change; the British government's report on global warming estimates that the financial impact will be greater than the Great Depression and both world wars?combined. Bill McKibben, the author of the first major book on global warming, The End of Nature, warns that it's no longer time to debate global warming, it's time to fight it.
Drawing on the experience of Step It Up, a national day of rallies held on April 14, McKibben and the Step It Up team of organizers provide the facts of what must change to save the climate and show how to build the fight in your community, church, or college. They describe how to launch online grassroots campaigns, generate persuasive political pressure, plan high-profile events that will draw media attention, and other effective actions. This essential book offers the blueprint for a mighty new movement against the most urgent challenge facing us today.
by Bill McKibben
The bestselling author of The End of Nature issues an impassioned call to arms for an economy that creates community and ennobles our lives.
In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"—indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community.
McKibben offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for a hopeful future. As he so eloquently shows, the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.
by Bill McKibben
Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth.
This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement.
More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike.
by Jeffrey Sachs
The landmark exploration of economic prosperity and how the world can escape from extreme poverty for the world's poorest citizens, from one of the world's most renowned economists
Hailed by Time as one of the world's hundred most influential people, Jeffrey D. Sachs is renowned for his work around the globe advising economies in crisis. Now a classic of its genre, The End of Poverty distills more than thirty years of experience to offer a uniquely informed vision of the steps that can transform impoverished countries into prosperous ones. Marrying vivid storytelling with rigorous analysis, Sachs lays out a clear conceptual map of the world economy. Explaining his own work in Bolivia, Russia, India, China, and Africa, he offers an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that challenge the world's poorest countries.
Ten years after its initial publication, The End of Poverty remains an indispensible and influential work. In this 10th anniversary edition, Sachs presents an extensive new foreword assessing the progress of the past decade, the work that remains to be done, and how each of us can help. He also looks ahead across the next fifteen years to 2030, the United Nations' target date for ending extreme poverty, offering new insights and recommendations.
by Robert Reich
America was once celebrated for and defined by its large and prosperous middle class. Now, this middle class is shrinking, a new oligarchy is rising, and the country faces its greatest wealth disparity in eighty years. Why is the economic system that made America strong suddenly failing us, and how can it be fixed?
Leading political economist and bestselling author Robert B. Reich presents a paradigm-shifting, clear-eyed examination of a political and economic status quo that no longer serves the people, exposing one of the most pernicious obstructions to progress today: the enduring myth of the “free market” when, behind the curtain, it is the powerful alliances between Washington and Wall Street that control the invisible hand. Laying to rest the specious dichotomy between a free market and “big government,” Reich shows that the truly critical choice ahead is between a market organized for broad-based prosperity and one designed to deliver ever more gains to the top. Visionary and acute, Saving Capitalism illuminates the path toward restoring America’s fundamental promise of opportunity and advancement.
by Robert Reich
For anyone who believes that liberal isn’t a dirty word but a term of honor, this book will be as revitalizing as oxygen. For in the pages of Reason, one of our most incisive public thinkers, and a former secretary of labor mounts a defense of classical liberalism that’s also a guide for rolling back twenty years of radical conservative domination of our politics and political culture.
by Bill McKibben
Nearly fifteen years ago, in The End of Nature, Bill McKibben demonstrated that humanity had begun to irrevocably alter and endanger our environment on a global scale. Now he turns his eye to an array of technologies that could change our relationship not with the rest of nature but with ourselves. He explores the frontiers of genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology?all of which we are approaching with astonishing speed?and shows that each threatens to take us past a point of no return. We now stand, in Michael Pollan's words, "on a moral and existential threshold," poised between the human past and a post-human future. McKibben offers a celebration of what it means to be human, and a warning that we risk the loss of all meaning if we step across the threshold. Instantly acclaimed for its passion and insight, this wise and eloquent book argues that we cannot forever grow in reach and power?that we must at last learn how to say, "Enough."
by Edward S. Herman, Noam Chomsky
In this pathbreaking work, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.
Based on a series of case studies--including the media's dichotomous treatment of "worthy" versus "unworthy" victims, "legitimizing" and "meaningless" Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the U.S. wars against Indochina--Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media's behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications. These include the manner in which the media covered the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent Mexican financial meltdown of 1994-1995, the media's handling of the protests against the World Trade Organization, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund in 1999 and 2000, and the media's treatment of the chemical industry and its regulation. What emerges from this work is a powerful assessment of how propagandistic the U.S. mass media are, how they systematically fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the kind of information that people need to make sense of the world, and how we can understand their function in a radically new way.
by Dr. Cornel West
Black Americans are at the heart of the greatest achievements of our history, from music to law, from politics to sports, from literature to religion. Now the two leading African-American intellectuals of our day show us why the twentieth century was "The African-American Century," with one hundred original profiles of the most influential African Americans from W. E. B. Du Bois to Oprah Winfrey. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West offer their personal picks of the African-American figures who did the most to shape our world. Here we find much-loved figures such as scientist George Washington Carver and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and contemporary favorites such as comedian Richard Pryor, novelist Alice Walker, and golf champion Tiger Woods. We also learn about less well known people such as jockey Jimmy Winkfield, aviator Bessie Coleman, and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, and recognize the achievements of controversial figures such as activist Angela Davis, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and rap artist Tupac Shakur. Each profile is a lively story in its own right. But taken as a whole, these one hundred stories offer a unique window on the history of the twentieth century. Decade by decade, we marvel at the triumphs of a people who began the century only thirty-five years "up from slavery," and ended it at the top of every field. The result is a moving testament to the humanity and genius of black Americans, both individually and together. "The African-American Century" reminds us that there would be no American culture without black America. Without Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, or John Coltrane, we would have no jazz. Without Zora Neale Hurston,Ralph Ellison, or Toni Morrison, we would miss our greatest novels. Without Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, or Althea Gibson, we would have none of our most glorious triumphs in sports. Without Thurgood Marshall, Dr. King, or Barbara Jordan, we would be deprived of the political breakthroughs that affirm and strengthen our democracy. Whether we are laughing with Bill Cosby or dancing to rock 'n' roll, whether we are listening to a great preacher or stunned by the power of a Spike Lee film, whether we are building a business empire or fighting for justice -- we are all shaped and influenced by the African-American experience. Written in a lively, accessible style and fully illustrated throughout, "The African-American Century" is a celebration of black achievement and a tribute to the black struggle for freedom in America that will inspire us for years to come.
by Robert Reich
A close-up view of the way things work, and often don't work, at the highest levels of government--and a uniquely personal account by the man whose ideas inspired and animated much of the Clinton campaign of 1992 and who became the cabinet officer in charge of helping ordinary Americans get better jobs.