#atozchallenge: Books (about Politics) I Have Loved


I don’t read as much as I used to; I feel this is something people say very often. However, when I do get a chance to read, I tend to re-read things over and over and over. I also prefer non-fiction to fiction. Here are books that hold my political interests.

The very first books about politics that I can remember reading were Al Franken’s comedy non-fiction ones. I picked them up in a university book store all at once: Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat IdiotLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them and The Truth (with Jokes). Some of the jokes are cruel just for the sake of being cruel, but honestly, exposing some of these people for the standard bearers of hate is worth the cruelty sometimes. If I lived in Minnesota, I would always vote for Franken.

I like my politics with a little bit of satire, so Jon Stewart’s book America (The Book) and Stephen Colbert’s I am America (and So Can You!) are two books that manage to sneak in quite a bit of thought whilst they’re busy lampooning society.

Douglas Adams is one of my favourite authors, and I have read everything he has ever written. His death was way too pre-mature. Whilst the book Last Chance to See isn’t necessarily about politics, it is about environmentalism, a tent pole in my personal political beliefs. Two species featured in this book are sadly extinct, but we should not give up just yet!

I spend a lot of time reading about gender and race as a woman of colour. One of my favourite books that looks at a more complete picture of racism, but very much at the epidemic of mass incarceration, is Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. It took me a long time to read this book, as I kept having to stop in anger. It is a book worth reading.

Books about economics are usually dry and really hard to get through. However, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and Thomas Picketty’s Le Capital au XXIe siècle (Capital in the 21st Century) are both interesting and engaging, and full of good knowledge.

Finally, George McGovern’s What it Means to Be a Democrat (the only book without a wikipedia link) is a rallying cry to American Democrats: what it means to be progressive and liberal in the 21st century, and to build reform slowly but surely. It’s filled with personal anecdotes and what I feel is prescient advice.

Read on, and until next time. – SDM


If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.

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On the Iowa Caucus


I would be remiss if I didn’t at least discuss some numbers and make some sort of commentary on yesterday’s caucus, but to be frank, the results were not too surprising.

Ted Cruz winning on the Republican side is not testament to his ground game or his policies being more popular than anyone in his party. It is purely because he is a preacher’s son and Iowa’s Republicans are mostly evangelical Christians who are socially conservative. (Huckabee, the other evangelical social Conservative, dropped out of the race.)

I hardly want to think about Donald Trump moving on, but he did get second place. So he will continue on to New Hampshire. Will he win enough delegates? How will he do on Super Tuesday? I hardly want to think about him any more but apparently he’ll be hanging on like a particularly nasty cold.

I am not going to pretend that I wasn’t more interested in the race on the Democratic side. The fact that almost all media has touted Clinton’s hilariously marginal ‘win’ as a victory for her is…worrisome. What a dynasty America has become. I have to be neutral, as a teacher, but when speaking to other teachers I honestly admit that I don’t like the idea of another Clinton in office. That admission seems to make people think that I am a Republican, and I am hardly one to disabuse them of that notion.

And finally, The Independent describes a crazy tradition of a coin-toss to determine county delegates. Hillary Clinton won six of those county wide delegates, though she only ended up with two more delegates than Sanders. Hardly a stellar victory. I don’t think people are convinced by Clinton yet.

We shall see. Le jeu commence as they would say in France. The game is on. – SDM

Photo by crazysixdownunder