POLITICS

This is a difficult category to limit. There are books purely devoted to politics, of course. One prime example would be Do Not Ask What Good We Do (reviewed here), which describes the operation of the 112th Congress in great detail. But politics concerns itself with all areas of life: religion, science, law, and more. Many of the books I review deal intensively with scientific matters. But if they touch on the increasingly common politicization of science, they will be found here.

The exception is books that discuss religion and politics. I put those in the newly created RELIGION category.

Lists of available reviews of books on politics

PRINCIPAL
AUTHOR
TITLE
(Linked to review)
RATING
(0-5)
REVIEW
DATE
ONE-LINE
DESCRIPTION
Alterman, Eric The Book on Bush 5.0 5/05/2004 Read this wide-ranging, convincingly documented criticism of the administration of George W. Bush before the November elections.
Amato, John Over the Cliff 5.0 11/14/2011 Two veterans of political blogging document the right-wing extremism that arose following President Obama's election.
Asner, Ed The Grouchy Historian 5.0 1/23/2018 In his first book, the star of Lou Grant defends the Constitution and refutes the right-wing.
Berezow, Alex B. Science Left Behind 5.0 5/18/2015 Berezow and Campbell attempt to establish that "progressives" (read: liberals or Democrats) are just as unscientific as conservatives. They fail.
Bloomberg, Michael Climate of Hope 5.0 4/26/2018 Environmentalist Carl Pope and financier Michael Bloomberg team up to tell us about the upside of combatting climate change.
Bradley, Raymond S. Global Warming and Political Intimidation 4.5 7/05/2014 The second member of the scientific team that produced MBH98 & MBH99, the "Hockey Stick" papers, weighs in here with his own account of political meddling with their work by members of Congress.
Bruni, Frank Ambling into History 4.5 10/27/2004 Based on months on the campaign trail with Bush during the 2000 election season, Bruni's "reporter's notebook" account shows us both the candidate's character flaws and occasional flashes of greater ability.
Carville, James Take it Back 5.0 11/23/2006 Democratic Party stalwarts Carville & Begala set forth a strategy to aid their party in winning elections — a skill they justifiably claim it has lost.
Chandrasekaran, Rajiv Imperial Life in the Emerald City 5.0 2/10/2007 Veteran Washington Post reporter Chandrasekaran lives in Iraq, but penetrates the American bubble that is the Green Zone. He shows us what's inside it — and how it came to be.
Chayes, Sarah Thieves of State 5.0 9/03/2017 A long-time resident of Afghanistan, and familiar with many Middle Eastern countries, analyst Sarah Chayes tells it like it is.
Clarke, Richard A. Against All Enemies 5.0 12/02/2005 Former National Security Coordinator Richard Clarke tells what was broken when the planes hit the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.
Conason, Joe Big Lies 5.0 3/08/2010 Joe Conason delivers a very thorough dissection of the lies, hypocrisy and sheer short-sightedness which most Republican politicians of late cannot seem to rise above.
Crier, Catherine Contempt 4.0 12/27/2005 Ms Crier, a former Republican judge in Texas, warns us that the Religious Right, now in control of Congress and the White House, is trying for the federal judicial system.
Crier, Catherine Patriot Acts 5.0 12/27/2011 Forthright and insightful as always, Ms Crier provides a cogent new analysis of what's wrong with the Right and how they attempt to govern our American republic.
Crier, Catherine The Case against Lawyers 5.0 3/09/2014 Not a condemnation of lawyers per se, this is rather a discussion of the ways in which money — in the form of legal fees or campaign contributions — distorts our democracy.
Davidson, Osha Gray Under Fire 5.0 10/07/1997 Inside the NRA in its battle against all forms of gun control
Dawson, Ashley Extreme Cities 4.0 04/12/2018 Professor Dawson examines the efforts of New York, NY and other coastal cities to adapt to rising sea levels, and promotes policies that better support long-term sustainability.
Dean, John Worse than Watergate 4.0 12/15/2005 John Dean, convicted in the Watergate scandal, here compares George W. Bush's administration to the Nixon White House in which he served — and finds Bush comes off second best.
Dean, John Conservatives without Conscience 5.0 2/04/2007 Increasingly troubled by the damage to our democracy done by the neocons, John Dean investigates the roots of their movement and profiles its current principal players.
Draper, Robert Do Not Ask What Good We Do 5.0 7/19/2014 A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Draper gives us a microscopically detailed insider account of the 112th Congress.
Estrich, Susan Soulless 3.5 7/06/2014 A noted feminist writer delivers a critique of Ann Coulter that is part admiration, part denigration.
Frank, Thomas Listen, Liberal 5.0 9/18/2016 Thomas Frank now shifts his gaze to the neoliberal crew, and documents their abdication of the title of "Party of the People."
Frank, Thomas Pity the Billionaire 5.0 11/12/2013 In his third volume on the resurgent Right, Frank dissects the Tea Party and, at the end, shows Democrats including President Obama what they're doing wrong.
Franken, Al Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell them 4.0 6/12/2004 Al Franken's comedic style doesn't translate well to print. And the book has some flaws. Despite that, it conveys some vital messages about the political right — and will make you chortle as well.
Franken, Al The Truth (with Jokes) 5.0 3/06/2010 Al Franken (now Senator Franken) has a real tour de force in this one. Many books expose and debunk the deceptive and greedy practices of some of today's politicians. Franken eviscerates those practices.
Freddoso, David The Case Against Barack Obama 4.0 11/03/2008 David Freddoso's critique of Obama's character and career is mostly accurate, but contains some distortions that betray the author's right-wing bias.
Frum, David Trumpocracy 4.0 03/20/2018 David Frum examines the corruption Trump has brought to America's political system.
Gibney, Bruce A Generation of Sociopaths 3.5 2/09/2018 Former lawyer blames baby boomers for everything that's wrong with America.
Gingrich, Newt Winning the Future 4.0 1/16/2006 Georgia Republican politician Gingrich has written a campaign book.
Gladstone, Brooke The Trouble with Reality 3.5 2/07/2018 Co-host of NPR's On the Media ruminates on the quandary of reality versus Trump.
Goldberg, Bernard 100 People Who are Screwing up America 4.0 4/10/2008 Everyone has a little list (they never will be missed.) Here is Bernie's.
Gordon, Rebecca American Nuremberg 5.0 8/28/2016 Rebecca Gordon shows us the origin of war-crimes-law concepts, and documents that the U.S. juggernaut continues to roll over them.
Goreham, Steve Climatism! 2.0 7/19/2012 Goreham, holder of MSEE and MBA degrees, tries to debunk the mainstream view of climate change. He fails in standard fashion — which makes this a polemic. But, reading it, you will learn something about the subject.
Hacker, Jacob S. Off Center 5.0 11/13/2006 Two professors of political science dissect the Republican revolution.
Harding, Luke Collusion 5.0 3/11/2018 Harding, a veteran Russia hand for The Guardian, draws on the Steele Dossier and other sources to give us a hard-hitting account of the case for collusion..
Hedges, Chris The World As It Is 5.0 6/06/2011 A series of pull-no-punches essays on politics and governing from the author of War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.
Hersh, Seymour Chain of Command 5.0 11/10/2005 Reporter Seymour Hersh shows he's still in top form as he documents the origins and possible aftermaths of the Pentagon's flawed "War on Terror".
Hertsgaard, Mark Bravehearts 5.0 10/28/2016 Whistle-blowers have always had a tough row to hoe, and Mark Hertsgaard shows us that is still true now, when it matters more than ever.
Hickman, Joseph Murder at Camp Delta 5.0 8/01/2015 While at Guantánamo, Staff Sergeant Hickman saw troubling breakdowns of military order and discipline. Then he saw what looked like murder. His long struggle for corroborating evidence is documented in this gripping first-person account.
Hoggan, James Climate Cover-Up 5.0 4/17/2010 Public relations, or PR, has been debased in the battle over climate change. PR professional James Hoggan explains how and by whom.
Horner, Christopher The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming 3.0 11/20/2007 Here's another entry in the continuing campaign of Global Warming Denial. Its reasoning is as defective as others of its kind I have seen, but it is fairly well written.
Huskey, Kristine A. Justice at Guantánamo 5.0 12/20/2014 A gripping account of Ms. Huskey's growth from aspiring fashion model to dedicated human-rights attorney fighting for Gitmo detainees.
Isikoff, Michael Russian Roulette 5.0 4/09/2018 Veteran journalists Isikoff & Corn document what's known of the Trump campaign's interactions with Russia, complementing Harding's book on collusion.
Ivins, Molly Shrub 5.0 10/16/2000 Famously forthright columnist Molly Ivins' possibly biased analysis of George W. Bush's record as governor of Texas
Ivins, Molly Bushwhacked 5.0 12/19/2005 More from famously forthright columnist Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose on George W. Bush's record
Johnston, David Cay Perfectly Legal 5.0 6/27/2004 This analysis of the tax code and its exploiters grew out of a Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigation that Johnston did for the New York Times. ** WARNING! ** It may cause your fists to clench.
Johnston, David Cay It's Even Worse than You Think 5.0 2/20/2018 Following up on The Making of Donald Trump, Johnston documents Trump performing in office exactly as expected.
Kunstler, James Howard The Long Emergency 4.0 9/26/2012 This is Kunstler's warning to a profligate country (and world) he sees as teetering on the edge of catastrophe, with its misused energy and financial systems about to collapse.
Kunstler, James Howard Too Much Magic 4.0 7/19/2012 In his 2005 The Long Emergency, Kunstler forecasted the sorts of things that he sees happening today: namely the collapse of global energy and financial systems. Now, he pessimistically prognosticates that America will never adapt and will undergo radical changes as a result.
Kuttner, Robert A Presidency in Peril 5.0 8/08/2010 Robert Kuttner gives us a tour de force explaining why President Obama has disappointed his base on the economic recovery — and how he can recover.
Lapham, Lewis Pretensions to Empire 5.0 12/21/2007 In a lively collection of essays, longtime journalist Lapham opines on current politics, popular culture, and the shortcomings of the Bush administration.
Lardner, James Inequality Matters 5.0 9/13/2013 Growing out of a 2004 conference, this compendium of essays on the problem of wealth inequality in America is dated but still essential reading.
Lee, Bandy The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump 5.0 1/11/2018 Dr. Lee has assembled a panel of mental-health professionals to assess Trump's fitness for the Oval Office. Their essays appear here.
Lichtman, Allan J. The Case for Impeachment 5.0 2/15/2018 Professor Lichtman reviews the historical record of previous impeachments and assesses Donald Trump's misbehavior in that light.
Loesch, Dana Flyover Nation 3.0 8/14/2017 Dana Loesch has a book worth reading, but her conservative blinders make the factual arguments extremely annoying.
Luce, Edward Time to Start Thinking 5.0 10/20/2013 Journalist Edward Luce indicts the current state of everything that made America great in this deservedly harsh critique.
MacLean, Nancy Democracy in Chains 5.0 8/20/2018 Nancy MacLean exposes the stealthy quest of "conservatives" to subvert American democracy and perpetuate their privileges.
Maguire, Joe Brainless 4.5 4/12/2007 See the threadbare thinking of hard-right icon Ann Coulter dissolve under journalist Joe Maquire's trenchant analysis.
Mallaby, Sebastian The World's Banker 5.0 2/15/2006 A lively profile of the World Bank and the complicated man who ran it for a decade starting in 1995.
Mann, Michael E. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars 5.0 8/15/2014 Dr. Mann, one of the principal targets of the bogus campaign against the reality of climate change, shows why that campaign is bogus.
Mann, Michael E. The Madhouse Effect 5.0 10/13/2016 Michael Mann teams up with Tom Toles to explain, in clear and concise terms, what climate change is and why it matters.
Margulies, Joseph Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power 5.0 8/24/2008 The Bush administration's treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo defies both law and logic, as attorney Joseph Margulies reveals in this gripping account.
Mayer, Jane Dark Money 5.0 6/19/2016 Here's the scoop on how Republican mostly undisclosed wealth influences elections across the USA.
McClellan, Scott What Happened 3.5 2/27/2010 Scott McClellan tells us what was wrong with the Bush administration, as he saw it.
Mooney, Chris The Republican War on Science 5.0 3/26/2010 Here's a documentation of Republican depredations against science that's more thorough and wide-ranging than Seth Shulman's excellent work.
Nader, Ralph The Good Fight 4.5 10/15/2004 Consumer advocate Ralph Nader continues his long battle for the public good. An Appendix, The Conscious Voter, reminds us how easily an inattentive electorate can be hoodwinked.
Nader, Ralph Whistle Blowing 5.0 5/11/2011 A dated but comprehensive look at whistle-blowers and the abuses that motivated them in 1972. It's, like, nowsville, man!
O'Hanlon, Michael Neither Star Wars nor Sanctuary 5.0 11/12/2004 An excellent layman's introduction to the timely subject of military space policy.
Oliphant, Thomas Utter Incompetents 5.0 2/23/2010 Tom Oliphant, a Boston Globe columnist, examines the Bush administration on 16 performance areas and finds it wanting in all of them.
Oreskes, Naomi Merchants of Doubt 5.0 8/25/2010 Decade after decade, from smoking & lung cancer to carbon dioxide & global warming, a few misguided ideologues have done their utmost to confuse the public about the seriousness of problems. Now, science historian Oreskes and NASA physicist Conway team up to set the record straight.
O'Rourke, P. J. How the Hell Did this Happen? 1.5 6/11/2017 O'Rourke disses the 2016 electoral process and all the presidential candidates who took part in it (except Jill Stein, whom he misses rather than disses.)
Pooley, Eric The Climate War 5.0 7/14/2010 A lively and engrossing account of the last three years in the ongoing political struggle to get a handle on climate change
Pope, Carl Strategic Ignorance 5.0 9/30/2004 The Sierra Club's Executive Director has produced a devastating critique of the Bush administration record of protecting the environment.
Press, Bill Toxic Talk 5.0 1/15/2011 Talk radio today is 90 percent right-wing. Bill Press examines how it got that way, and shows us the disappointing result.
Press, Bill Train Wreck 5.0 1/20/2010 Press documents the failure of the modern conservative movement with abundant facts and figures, and traces its origin in history.
Ricks, Thomas E. Fiasco 5.0 6/09/2008 Veteran Pentagon correspondent Ricks documents the U.S. military's blunders in its current occupation of Iraq.
Rohde, David Beyond War 5.0 10/16/2013 America's Middle-East policy needs more face-to-face engagement and more entrepreneurial dollars, not more drones, Rohde says.
Rose, David Guantánamo 5.0 11/05/2013 This is probably the original exposé of the injustices perpetrated by the GW Bush administration at our base on Cuba.
Rushkoff, Douglas Life Inc. 5.0 6/14/2010 Rushkoff, a prominent media critic, provides a penetrating analysis of corporate executives' continuing quest to acquire legal personhood for their firms — while natural persons, beset on all sides by rampant commercialism, act less and less like real people.
Sands, Philippe Lawless World 5.0 1/31/2006 The complexity and difficulty of making and adhering to international treaties are well described in this account of recent developments in the field — as is America's short-sighted refusal to adhere to such norms of behavior.
Scammell, Henry Giantkillers 5.0 11/11/2004 A gripping account of several hard-fought victories by whistle-blowers against greedy companies in the defense and health-care industries
Shenkman, Rick Just How Stupid Are We? 4.0 6/11/2009 Shenkman's examination of the American body politic finds it wanting of wit and will.
Singer, S. Fred Unstoppable Global Warming 1.0 8/23/2014 Tag-team Denialists Avery & Singer have cooked up another batch of climate-pother stew.
Smith, Clive Stafford Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side 5.0 5/19/2010 At Guantánamo, explains British attorney Clive Smith, justice was often a shell game.
Solomon, Norman War Made Easy 5.0 10/15/2005 Norman Solomon explains how a president can have a war whenever he wants — for good reasons or bad.
Street, Paul Barack Obama 4.5 4/29/2009 A counterpoise to David Freddoso's book about Obama is provided by progressive historian Paul Street, who also thinks our new president is no messiah.
Suskind, Ron The Price of Loyalty 5.0 12/20/2005 Alcoa CEO Paul O'Neill was lured back into government service. He became Treasury Secretary because he knew he could make a difference. However, his reality-based approach did not mesh well with the administration of George W. Bush.
Suskind, Ron The One Percent Doctrine 5.0 2/25/2007 Veteran journalist Ron Suskind takes an unblinking look at the "War on Terror", based on extensive interviews with its leaders as well as those who are actually waging that war — and finds the leaders wanting.
Sussman, Brian Climategate 1.0 6/27/2012 Inspired by the non-scandal best known as "Swifthack", the former weatherman offers a sorely misguided discourse on climate change.
Waldman, Michael The Fight To Vote 5.0 10/23/2016 Michael Waldman heads the Brennan Center for Justice. Here he explains how our unjust election system came to be, and makes a plea for us to get out and vote to fix it.
Wilson, Ward Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons 4.0 10/19/2014 With a noble aim but with scholarship that falls short, Mr. Wilson presents a case for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Woodward, Bob Fear 4.0 10/19/2018 By giving us glimpses of its day-to-day conversation, veteran journalist Woodward shows us how chaotic Trump's administration is.
Zubrin, Robert Merchants of Despair 3.0 6/27/2012 Here Zubrin, an intelligent man and a capable engineer, allows his distaste for government regulations to overwhelm his better judgment, as he joins the "climate-change-conspiracy crowd."
Quality Ranges for Book Reviews
The books are rated from 0 to 5 in increments of 0.5. Colors represent the following quality ranges:
4.0 to 5.0 Quality: HIGH (Color = Aqua) Competent to exceptional; well worth the money
2.0 to 3.5 Quality: FAIR (Color = Lime) Useful despite some flaws; may or may not be worth buying.
0.5 to 1.5 Quality: POOR (Color = Yellow) Seriously flawed; read it if you wish, but don't buy it.
0.0 to 0.0 Quality: YUCK (Color = Fuchsia) Avoid this book at all costs!
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This page was last modified on 20 October 2018.