New Books Network

Rachel Kleinfeld and Drew Sloan, “Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World With Markets and Distributed Energy” (Truman Institute, 2012)
You wouldn’t know from the 2012 president race but the United States remains engaged in a fairly bloody conflict in Afghanistan. In addition to boots on the ground, we deploy scores of drones in Pakistan, Yemen and the Horn of Africa to keep Al Qaeda and its affiliates at bay.... Read More
Corey Brettschneider, “When the State Speaks, What Should it Say? How Democracies can Protect Expression and Promote Equality” (Princeton UP, 2012)
Liberal democracies are in the business of protecting individuals and their rights. Central among these are the rights to free expression, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience. Liberal democracies are also in the business of sustaining a political environment in which citizens are regarded as political equals. In exercising... Read More
James Daily and Ryan Davidson, “The Law of Superheroes” (Gotham Books 2012)
James Daily, J.D. and Ryan Davidson, J.D. are the co-authors of The Law of Superheroes (Gotham Books 2012). The book uses comic book scenarios, much as previous volumes on physics and philosophy, to answer questions such as “Would mutants have civic rights?” and “Could Batman patent the Batmobile?” The authors... Read More
Patrick Allitt, “The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History” (Yale University Press, 2010)
Tired of politics? I grew tired of campaign commercials, especially once Mitt Romney identified Pennsylvania (where I live) as a battleground state. Now that the ad wars have ended and the ballots have been counted, I am really interested in understanding what has happened to modern American conservatism. That is... Read More
Martin Plaut and Paul Holden, “Who Rules South Africa?” (Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2012)
Anybody who has been following the news in recent months knows that bloodshed has returned to South Africa. The recent violence and deaths among strikers in the country’s platinum mining industry resonate strongly in a country with such memories of the last years of apartheid. But they also point to... Read More
Jamie Kelly, “Framing Democracy: A Behavioral Approach to Democratic Theory” (Princeton UP, 2012)
Plato famously argued that democracy is nearly the worst form of government because citizens are decidedly unwise. Many styles of democratic theory have tried to meet Plato’s argument by denying that democracy has anything to do with wisdom. Democracy, such views claim, is simply a matter of representing citizens’ preferences... Read More
Bill Chafe, “Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)
The “Personal is Political” was the mantra for the women’s movement and a generation of social historians interested in the lives of women and assorted minorities. This lens, looking at the interior lives of individuals to decipher their exterior choices, has long been a staple of biographers. Bill Chafe, however,... Read More
Craig Harline, “Conversions: Two Family Stories from the Reformation and Modern America” (Yale UP, 2011)
In the 2012 presidential race two major issues are ever present but never mentioned: Mormonism and homosexuality. According to opinion polls, a significant number of Americans either won’t vote or are wary of voting for a Mormon. Likewise, though opinions are rapidly changing a large plurality or slight majority (depending... Read More