New Books Network

Jennifer Mercieca, “Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump” (Texas AM UP, 2020)
Polarization, a disaffected and frustrated electorate, and widespread distrust of government, media, and traditional politicians set the stage in 2016 for an unprecedented presidential contest. For many, Donald Trump’s campaign speeches and other rhetoric seemed on the surface to be simplistic, repetitive, and disorganized. In Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical... Read More
James Bernard Murphy, “How to Think Politically” (Bloomsbury, 2019)
What is truly at stake in politics? Nothing less than how we should live, as individuals and as communities. This book goes beyond the surface headlines, the fake news and the hysteria to explore the timeless questions posed and answers offered by a diverse group of the 30 greatest political... Read More
Noëlle McAfee, “Fear of Breakdown: Psychoanalysis and Politics” (Columbia UP, 2019)
In his classic essay on the fear of breakdown, Donald Winnicott famously conveys to a patient that the disaster powerfully feared has, in fact, already happened.  Taking her cue from Winnicott, Noëlle McAfee’s Fear of Breakdown: Psychoanalysis and Politics (Columbia University Press, 2019), explores the implications of breakdown fears for... Read More
T. Skocpol and C. Tervo, “Upending American Politics: Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance” (Oxford UP, 2019)
How can we make sense of the elections of Barack Obama and Donald Trump? What forces moved American politics from the first African-American president and an all-Democratic Congress (2008) to ethno-nationalist rhetoric and GOP control of Congress (2016)? What do the reactions to these political events – the rise of... Read More
Paul Matzko, “The Radio Right” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Today’s right wing media has a long history that is largely unknown to its current listeners. In The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement (Oxford University Press, 2020), Paul Matzko details its emergence in the 1950s and the... Read More
Yuval Levin, “A Time to Build” (Basic Books, 2020)
Americans are living through a social crisis, contends Yuval Levin in his 2020 book A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream (Basic Books, 2020) In Levin’s view, acrimony reigns in the media, both social... Read More
Matthew McManus, “The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 shocked and surprised a number of commentators, especially because his own attitudes seemed to be in conflict with much of what people often associate with conservatism. Matt McManus argues, however, that Trump and other similar figures and movements represent a new form of... Read More
Antony Dapiran, “City on Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong” (Scribe, 2020)
Hong Kong in 2019 was a city on fire. Anti-government protests, sparked by an ill-fated extradition bill sparked seven months of protest and civil unrest. Protestors clashed with police in the streets, in shopping malls, in residential buildings. Driven by Hong Kong’s young people with their ‘Be Water!’ strategy, the... Read More
Witold Szabłowski, “How to Feed a Dictator” (Penguin, 2020)
If you’re a despot, there are two people you can’t lie to, your doctor and your chef. This is one of the nuggets explained to me by Witold Szabłowski, author of How to Feed a Dictator: Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Enver Hoxha, Fidel Castro, and Pol Pot Through the Eyes of... Read More