✍️✍️✍️ Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers

Saturday, July 10, 2021 10:40:08 AM

Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers



Boo offers no easy answers to problems encountered in this book. Other Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers. Beatings, though outlawed in Snoop Dogg Microg Case Study human rights Orwell Vs. Wallace Analysis, were practical, as they increased the Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers that detainees would pay for their release. Tssk tssk. Annotation copyright Tsai Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers Books, Inc. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, D. There's so many great ones, how can I possibly pick?? When deceptions are discovered and lies Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers revealed, Will Themes In Behind The Beautiful Forevers keep them together or break them apart? What they had was intense, passionate, and oh-so REAL.

Book Review: Behind The Beautiful Forevers

I was lucky in that I was removed from poverty before it could destroy my spirit, but its effects linger in other ways. My heart goes out to the Mumbai slum dwellers, but I fear little can be done without a major overhaul to Indian society - - beginning with true education for all of its people. Educated people will not settle for less than a fair chance. View 1 comment. Shelves: poverty , social-commentary , india , journalism , non-fiction. For most of us, an image or a vignette would be enough to make us feel a bit of pity and turn away.

What value could there be learning any more about their miserable lives? Surely the rising global economy of India will eventually float all boats, so why dwell on a few failed lives? Through the eyes of a handful of Annawadi residents, we get narrative of creative struggle and character development that equals that of good novels. The drama is compounded of the desperate work for daily survival and the nurturing of hope to find a way to something better.

His work, along with roles played some of his nine other siblings, is putting food on the table and and adding to the dream of his mother and alcoholic father to move to better neighborhood. But all this turns to ashes one day when work on remodeling their shack leads to a fight with their neighbor known as One Leg, who ends up setting herself on fire. That results in an unjust arrest of Abdul, his sister, and his father. Beatings, though outlawed in the human rights code, were practical, as they increased the price that detainees would pay for their release.

Innocence and guilt could be bought and sold like a kilo of polyurethane bags. These early paragraphs of the book did that for me: Let it keep, the moment when Officer Fish Lips met Abdul in the police station. Rewind, see Abdul running backward, away from the station and the airport, shirt buttons opening as he flies back toward his home. See the flames engulfing a disabled woman in a pink- flowered tunic shrink to nothing but a matchbook on the floor. See Fatima minutes earlier, dancing on crutches to a raucous love song, her delicate features unscathed. Keep rewinding, back seven more months, and stop at an ordinary day in January It was about as hopeful a season as there had ever been in the years since a bitty slum popped up in the biggest city of a country that holds one-third of the planet's poor.

A country dizzy now with development and circulating money. Dawn came gusty, as it often did in January, the month of treed kites and head colds. Because his family lacked the floor space for all of its members to lie down, Abdul was asleep on the gritty maidan, which for years had passed as his bed. His mother stepped carefully over one of his younger brothers, and then another, bending low to Abdul's ear. Besides, this was the gentle-going hour in which he hated Annawadi least. The pale sun lent the sewage lake a sparkling silver cast, and the parrots nesting at the far side of the lake could still be heard over the jets.

Outside his neighbors' huts, some held together by duct tape and rope, damp rags were discreetly freshening bodies. Children in school-uniform neckties were hauling pots of water from the public taps. A languid line extended from an orange concrete block of public toilets. Even goats' eyes were heavy with sleep. It was the moment of the intimate and the familial, before the great pursuit of the small market niche got under way. The story of middle-aged Asha and her family is equally vivid.

Slowly she builds leverage with and gets commissions from both with the authorities and community members. For example, she uses her unqualified daughter to manage sham private schools to teach English to the slum kids, getting money both from charities and from the parents. She has ambitions for municipal politics, an arena where she can get a real hand on the riches of corruption.

Thus, she is the epitome of what is holding back any meaningful improvement in the status of the community. Yet it is such a human face, driven so much by her own hopes for her family never to be hungry again. This work of investigative journalism is founded on nearly four years by Boo doing interviews and poring over public records. As journalism, her take-home message is relatively simple, but potent nonetheless. She notes how the resentment over how little in the growing economy of India trickles down to the poor communities is not being translated into effective political action: But the slumdwellers rarely got mad together --not even about the airport authority. Sometimes, like Fatima, they destroyed themselves in the process.

When they were fortunate, like Asha, they improved their lots by beggaring the life chances of other poor people. What was unfolding in Mumbai was unfolding elsewhere, too. In the age of global market capitalization, hopes and grievances were narrowly conceived, which blunted a sense of common predicament. And this undercity strife created only the faintest ripple in the fabric of the society at large. The gates of the rich, occasionally rattled, remained unbreached. The politicians held forth on the middle class. Extreme poverty is being alleviated gradually, unevenly, nonetheless significantly. But as capital rushes around the planet and the idea of permanent work becomes an anachronistic, the unpredictability of daily life has a way of grinding down individual promise.

Ideally, the government eases some of the instability. Too often, weak government intensifies it and proves better at nourishing corruption than human capability. For me the book speaks to the incredible resilience of the human spirit in the face of cruel circumstances of the place and family any of us might be subject to. View all 19 comments. Sep 03, Praj rated it liked it. The family of six has to do with a makeshift shanty to prevent them from drowning in the dense showers of late night rains. Futile visits to the local political corporator and pleading to a rigid money-lender for a loan is what his weekly schedule looks like. Troublesome as it is for a detour to the supermarket for packaged milk, my domestic help decided to call it a day as it is the last day to confirm her receipt for a governmental pension of her deceased alcoholic husband.

For all those vicious thrashings and numerous marital abuses she stomached for a decade, she truly deserved the so-called posthumous alimony; although a pitiful sum. What a wretched day it is!! Not only do I have to check the availability of another maid, but go and pick my dry cleaning as the delivery boy was arrested for trying to sell vegetables on the street corner disregarding any philanthropic duties to the patrolling authorities.

Dear Lord! Am I the only victim of such suffering? Mercifully, my chauffeur seems to have escaped from any such problematic liabilities. His tardiness has got me a bit worried on missing my blow-dry appointment. However, I reckon shifting the spa-medic detoxification an hour later could comfortably ease the tea-garden brunch. I need to make quick stop at the local pharmacy for more supplies; but the snail speed of this wretched sedan is making me perspire through the cool air of the designed interiors, dreading the inevitable. Few more taps and he moves on to the next door amongst the sea of vehicles. Bombay traffic; oh so nauseating! As I alight from the car, a pair of white retinas stares at me with a half-broken smile.

The offering of green pistachios macaroons seemed supplementary to the actual fancy; a few more arguments over the importance of food and then the ultimate dispensing of monetary funds. The cool sea breeze brushing my cheeks sarcastically mocks the cup of warm tea. This unnerving stench rising from a nearby engulfment of reclaimed land festering with juxtaposed shoddy shanties ruins the temporary nirvana. Such a disgrace for a posh high-rise! I must take up this issue at the upcoming Housing meeting. While meticulously placing their cups avoiding the untimely melody of their exquisite china, the urban snobs critique twirling their freshly sprayed coifs; applauded the heroic effort of a certain Katherine Boo for having the balls to submit herself to the putrid cocktail of sewage stench and decaying garbage for nearly four years.

It is indeed a medal of honor; elsewhere the opinionated lecturer making a run out of the narrow congested lanes before the eau de cologne evaporates from their handkerchiefs. Katherine, in a news interview said that after her research on the inner-city housing in Oklahoma city, she was curious about the institution of poverty. How did they thrive in the existing circumstances? What would you want me to say? To pronounce, that poverty has become the selling point of Indian literary panorama?

Does romanticizing poverty give a feel of diving into some kind of exotic uncharted waters? On an eventful itinerary to India pick out a slum and pen the daily events of a close knitted neighborhood huddled together in congested housing. Stories are not only born in slums, allow the tales to pass through through many corners of the vast Indian landscapes. The residents of Annawadi are audacious, unafraid and above all optimistic dreamers. Poverty is the biggest crime. It is better to be a cold-blooded murderer, but it is a sin to be poor. To be poor is to be guilty of one or another thing. Commiserating Raja Kamble- the toilet cleaner; rag picker Sunil, one-legged Sita and the vulnerable Asha who dreams to be the first ever slumlord demeans their very existence.

Applaud these residents of Annawadi through the lines of this text as they struggle through the dodgy circumstances with true grit; for if it was one of us we would sooner or later walk the path of death. In a land where the supermarket does not boast ten different brands of toothpastes, give an Ayn Rand to a youth standing in the ration line and see a potent explosive rise.

The sinister underbelly of Mumbai proliferates with every rise and fall in oil trade stocks. Does that give a leeway to the privileged to dig deep in the trenches and frolic in the slush? Stop romanticizing poverty!! Recognize the white elephant in the room and pen an epic of crony capitalism and its hoarders. Wouldn't it then be fun to see a panel of illustrious erudite critique the printed words. There my dearies lay the valid underbelly of a blossoming India and not through impoverished assiduous lives. I reckon the raspberry macaroons go very well with oolong and I might skip the Housing meeting. View all 23 comments. Boo won me over when she presented the impoverished people of Annawadi as individuals with worries, ambitions and desires as everyday as yours or mine rather than victims.

I found myself brokenhearted by the recurrent police and governmental corruption they must wade through in order to just exist. Apparently, it isn't enough that most are ill from their habitats and scorned by society. In spite of their loss of dreams and position, I was impressed by the resilience of most. This book received a Boo won me over when she presented the impoverished people of Annawadi as individuals with worries, ambitions and desires as everyday as yours or mine rather than victims. This book received a lot of positive press which I believe made me expect more from it then it was able to deliver.

I don't mean that negatively because I learned ever so much about Annawadi, its citizens, Mumbai corruption and India itself. However, I think I had my expectations too high, because I did feel a tad bit disappointed with it although I can't put my finger on why that was. I may re-read it some time in the future. The book did cause me to reflect on many issues regarding what happened to the Annawadians when forced to move when Annawadi was cleaned up for aesthetic reasons. We have similar situations nearby in Detroit.

Whole neighborhoods being demolished for their blight. What happens to those people? They aren't being paid adequate reimbursements that would allow them to purchase better homes. Sometimes I think aesthetics influence us more than empathy. Couldn't there be a way to remove the eyesore and eliminate the societal problems that caused it? Maybe I'm a dreamer. However, I believe the real reason for the removal of Annawadi and inner city homes is not wanting a reminder that poverty exists. We need to do something about it in order to help those caught in its clutches. View all 29 comments. Jul 27, Diane rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction , favorites , india , gorgeous-prose , poverty. This is an amazing story about families who live and work in a Mumbai slum.

Katherine Boo spent years reporting in the airport settlement of Annawadi, and the book unfolds like a novel. It's a fascinating look at how the underclass tries to survive and get ahead in a 21st-century economy. One of the things I found most interesting was how the families were constantly fighting with others in the slum, literally over scraps. And the police, the courts, the hospitals -- everyone, really -- were so This is an amazing story about families who live and work in a Mumbai slum. And the police, the courts, the hospitals -- everyone, really -- were so corrupted that they're all trying to fleece somebody. In the author's note at the end, Boo points out how there was little sense of a shared community, because they were all so desperate to get ahead of their neighbors.

In one disturbing scene, a man in the slum had been hit by a car and was left on the side of the road. Dozens of people walked by, but no one stopped to help because they were too wrapped up in their own affairs and couldn't afford to waste time helping him. After several hours, the man had died, and only then did people stop to help pick up the corpse. Despite the abject poverty, I found the book to be inspiring because so many of the families were hopeful that they could someday rise up out of the slum and join the more prosperous middle class of India. As Boo noted, there were three ways out of the slum: an entrepreneurial niche like scavenging for scrap metals , politics meaning corruption , or education. I'm pinning my hopes on Manju, a young woman who will be the first person in the slum to have graduated from college.

Rise, Manju, rise! Update Aug. I have thought of it repeatedly since I read it in the spring, and I wish the author could write a sequel so I'd know what the families are up to. Highly recommended for everyone. View 2 comments. May 16, Caroline rated it liked it Shelves: world. I would have infinitely preferred it if the author written a straightforward novel, based on her research, and friendships made in the Annawadi slum in Mumbai.

My favourite novels are about different cultures using the term in its broadest sense , but cultures that have been superbly researched, and therefore come alive for the reader. I feel that Katherine Boo could have done the same with what she learnt about life in Annawadi. But in choosing to write the book instead as "narrative non-fiction" she alienated me as a reader. I couldn't get away from the fact that these were real people and real experiences, being described in terms of a novel.

I would have also enjoyed the book if it had been written purely as a straightforward work of investigative journalism. Katherine Boo obviously spent a lot of time in Annawadi, and was deeply committed to the people there. They had extraordinary stories to tell her, and I feel these would have stood better on their own, without her putting words into people mouths. More interviews, more "this happened, and then this happened"; less the well-oiled seamlessness of narrative. As for the content of the book - I found this as harrowing as everyone else did. The corruption that seeped through everything, all those organisations that should have been doing good - the police, the magistrates, the hospital, the schools, the politicians, the re-housing plan, the NGOs The harshness of the lives that people experienced in Annawadi - and their endless ingenuity and tenacity in making a living for themselves.

The sharp contrast between the inhabitants of the nearby luxury hotel, and the people living in the Annawadi. The incredibly sad lack of social cohesion amongst the people there In Annawadi it is survival of the fittest. I was extremely glad to have read the book. Like everyone else I think I need to know what is happening in places like Annawadi. I just feel that the writing approach for me let the book down a bit. The term perplexes me. I thought this book was non-fiction, but it turns out to be a novel. Given my inability to read novels at the moment it's not surprising I am going to give up on it.

I am not awarding it any stars - I was obviously was the wrong audience for this book in the first place. My one criticism would be for the people who wrote the blurb. The term "narrative non-fiction" is misleading. Or at least if they were going to describe the book this way they should have given more explanation of what the term means. I have now checked Wikipedia - it describes the book as non-fiction too! I am totally muddled. I wish I had the capacity to add a picture of that emo of the face with its eyes rolling round and round in its head. C'est moi. View all 40 comments. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Pultitzer prize winning staffer for The New Yorker, Katherine Boo, was a gripping and riveting and harrowing non-fiction narrative about the makeshift, impoverished undercity, Annawadi, just outside the shining airport and high-end hotels in Mumbai.

In the Author's Note Katherine Boo states that all of the events and names of the people in her book are true. She notes that she did extensive reporting and documentation Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Pultitzer prize winning staffer for The New Yorker, Katherine Boo, was a gripping and riveting and harrowing non-fiction narrative about the makeshift, impoverished undercity, Annawadi, just outside the shining airport and high-end hotels in Mumbai. She notes that she did extensive reporting and documentation from November when she walked into Annawadi and met Asha and Manju until March when she completed her reporting.

As graphically noted by the author: "Drivers approaching the terminal from the other direction would see only a concrete wall covered with sunshine-yellow advertisements. The predominant thread throughout this book was one of resilience in looking for ways to improve one's lot. And thus some of my favorite quotes by Katherine Boo: "You didn't keep track of a child's years when you were fighting daily to keep him from starving, as she and many other Annawadi mothers had been doing when their teenagers were young. He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai's dirty water, he wanted to be ice.

He wanted to have ideals. For self-interested reasons, one of the ideals he most wanted to have was a belief in the possibility of justice. Was there a soul in this enriching, unequal city who didn't blame his dissatisfaction on someone else? Wealthy citizens accused the slumdwellers of making the city filthy and unlivable, even as an oversupply of human capital kept the wages of their maids and chauffeurs low.

Slumdwellers complained about the obstacles the rich and powerful erected to prevent them from sharing in new profit. Everyone, everywhere, complained about their neighbors. Feb 01, Shawn rated it liked it. What disturbed Me most about this book is that it didn't disturb Me more. How is it that a book about the poorest, most exploited, ignored, trodden upon people didn't evoke more feeling or sustain more engagement? I spent the entire reading reminding myself that these were real people so that I would endeavor to feel something toward their story.

I'm not sure if it was the choice of writing style -- that of making the story "feel like a novel" -- that made this so easy to disengage from or not, What disturbed Me most about this book is that it didn't disturb Me more. I'm not sure if it was the choice of writing style -- that of making the story "feel like a novel" -- that made this so easy to disengage from or not, but something didn't work. This should have been a powerful, heart wrenching, gut twisting story of subsistence, yet it felt almost breezy in its telling. I'm sorely disappointed because I was prepared to be moved. Boo is clearly a good writer, I just wish she had done more with the opportunity she had.

View all 6 comments. Nov 28, Jill rated it it was amazing Shelves: thinker , good-writing , nonfiction , favorites , development-and-human-rights. Thanks to fastidious reporting, Boo presents a sprawling, nearly four year long narrative of what happens to various residents of the Annawadi slum, a slum caught between the rapidly developing international airport and luxury hotels of Mumbai. She focuses on several individuals, carefully chipping away their facades to show their inner intricacies and humanize them. While most outsiders to Annawadi would likely look upon these people and think instantly of only one word—poor—Boo shows that this designation is nothing but simplistic caricature.

Rather, the people of Annawadi are people who possess sundry personal qualities, one of which happens to be poor. Because the characters are so vividly sketched, the main intrigue is overwhelming. In investigating the ultimate origins of poverty and corruption, Boo slowly unfolds the terrible story of the Husains, a Muslim family on the verge of true success that meets terrible tragedy when falsely accused of prompting their neighbor to self-immolate. The story is remarkable and reads like fiction, and its greatest strength is that I had no idea how it would be resolved. Whenever I remembered that the individuals charged with this crime were real—they actually existed and went through this trauma—I flipped the pages faster, eager and anxious for the conclusion, for I knew that any consequences would be absolute.

Such as: who do we blame for the problems of Annawadi? Who do we blame for the rampant corruption seeping through everything? He explains that doctors receive substandard wages from the government, and accepting bribes is an unfortunate necessity of his job. If everyone is trapped in this hypercompetitive system of making more and more, how can anyone do the moral thing? Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a story of many things. A promise of a better world. This promise of a better world is not exclusive to Mumbai; it can be extended to every city in every country. But do we delude ourselves in thinking this better world belongs to everyone? View all 9 comments.

Feb 19, Matthew Quann rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobooks , non-fiction. I've not read a ton of narrative nonfiction, but Katherine Boo's account of the Annawadi slum in Mumbai and the people who inhabit it makes for a thrilling and moving audiobook. Boo took home the National Book Award for Nonfiction in for this novel about the injustice and cyclical nature of poverty in India, so I imagine it is rather well read by my fellow Goodreadians.

So instead of me telling you what the book is about there's a synopsis or acting like an expert on poverty which I am n I've not read a ton of narrative nonfiction, but Katherine Boo's account of the Annawadi slum in Mumbai and the people who inhabit it makes for a thrilling and moving audiobook. So instead of me telling you what the book is about there's a synopsis or acting like an expert on poverty which I am not , I'll offer a list.

Here's four things I liked, and one thing I didn't like about the audiobook of Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Powerful Representation. Each person in this book is represented with frank honesty. Not everyone behaves admirably, but being presented with a the warts-and-all of a human makes them more realistic. Great Narration. Sunil Malhotra does a splendid job of taking on the role of each person in this book, helping to bring them to life. His voice has a great cadence and worked well for this book. I'll be on the lookout for him in the future. A Harrowing Story of Abject Poverty. I was stunned by the depths to which these people sink out of desperation.

Most notably, a woman immolates herself in the opening of this book in order to scorn a family whose garbage-picking business has been booming. There are many moments like this that both humanize and horrify. It's a Thinker. Boo offers no easy answers to problems encountered in this book. My thoughts were disorganized by the end of the final chapter, but Boo's afterwords helped to expand my understanding of her undertaking.

I'll continue to think about this book for some time to come. One thing I didn't like: The Big cast. Of course, this is part of the appeal of the book: it represents not just a single person or family's story, but is a story of many people. This is a critique aimed more at the audiobook as I would have been better able to remember the characters if I could see their names in front of me. If you have a hard time with names like me! Dec 06, Jean rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction. If you liked Slumdog Millionaire you will probably like this book.

I hated Slumdog Millionaire and I didn't like this book. I know it's a Pulitzer Prize winner, and I really tried. Just couldn't get into it. It's about Annawadi, a slum that grew up in the area of the airport in Mumbai. Boo tells the stories of several people who are trying to rise above their situations. Abdul is a smart teenager who sells scrap metal and is saving to move out. Asha is a woman who is trying to use political powe If you liked Slumdog Millionaire you will probably like this book. Asha is a woman who is trying to use political power and corruption to do the same. Then Abdul is accused of a crime, and the global recession hits Mumbai. Why I didn't like this book: 1. These people don't seem to be real; I never felt any connection to or sympathy for them.

Boo says she did years of research, countless interviews with the people in the book, and that she has even captured their thoughts. I hope it's just her writing style I don't care for. Nothing happens for long stretches of time. I started skimming after the first pages, and discovered that wherever I opened the book, nothing much had happened since the last time. Yes, there was some action involving Abdul's legal troubles, but every page was the same as the page before it. Maybe that was Boo's point. I'm sure someone will make a movie about the book. I suspect that in this case the movie might be better because it will compress the action to give it more tension.

But I probably won't like the movie any better than I did Slumdog Millionaire. Nov 23, Roxane rated it it was amazing. This book is quite an achievement. The reportage is thorough and passionate and careful and what it does best is reveal both the simplicity and complexity of absolute poverty. Though this book is set in a Mumbai slum, it could be about nearly any place in the Third World. So much of the book echoed with what I know about the slums of Port au Prince, for example. What is also striking is seeing how the people Boo writes about have hope in circumstances, that from the outside, seem so wholly hopel This book is quite an achievement.

What is also striking is seeing how the people Boo writes about have hope in circumstances, that from the outside, seem so wholly hopeless, so impossible to overcome. The corruption Boo details, corruption so deeply embedded at all levels of Indian society, is almost unbearable to read about but this information is shared without judgment and revealed, particularly for the residents of the Mumbai slum where Boo was embedded, as the only potential way out, however dim that potential might be. There's a lot to say about this book and a lot to think about. The only part of the book I struggled with was the ending, which was really abrupt and odd.

After the rich narrative Boo created, such an anemic ending was bizarre. Feb 11, Elyse Walters rated it really liked it Shelves: history , non-fiction , asia , travel. I started this book yesterday -- finished it this morning. I bought this book the first week it was released --hoping and waiting for my book club to 'choose' it. I've already had some experience living 'in-the-slums' in India. I experienced the filth, poverty, disease in the streets, 'almost-dead-people' sitting under filthy sinks reaching for drips of water in train bathrooms --dirt I started this book yesterday -- finished it this morning. I experienced the filth, poverty, disease in the streets, 'almost-dead-people' sitting under filthy sinks reaching for drips of water in train bathrooms --dirty hospitals trying to get help myself -- Food shortage -- eating only one small meal myself in the small 'poor village' , not enough room for sleeping in the small 'hut' either made of hay or cardboard.

Yes: I did those things! I also had the opportunity during that year adventure in India to visit an Indian Woman who lived in Goa Southern India -- stay in her house middle class standard -- I was given 3 meals a day during this period. In time I left India because I was sick. Flew to England --stayed in the London hospital over night -- was put to bed for the next two weeks. More Awareness! It reads like a novel.

A young boy is framed for a murder. What is new since being in India in the 's -- is the rapid growth in the cities the hotels, large swimming pools, business buildings, tourist expansion All this 'shares' land with 'the slums'. I have many friends from India. For that: I thank them! View all 10 comments. Shelves: non-fiction , culture , india , read , kindle , library-book , journalism. As Katherine Boo states in her Author's Note, "If the house is crooked and crumbling, and the land on which it sits uneven, is it possible to make anything lie straight?

The crookedness and crumbling are everywhere and the people Boo chooses to visit and document over several years are those on the society's bottom rung. This is a diffic As Katherine Boo states in her Author's Note, "If the house is crooked and crumbling, and the land on which it sits uneven, is it possible to make anything lie straight? This is a difficult book to read, at some times even more than others, but also important as it is real. These people are living now or at least as of date of publication! Highly recommended and, lest the reader forget, there are places like Annawadi all over the world whether they are physically the same or in the way they kill the inhabitants' spirit.

Yes here too in the US, though we try to cover up sewage lakes This book leaves you feeling devastated. Yes, I am glad I listened to it. I listened to the audiobook narrated perfectly by Sunil Malhorta. The shrill women voices are really spot on! The author herself narrates the afterword which explains the author's methodology. Friends recommended that I listen to that first, which I did, but I listened to it again after completing the book. Reading this part twice is what I advise. The first time allows you to listen to the details of the individuals and j This book leaves you feeling devastated. The first time allows you to listen to the details of the individuals and judge their validity.

The second time, having completed the book, you can better judge the author's conclusions. It is here that I wanted a bit more from the book. I wanted concrete suggestions from the author. What does she suggest be done to improve the situation? I want a further discussion of her ideas. I was left hanging and this was extremely unsatisfying. Half of the work is done I did not find it difficult to follow the numerous individuals even when listening.

The individuals became identities, each one reacting a bit differently. First I thought there were too many to follow in depth. Isn't it better to understand a few in depth rather than many only on the surface? It is pretty darn hard to define what success is! Is it more money, getting a house, or simply keeping alive? Is it reasonable to demand of these people high moral standards too? I compare this book to the one I have just completed, also about the homeless and the poor: This Side of Brightness.

The setting is different. One is fiction and one is not. I think they complement each other. I actually got closer to the souls of the fictional characters in McCann's book than I did to the real ones in Boo's! I don't mean this as a criticism, only as a statement of fact. What happens to the honesty so characteristic of small children? Boo asks this question. She points to the honesty of children, and what happens to it as we get older. I do recommend this book, and I feel that the acclaim given it is justly awarded. View all 16 comments. Dec 30, Vikram Pathania rated it it was ok. A much hyped book - I had heard and read a lot about it including high praise from some usually trusty sources. While it started on a promising note and held my attention until about the halfway mark, I could sense a growing disappointment with both style and substance.

The crisp writing aims to punch you in the guts as the unrelenting sequence of misery and death unfolds page after page. I get it - life in a Mumbai sluim is brutish but the writing style tries too hard to shock and quickly left A much hyped book - I had heard and read a lot about it including high praise from some usually trusty sources. I get it - life in a Mumbai sluim is brutish but the writing style tries too hard to shock and quickly left me jaded. The substance also left me dissatisfied. While it is not the author's intent to offer solutions, I did not find her offering compelling explanations for what transpires in Annawadi. The depressing sequence of events is laid out starkly but the explantion of motives is not always convincing. On the plus side, the book is a salutary reminder of the all pervasiveness of corruption - it permeates every level, and thwarts every well intentioned social scheme.

Before penning this review, I asked myself if I was unfairly blaming the author for not holding out a sliver of hope. And no, much as I would have loved to read about change for the better, I am not judging her work for its bleakness. Kafka is bleak and yet he dazzles. Katherine Boo's book does not. Dec 19, Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fic. Hell exists. If you want to see it, visit a Mumbai slum. Katherine Boo spent years getting to know the people of the Annawadi slum in Mumbai. She learned their hopes, their fears, the travails of their daily lives, and in behind The Beautiful Forevers she presents them in a compelling narrative that kept me glued to its pages at the same time as it broke my heart.

Through the stories of several people and families who cling to life in the stinking, ramshackle slum on the verge of the Mumbai airpor Hell exists. Through the stories of several people and families who cling to life in the stinking, ramshackle slum on the verge of the Mumbai airport Boo shows us a vision of a society stalked by hunger and deprivation, where corruption is rife. Officials steal millions of rupees meant for educating poor children. Charities sell donated food at a profit to the poor it was meant to be given to. The police extort money to even reveal which crimes they have charged you with. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is on the take in a horrifying, nationwide version of the prisoner's dilemma where no-one chooses cooperation. Boo tells us the stories of Abdul, a garbage dealer who sells rubbish to recyclers, and his family - Muslims in a slum where the Hindi nationalism of the local Shiv Sena party hangs over their heads like an axe.

She introduces us to Asha, a corrupt aspiring slumlord with Shiv Sena connections who through many dubious schemes and near-outright prostitution to powerful men is also trying to better her lot in life. We follow them as they try to escape the terrible gravitational pull of poverty. We watch as Abdul and his family are accused of driving a neighbor to suicide and sucked into the labyrinthine corruption of India's justice system. We see Asha as she rises in the local hierarchy, but still gets repeatedly ripped off by higher ups.

He was held in fear--his dossiers could disgorge the dark secret of anyone who opposed him. He was, he claimed, above politics, above deals; and through decade after decade, the newspapers and the public believed. Meanwhile, he was developing his public authorities into a fourth branch of government known as "Triborough"--a government whose records were closed to the public, whose policies and plans were decided not by voters or elected officials but solely by Moses--an immense economic force directing pressure on labor unions, on banks, on all the city's political and economic institutions, and on the press, and on the Church. He doled out millions of dollars' worth of legal fees, insurance commissions, lucrative contracts on the basis of who could best pay him back in the only coin he coveted: power.

He dominated the politics and politicians of his time--without ever having been elected to any office. He was, in essence, above our democratic system. Robert Moses held power in the state for 44 years, through the governorships of Smith, Roosevelt, Lehman, Dewey, Harriman and Rockefeller, and in the city for 34 years, through the mayoralties of La Guardia, O'Dwyer, Impellitteri, Wagner and Lindsay, He personally conceived and carried through public works costing 27 billion dollars--he was undoubtedly America's greatest builder.

This is how he built and dominated New York--before, finally, he was stripped of his reputation by the press and his power by Nelson Rockefeller. But his work, and his will, had been done. Buy on Amazon. Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, , William H. Seward, Salmon P. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent s, each had energetically sought the Throughout the turbulent s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires. It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through. Educated Tara Westover 4. Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement.

Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Washington Black Esi Edugyan 4. Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning.

But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life, one which will propel him further across the globe. From the sultry cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, Washington Black tells a story of friendship and betrayal, love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again--and asks the question, what is true freedom? The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision. Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 4. Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

Source: chimamanda. A debut from Forbes' third most powerful woman in the world, Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women's empowerment. For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women. In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women's empowerment and the health of societies. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference. Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether and when to have children, Gates took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning.

That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms. Throughout, Gates introduces us to her heroes in the movement towards equality, offers startling data, shares moving conversations she's had with women from all over the world—and shows how we can all get involved. A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates' journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world's foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equity is the lever that lifts everything.

Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before.

Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human. Seveneves Neal Stephenson 4. What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain Five thousand years later, their progeny -- seven distinct races now three billion strong Five thousand years later, their progeny -- seven distinct races now three billion strong -- embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown Don't have time to read Barack Obama's favorite books?

Read Shortform summaries. Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by: Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance. Sign Up for Free Book Summaries. Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.

Since his triumphant release in from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived.

In classically elegant and engrossing prose, he tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in a Jewish firm in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the s. He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of , at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Herecounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid.

Finally he provides the ultimate inside account. As a young man, Frederick Douglass — escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot.

After the war he sometimes argued politically with younger African Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. Recommended by Barack Obama, Eddie S. From one of Barack Obama's closest aides comes a revelatory behind-the-scenes account of his presidency--and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive--in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Kennedy in the White House. For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration--first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator.

He started every morning in the Oval Office with the He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President's Daily Briefing, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. Now he tells the full story of his partnership--and, ultimately, friendship--with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States. Rhodes was not your typical presidential confidant, and this is not your typical White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail by someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most poignant, tense, and consequential moments of the Obama presidency--waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, and confronting the resurgence of nationalism and nativism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump.

In The World as It Is, Rhodes shows what it was like to be there--from the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and--above all--Barack Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama's worldview and presidency, a chronicle of a political education by a writer of enormous talent, and an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade.

Invisible Man Ralph Ellison 4. First published in and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison's nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be. As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying "battle royal" where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying "battle royal" where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief.

Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American language, black and white, Invisible Man is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century. Life 3. How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology--and there's nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who's helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today's kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons?

Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle? What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn't shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues--from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos. Magnificent, splendid memoirs woven with nature and a healing process of grief from the bereavement of her beloved father. In Korean. Annotation copyright Tsai Fong Books, Inc. Distributed by Tsai Fong Books, Inc. Moby-Dick Herman Melville 3.

Journey to the heart of the sea with this larger-than-life classic. Narrated by the crew member Ishmael, this epic whaling adventure follows the crew of the "Pequod," as its captain, Ahab, descends deeper and deeper into madness on his quest to find and kill the white whale that maimed him. Beyond the surface--of ship life, whaling, and the hunt for the elusive Moby Dick--are allegorical references to life--and even the universe--in this masterpiece by Herman Melville. Complete and unabridged, this elegantly designed clothbound edition features an elastic closure and a new introduction by Christopher McBride.

Studs Terkel records the voices of America. Men and women from every walk of life talk to him, telling him of their likes and dislikes, fears, problems, and happinesses on the job. Once again, Terkel has created a rich and unique document that is as simple as conversation, but as subtle and heartfelt as the meaning of our lives In the first trade paperback edition of his national bestseller, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel presents "the real American experience" Chicago Daily News -- "a magnificent book. A work of art. To read it is to hear America talking. Recommended by Barack Obama, Ev Williams, and 2 others. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and menbodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion.

What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his sonand readersthe story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder.

Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as "magical realism. The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead 4. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits.

When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre—Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

Recommended by Barack Obama, Joshua M. Brown, Bogdana Butnar, and 3 others. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced.

Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients' anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them. In his bestselling books, Gawande has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures--in his own practices as well as others'--as life draws to a close.

Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life--all the way to the very end. Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

In Factfulness , Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective —from our tendency to divide the world into two camps usually some version of us and them to the way we consume media where fear rules to how we perceive progress believing that most things are getting worse.

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future. Max, a wild and naughty boy, is sent to bed without his supper by his exhausted mother.

In his room, he imagines sailing far away to a land of Wild Things. Instead of eating him, the Wild Things make Max their king. Today there is just one. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism?

And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens , Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the In Sapiens , Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical — and sometimes devastating — breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded?

Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power Donald Trump's presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we'd be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes.

Democracy no longer ends with a bang--in a revolution or military coup--but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die--and how ours can be saved.

Becoming Michelle Obama 4. In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith 4. In his book, Smith fervently extolled the simple yet enlightened notion that individuals are fully capable of setting and regulating prices for their own goods and services.

He argued passionately in favor of free trade, yet stood up for the little guy. The Wealth of Nations provided the first--and still the most eloquent--integrated description of the workings of a market economy. Washington A Life Ron Chernow 4. The celebrated Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of America. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life, he carries the reader through Washington's troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian Wars, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

Despite the reverence his name inspires Washington remains a waxwork to many readers, worthy but dull, a laconic man of remarkable Despite the reverence his name inspires Washington remains a waxwork to many readers, worthy but dull, a laconic man of remarkable self-control. But in this groundbreaking work Chernow revises forever the uninspiring stereotype. He portrays Washington as a strapping, celebrated horseman, elegant dancer and tireless hunter, who guarded his emotional life with intriguing ferocity. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, he orchestrated their actions to help realise his vision for the new federal government, define the separation of powers, and establish the office of the presidency.

Ron Chernow takes us on a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. This is a magisterial work from one of America's foremost writers and historians. In Washington: A Life biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. Despite the reverence his name inspires, Washington remains a lifeless waxwork for many, worthy but dull. A laconic man of granite self-control, he often arouses more respect than affection. This work, based on massive research, dashes the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man.

At the same time this is an astute portrait of a canny politician who knew how to inspire people. This biography takes us on a page-turning journey thru the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its subject, this is a magisterial work from an elegant storyteller. Recommended by Barack Obama, Ryan Holiday, and 2 others.

It is not my purpose to attempt a real autobiography. I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography. Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification; without self-purification, the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream; God can never be realised by one who is not pure of heart.

Self-purification, therefore, must remain purification in all walks of life. And purification being And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to the purification of one's surroundings. But the path to self-purification is hard and steep. To attain perfect purity, one has to become absolutely passion-free in thought, speech and action; to rise above the opposing currents of love and hatred, attachment and repulsion. I know that I have not in me as yet the triple purity, in spite of constant ceaseless striving for it.

That is why the world's praise fails to move me; indeed it very often stings me. To conquer the subtle passions seems to me far harder than the physical conquest of the world by the force of arms. Ever since my return to India, I have had experiences of the dormant passions lying hidden within me. The knowledge of them has made me feel humiliated though not defeated.

The experiences and experiments have sustained me and given me great joy. But I know I still have before me a difficult path to traverse. I must reduce myself to zero. So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him. Ahimsa is the farthest limit of humility. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 26 November, The Best and the Brightest David Halberstam 4. The Best and the Brightest is David Halberstam's masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy.

Using portraits of America's flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country's recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam and why did it lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It's an American classic. Why Liberalism Failed Patrick J. Has liberalism failed because it has succeeded? Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history.

Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure. Recommended by Barack Obama, and 1 others. Warlight Michael Ondaatje 3. It is , and London is still reeling from years of war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, seemingly abandoned by their parents, have been left in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. They suspect he may be a criminal and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect and educate in rather unusual ways the siblings.

But are they really what and who they claim to be? And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother returns without their father after months of silence--explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn't know or understand during that time, and it is this journey--through reality, recollection, and imagi-nation--that is told in this magnificent novel.

Recommended by Barack Obama, Katharine Grant, and 2 others. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries.

These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this moving memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country.

Recommended by Barack Obama, Stephanie Flanders, and 2 others. From a rising young economist, an examination of innovation and success, and where to find them in America. An unprecedented redistribution of jobs, population, and wealth is under way in America, and it is likely to accelerate in the years to come. In this important and persuasive book, U. Drawing on a wealth of stimulating new studies, Moretti uncovers what smart policies may be appropriate to address the social challenges that are arising. But today there are three Americas. At one extreme are the brain hubs—cities like San Francisco, Boston, Austin, and Durham—with a well-educated labor force and a strong innovation sector. Their workers are among the most productive, creative, and best paid on the planet.

At the other extreme are cities once dominated by traditional manufacturing, which are declining rapidly, losing jobs and residents. In the middle are a number of cities that could go either way. For the past thirty years, the three Americas have been growing apart at an accelerating rate. This divergence is one the most important recent developments in the United States and is causing growing geographic disparities is all other aspects of our lives, from health and longevity to family stability and political engagement. Among the beneficiaries are the workers who support the "idea-creators"—the carpenters, hair stylists, personal trainers, lawyers, doctors, teachers and the like. In fact, Moretti has shown that for every new innovation job in a city, five additional non-innovation jobs are created, and those workers earn higher salaries than their counterparts in other cities.

As the global economy shifted from manufacturing to innovation, geography was supposed to matter less. But the pundits were wrong. A new map is being drawn—the inevitable result of deep-seated but rarely discussed economic forces. These trends are reshaping the very fabric of our society. The New Orleans mayor who removed the Confederate statues confronts the racism that shapes us and argues for white America to reckon with its past. A passionate, personal, urgent book from the man who sparked a national debate. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history.

His father, as state senator and mayor, was a huge force in the integration of New Orleans in the s and s. Landrieu grew up with a progressive education in one of the nation's most racially divided cities, but even he had to relearn Southern history as it really happened. Equal parts unblinking memoir, history, and prescription for finally confronting America's most painful legacy, In the Shadow of Statues will contribute strongly to the national conversation about race in the age of Donald Trump, at a time when racism is resurgent with seemingly tacit approval from the highest levels of government and when too many Americans have a misplaced nostalgia for a time and place that never existed.

Recommended by Walter Isaacson, Barack Obama, and 2 others. A House for Mr. Biswas V S Naipaul 3. The early masterpiece of V. Biswas is an unforgettable story inspired by Naipaul's father that has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels. In his forty-six short years, Mr. Mohun Biswas has been fighting against destiny to achieve some semblance of independence, only to face a lifetime of calamity. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning death of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr.

Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. But when he marries into the But when he marries into the domineering Tulsi family on whom he indignantly becomes dependent, Mr. Biswas embarks on an arduous—and endless—struggle to weaken their hold over him and purchase a house of his own. A heartrending, dark comedy of manners, A House for Mr. Set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya's independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a group of villagers whose lives have been transformed by the Emergency. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village's chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret. As we learn of the villagers' tangled histories in a narrative interwoven with myth and peppered with allusions to real-life leaders, including Jomo Kenyatta, a masterly story unfolds in which compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed, and loves are tested.

An acclaimed journalist travels the globe to solve the mystery of her ancestry, confronting the question at the heart of the American experience of immigration, race, and identity: Who are my people? Futureface raises urgent questions having to do with history and complicity. Her father's ancestors immigrated to the United States from Ireland and Luxembourg. Her mother fled Rangoon in the s, escaping Her mother fled Rangoon in the s, escaping Burma's military dictatorship. In her professional life, Wagner reported from the Arizona-Mexico border, where agents, drones, cameras, and military hardware guarded the line between two nations. She listened to debates about whether the United States should be a melting pot or a salad bowl.

She knew that moving from one land to another--and the accompanying recombination of individual and tribal identities--was the story of America. And she was happy that her own mixed-race ancestry and late twentieth-century education had taught her that identity is mutable and meaningless, a thing we make rather than a thing we are. When a cousin's offhand comment threw a mystery into her personal story-introducing the possibility of an exciting new twist in her already complex family history--Wagner was suddenly awakened to her own deep hunger to be something, to belong , to have an identity that mattered, a tribe of her own. Intoxicated by the possibility, she became determined to investigate her genealogy. So she set off on a quest to find the truth about her family history.

The journey takes Wagner from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals with records written on banana leaves to Mormon databases and high-tech genetic labs. As she gets closer to solving the mystery of her own ancestry, she begins to grapple with a deeper question: Does it matter? Is our enduring obsession with blood and land, race and identity, worth all the trouble it's caused us? The answers can be found in this deeply personal account of her search for belonging, a meditation on the things that define us as insiders and outsiders and make us think in terms of "us" and "them. A timely examination by a leading scientist of the physical, psychological, and moral effects of inequality.

The levels of inequality in the world today are on a scale that have not been seen in our lifetimes, yet the disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. In The Broken Ladder psychologist Keith Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically; it also has profound consequences for how we think, how we respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and even how we view moral concepts such as justice In The Broken Ladder psychologist Keith Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically; it also has profound consequences for how we think, how we respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and even how we view moral concepts such as justice and fairness.

Research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics has not only revealed important new insights into how inequality changes people in predictable ways but also provided a corrective to the flawed view of poverty as being the result of individual character failings. Among modern developed societies, inequality is not primarily a matter of the actual amount of money people have. It is, rather, people's sense of where they stand in relation to others. Feeling poor matters--not just being poor. Regardless of their average incomes, countries or states with greater levels of income inequality have much higher rates of all the social maladies we associate with poverty, including lower than average life expectancies, serious health problems, mental illness, and crime.

The Broken Ladder explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children, and why they have them at a younger age; why there is little trust among the working class in the prudence of investing for the future; why people's perception of their social status affects their political beliefs and leads to greater political divisions; how poverty raises stress levels as effectively as actual physical threats; how inequality in the workplace affects performance; and why unequal societies tend to become more religious.

Understanding how inequality shapes our world can help us better understand what drives ideological divides, why high inequality makes the middle class feel left behind, and how to disconnect from the endless treadmill of social comparison. An American Marriage Tayari Jones 4. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding.

Recommended by Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and 2 others. There There Tommy Orange 4. Tommy Orange's wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle's death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American--grappling with Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American--grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating old age, mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Recommended by Barack Obama, Austin Kleon, and 2 others. Immigrant, Montana Amitava Kumar 3. The author of the widely praised Lunch with a Bigot now gives us a remarkable novel--reminiscent of Teju Cole, W. Sebald, John Berger--about a young new immigrant to the United States in search of love: across dividing lines between cultures, between sexes, and between the particular desires of one man and the women he comes to love.

The young man is Kailash, from India. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in--and more than that, to shine. In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience; the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life; the indelible influence of a charismatic professor--also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's is decidedly not; the very different natures of the women he loved, and of himself in and out of love with each of them.

Telling his own story, AK is both meditative and the embodiment of the enthusiasm of youth in all its idealism and chaotic desires. His wry, vivid perception of the world he's making his own, and the brilliant melding of story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, picture and text, give us a singularly engaging, insightful, and moving novel--one that explores the varieties and vagaries of cultural misunderstanding, but is, as well, an impassioned investigation of love.

Florida Lauren Groff 3. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive.

Feel Free Zadie Smith 4. From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about?

Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith. Asymmetry Lisa Halliday 3. A singularly inventive and unforgettable debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, Folly tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer.

A tender and exquisite account of an By contrast, Madness is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, in , by the age of eleven, Arthur Ashe was one of the state's most talented black tennis players. Jim Crow restrictions barred Ashe from competing with whites. Still, in he won the National Junior Indoor singles title, which led to a But much of the book explores his off-court career as a human rights activist, philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, businessman, and celebrity. In the s and s, Ashe gained renown as an advocate for sportsmanship, education, racial equality, and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. But from on, he was forced to deal with a serious heart condition that led to multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, one of which left him HIV-positive.

In , after completing a three-volume history of African-American athletes, he was diagnosed with AIDS, a condition he revealed only four years later. After devoting the last ten months of his life to AIDS activism, he died in February at the age of forty-nine, leaving an inspiring legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War.

For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still. Recommended by Barack Obama, Barbara Ehrenreich, and 2 others. Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult.

Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive? A national bestseller when it first appeared in , The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Described by The New York Times Lessons in Disaster Gordon Goldstein 4.

I made mistakes of perception, recommendation and execution. If I have learned anything I should share it. Kennedy and Lyndon B. But in the last years of his life, Bundy--the only principal architect of Vietnam strategy to have But in the last years of his life, Bundy--the only principal architect of Vietnam strategy to have maintained his public silence--decided to revisit the decisions that had led to war and to look anew at the role he played. In this original and provocative work of presidential history, Gordon M. Goldstein distills the essential lessons of America's involvement in Vietnam, drawing on his prodigious research as well as interviews and analysis he conducted with Bundy before his death in Lessons in Disaster is a historical tour de force on the uses and misuses of American power, and offers instructive guidance that we must heed if we are not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Following on the success of his best-selling The Future of Freedom, Zakaria describes with equal prescience a world in which the United States will no longer dominate the global economy, orchestrate geopolitics, or overwhelm cultures. He sees the "rise of the rest"—the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and many others—as the great story of our time, and one that will reshape the world. The tallest buildings, biggest dams, largest-selling movies, and most advanced cell phones are all being built outside the United States. This economic growth is producing political confidence, national pride, and potentially international problems. How should the United States understand and thrive in this rapidly changing international climate? What does it mean to live in a truly global era?

Zakaria answers these questions with his customary lucidity, insight, and imagination. Most people know juvenile offenders only from daily headlines, and the images portrayed by the media are extreme and violent: predators and even "superpredators. A Kind and Just Parent gives us a transformative view of kids caught up in the justice system that we could never get from nightly news and newspaper stories. William Ayers has spent five years as teacher and observer in Chicago's Juvenile Court prison, the nation's first and largest William Ayers has spent five years as teacher and observer in Chicago's Juvenile Court prison, the nation's first and largest institution of juvenile justice, founded by legendary reformer Jane Addams to act as a "kind and just parent" for kids in need.

Today, immensely confused and confusing, it serves as a perfect microcosm of the way American justice deals with children. Through brilliant storytelling, Ayers captures the lives and personalities of young people caught up in the juvenile justice system. The book follows a year in the life of the prison school. Its characters are three dimensional: funny, quirky, sometimes violent, and often vulnerable.

We see young people talking about their lives, analyzing their own situations, and thinking about their friends and their futures. We watch them throughout a school year and meet some remarkable teachers. From the intimate perspective of a teacher, Ayers gives us portraits, history, and analysis that help us to understand not only what brought these kids into the court system, but why people find it hard to think straight about them, and what we might do to keep their younger brothers and sisters from landing in the same place. Unsentimental yet wrenching, A Kind and Just Parent is a riveting look at kids and crime. It will change the way Americans think about juvenile crime and juvenile justice.

Reinhold Niebuhr was one of America's foremost twentieth-century religious thinkers and social critics. As pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, he became deeply interested in social problems. Ultimately, he abandoned his liberal Protestant hopes for the church's moral rule of society and became a Socialist activist. Moral Man and Immoral Society is Niebuhr's eloquent argument for the church's involvement in social reforms as well as a platform for his Moral Man and Immoral Society is Niebuhr's eloquent argument for the church's involvement in social reforms as well as a platform for his beliefs that men are sinners, that society is ruled by self-interest, and that history is characterized by irony, not progress.

Recommended by Barack Obama, Richard Harries, and 2 others. In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources. Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.

An index to the 8-volume collected works of Abraham Lincoln. This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details. It was Roosevelt who revolutionized the art of campaigning and used the burgeoning mass media to garner public support and allay fears. The result is a powerful account that adds fresh perspectives and draws profound conclusions about a man whose story is widely known but far less well understood. Written for the general reader and scholars alike, FDR is a stunning biography in every way worthy of its subject. From the Hardcover edition.

This is the story of a political miracle - the perfect match of man and moment. Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March of as America touched bottom. Banks were closing everywhere. Millions of people lost everything. The Great Depression had caused a national breakdown. With the craft of a master storyteller, Jonathan Alter brings us closer than ever before to the Roosevelt magic.

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