The Future

the FutureBy Al Gore

From the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything – a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come.

Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world:

  • Ever-increasing economic globalization has led to the emergence of what he labels “Earth Inc.” – an integrated holistic entity with a new and different relationship to capital, labor, consumer markets, and national governments than in the past.
  • The worldwide digital communications, Internet, and computer revolutions have led to the emergence of “the Global Mind,” which links the thoughts and feelings of billions of people and connects intelligent machines, robots, ubiquitous sensors, and databases.
  • The balance of global political, economic, and military power is shifting more profoundly than at any time in the last five hundred years – from a U.S.-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power, from nation-states to private actors, and from political systems to markets.
  • A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species.
  • Genomic, biotechnology, neuroscience, and life sciences revolutions are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science – and are putting control of evolution in human hands.
  • There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide.

From his earliest days in public life, Al Gore has been warning us of the promise and peril of emergent truths – no matter how “inconvenient” they may seem to be. As absorbing as it is visionary, The Future is a map of the world to come, from a man who has looked ahead before and been proven all too right.

Drift

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

By Rachel Maddow

“One of my favorite ideas is, never to keep an unnecessary soldier,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1792. Neither Jefferson nor the other Found-ers could ever have envisioned the modern national security state, with its tens of thousands of “privateers”; its bloated Department of Homeland Security; its rust-ing nuclear weapons, ill-maintained and difficult to dismantle; and its strange fascination with an unproven counterinsurgency doctrine.

Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow’s Drift argues that we’ve drifted away from America’s original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. To understand how we’ve arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today’s war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. She offers up a fresh, unsparing appraisal of Reagan’s radical presidency. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the priorities of the national security state to overpower our political discourse.

Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri-ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a “loud and jangly” political debate about how, when, and where to apply America’s strength and power–and who gets to make those decisions.

The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity

By Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy

The first history of the private relationships among modern American presidents–their backroom deals, rescue missions, secret alliances, and enduring rivalries.

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The letter from Nixon that Bill Clinton rereads every year. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.

Journalists and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new tool to understand the presidency by exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.

Corporations Are Not People

Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do about It

By Jeffrey D. Clements, with a foreword by Bill Moyers

This is the first practical guide for every citizen on the problem of corporate personhood and the tools we have to overturn it. Jeff Clements explains why the Citizen’s United case is the final win in a campaign for corporate domination of the state that began in the 1970s under Richard Nixon. More than this, Clements shows how unfettered corporate rights will impact public health, energy policy, the environment, and the justice system. Where Thom Hartmann’s Unequal Protection provides a much-needed detailed legal history of corporate personhood, Corporations Are Not People answers the reader’s question: “What does Citizens United mean to me?” And, even more important, it provides a solution: a Constitutional amendment, included in the book, which would reverse Citizens United. The book’s ultimate goal is to give every citizen the tools and talking points to overturn corporate personhood state by state, community by community with petitions, house party kits, draft letters, shareholder resolutions, and much more.

Back to Work

Back to Work coverBy Bill Clinton

“A lucid one-man rebuttal of the Tea Party’s anti-government agenda and a practical set of proposals . . . for restoring economic growth. A succinct common-sense argument for why America needs a strong national government, why both spending cuts and increased tax revenues are necessary for addressing the debt problem (which is going to get worse given the demographics of an aging baby-boomer population and the high costs of interest payments), and why that debt problem ‘can’t be solved unless the economy starts growing again.'” –Michiko Kakutani, “The New York Times”

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