FDL Book Salon Coming Attractions: The Offense of Lewis Libby and The Fallacy of George W. Bush

We've got a busy June ahead of us at the FDL Book Salon.  It's shaping up as a month devoted to the many different ways that the current administration has taken the country into a lawless and dangerous place and left it there without a clear way home.

The United States v. I. Lewis Libby On Sunday, June 10, we'll be hosting investigative reporter Murray Waas, the author and editor of The United States v. I. Lewis Libby.  This book, due to be released tomorrow, combines transcripts from the Libby trial and Waas's own reporting.  It shows how the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative was one part of a larger plan to preserve the fiction that "intelligence failures," rather than deliberate manipulations of the truth, were behind the administration's bogus claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency Then on Sunday, June 24, Glenn Greenwald returns to discuss his forthcoming book, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency.  Greenwald's book may be the first ever about how a President was undone by a logical fallacy familiar to anyone who has ever taken a freshman year philosophy class.  That fallacy–known as the either/or fallacy (more…)

FDL Book Salon Coming Attractions: The Offense of Lewis Libby and The Fallacy of George W. Bush

We've got a busy June ahead of us at the FDL Book Salon.  It's shaping up as a month devoted to the many different ways that the current administration has taken the country into a lawless and dangerous place and left it there without a clear way home.

The United States v. I. Lewis Libby On Sunday, June 10, we'll be hosting investigative reporter Murray Waas, the author and editor of The United States v. I. Lewis Libby.  This book, due to be released tomorrow, combines transcripts from the Libby trial and Waas's own reporting.  It shows how the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative was one part of a larger plan to preserve the fiction that "intelligence failures," rather than deliberate manipulations of the truth, were behind the administration's bogus claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency Then on Sunday, June 24, Glenn Greenwald returns to discuss his forthcoming book, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency.  Greenwald's book may be the first ever about how a President was undone by a logical fallacy familiar to anyone who has ever taken a freshman year philosophy class.  That fallacy–known as the either/or fallacy (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Chris Hedges

American Fascists (Please welcome author Chris Hedges, who is here to discuss his new book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  As always with guests here at FDL, please be polite and stay on topic in comments and questions.  Any off-topic comments should be taken to another thread.  Please join me in giving Chris a big FDL welcome.  JFT)

Books about the scarier aspects of the religious right are something of a preferred genre in our house.  What's uniquely insightful about Hedges' book is the connection he makes between the ongoing destruction of the American middle class and the rise of the megachurch political machine.  People who have been disposessed from their livelihoods and communities are prime candidates for recruitment by preachers and politicians who offer easy answers, convenient scapegoats, and both earthly and heavenly salvation.  Just vote for me and give me your credit card number, and everything will be fine. 

Despite his in-your-face title, Hedges doesn't toss the F-word around casually.  He prefaces the book with Umberto Eco's essay on Eternal Fascism.  Eco lists fourteen features of what he calls Ur-Fascism, which may be summarized like this:

  1. A cult of tradition.
  2. A rejection of modernism.
  3. A cult (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Chris Hedges

American Fascists (Please welcome author Chris Hedges, who is here to discuss his new book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  As always with guests here at FDL, please be polite and stay on topic in comments and questions.  Any off-topic comments should be taken to another thread.  Please join me in giving Chris a big FDL welcome.  JFT)

Books about the scarier aspects of the religious right are something of a preferred genre in our house.  What's uniquely insightful about Hedges' book is the connection he makes between the ongoing destruction of the American middle class and the rise of the megachurch political machine.  People who have been disposessed from their livelihoods and communities are prime candidates for recruitment by preachers and politicians who offer easy answers, convenient scapegoats, and both earthly and heavenly salvation.  Just vote for me and give me your credit card number, and everything will be fine. 

Despite his in-your-face title, Hedges doesn't toss the F-word around casually.  He prefaces the book with Umberto Eco's essay on Eternal Fascism.  Eco lists fourteen features of what he calls Ur-Fascism, which may be summarized like this:

  1. A cult of tradition.
  2. A rejection of modernism.
  3. A cult (more…)

Book Salon Double Header

We're having a special Book Salon double-header on Sunday, May 20.

51q2wcq8xxl_aa240_.jpg At 1:00, Laura Flanders, the host of RadioNation on Air America, will come by to discuss her new book, Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians.

Blue Grit is both a love letter and a wake-up call.  Like Diogenes in search of an honest man, Flanders travels the country looking for the soul of the Democratic Party.  She finds it not among the Sunday morning talking heads or the national party leaders, but in places like Utah, South Dakota, Mississippi and southern Ohio–places where liberal Democrats have grown victorious candidates in less-than-fertile soil.  These are the Democrats with blue grit, the ones who understand that "to change people's minds, you have to stir things up.  You have to really pick a fight, not pick at it, squirm and flinch."

Throughout the book, Flanders points out that the success of candidates like Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is due less to the fine qualities of those candidates themselves than to the hours, days, months and years of work that other people put into energizing, organizing and uniting (more…)

Book Salon Double Header

We're having a special Book Salon double-header on Sunday, May 20.

51q2wcq8xxl_aa240_.jpg At 1:00, Laura Flanders, the host of RadioNation on Air America, will come by to discuss her new book, Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians.

Blue Grit is both a love letter and a wake-up call.  Like Diogenes in search of an honest man, Flanders travels the country looking for the soul of the Democratic Party.  She finds it not among the Sunday morning talking heads or the national party leaders, but in places like Utah, South Dakota, Mississippi and southern Ohio–places where liberal Democrats have grown victorious candidates in less-than-fertile soil.  These are the Democrats with blue grit, the ones who understand that "to change people's minds, you have to stir things up.  You have to really pick a fight, not pick at it, squirm and flinch."

Throughout the book, Flanders points out that the success of candidates like Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is due less to the fine qualities of those candidates themselves than to the hours, days, months and years of work that other people put into energizing, organizing and uniting (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes A New Editor and Author Chris Hedges

51m08jdce8l_aa240_.jpg (Please welcome our new Book Salon editor, James F. Trumm — JH)

I'm a boomerang kid who fled the midwest at 17, lived in New England for the next 19 years, and then returned to Northwest Ohio to teach, write, and raise kids.  I'm a promiscuous reader; I'll get into bed with just about any old book.  I’ve reviewed books for the Toledo Blade and other publications and maintain my own blog at framed.typepad.com.  Now I’ll be helping to shoulder editorial duties at the FDL Book Salon.

Despite my experience, I can't run the book salon alone, so I'm counting on loyal FDL readers to help. Specifically, I'd like to hear your ideas on what the book salon should do and be.  Keeping in mind that we want to feature recent books that appeal to a liberal audience, what books would you like to see featured?  Are there any topics you'd like to see explored more? Drop me some comments here, or if you'd rather, send me your suggestions at jftrumm AT gmail DOT com.

The first salon I’ll be hosting will feature American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges.  (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes A New Editor and Author Chris Hedges

51m08jdce8l_aa240_.jpg (Please welcome our new Book Salon editor, James F. Trumm — JH)

I'm a boomerang kid who fled the midwest at 17, lived in New England for the next 19 years, and then returned to Northwest Ohio to teach, write, and raise kids.  I'm a promiscuous reader; I'll get into bed with just about any old book.  I’ve reviewed books for the Toledo Blade and other publications and maintain my own blog at framed.typepad.com.  Now I’ll be helping to shoulder editorial duties at the FDL Book Salon.

Despite my experience, I can't run the book salon alone, so I'm counting on loyal FDL readers to help. Specifically, I'd like to hear your ideas on what the book salon should do and be.  Keeping in mind that we want to feature recent books that appeal to a liberal audience, what books would you like to see featured?  Are there any topics you'd like to see explored more? Drop me some comments here, or if you'd rather, send me your suggestions at jftrumm AT gmail DOT com.

The first salon I’ll be hosting will feature American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges.  (more…)