FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard A. Baker, The American Senate: An Insider’s History

By: Saturday January 11, 2014 2:00 pm

A book this broad-ranging is valuable for a variety of purposes. Political junkies will find many great anecdotes that they have never encountered before. There are many well-drawn sketches of important senators of the past, from Dirksen to Mansfield to Conkling to Sumner. People interested in understanding how contemporary Senate practices in various areas evolved can turn to the relevant chapters. History, political science, and civics teachers will find useful examples to give students entree into previous eras. Anyone who reads the book will have a better, more multi-faceted understanding of the Senate and its role in American politics.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Vincent E. Green, Corruption in the Twenty-First Century: Combating Unethical Practices in Government, Commerce, and Society

By: Saturday September 21, 2013 1:59 pm

Corruption is a relative crime: a bribe in one country might be a gratuity in another or a lawful act of lobbying in yet another. However, these norms are not set in stone. Public servants and businesspeople adjust to new systems. Citizen expectations change. Democracies evolve. These changes require enforcers like Vincent Green. But they also require whistleblowers and everyday people who refuse to acquiesce to wrongs. Green’s book shows why we should fight for a more transparent and accountable democracy, and many concrete and important steps towards this goal.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Hedrick Smith, Who Stole The American Dream?

By: Sunday February 3, 2013 1:59 pm

There are books about Washington and books about business. Rarely do these worlds collide so dramatically than in Hedrick Smith’s Who Stole The American Dream. He explores pivotal decisions and their relative impacts in these two seemingly disparate worlds with keen insight and analysis. The relationships and connections he traces can be described as a “mash-up” of some of his best reporting.

FDL Movie Night: Scenes of a Crime

By: Monday January 7, 2013 5:00 pm

After watching Scenes of a Crime, the acclaimed documentary from Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh about police interrogation techniques eliciting a false confession, I was struck by how simple and obvious the methods are, yet how utterly effective. If you’ve ever watched more than an episode of the original Law & Order, the Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation should be familiar to you–and no doubt, we think securely, if ever falsely accused of a crime, we’d never fall for them.

Don’t be so sure, says Richard Ofshe, a U.S. expert witness on false confessions.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Martin Hickman, Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain

By: Sunday July 15, 2012 1:59 pm

Reading Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman gave me the same feel as watching the movie Apollo 13. I knew the ending. I knew some broad strokes. News of the World, a Murdoch paper, got caught hacking the phone of a missing girl, they got busted. Some cops were involved, News International got caught covering it up and decided to shut down News of the World. People were paid off, some Murdoch executives went to jail, some powerful political aids and police resigned and then Murdoch got a pie in the face while testifying.

FDL Movie Night: Chasing Madoff

By: Monday September 26, 2011 5:00 pm

Chasing Madoff’s protagonist, Harry Markopolos doesn’t call himself a hero. He just says he’s a citizen “doing what your supposed to do.”

For Markopolos, that meant spending over a decade trying to get anyone and everyone to listen to his analysis of Bernie Madoff’s funds and to look at the evidence that Madoff was a fraud. Luckily, he had a trio of friends –including financial reporter Michael Ocrant who wrote the first article exposing Madoff years before the scandal broke– helping him investigate. But not even Ocrant’s story, which led to a follow-up article in Barrons was enough to get the SEC to sit up and take notice.

Update On Two Torture Investigations

By: Wednesday July 13, 2011 7:30 am

Some new developments in the Manadel al-Jamad and Binyam Mohamed torture investigations.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.

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