With the approaching holiday season and its associated opportunities to purchase gifts for loved ones, I thought it might be nice to post my "citizenship list" of books that I think every American should read. Perhaps at some point in the future, I can post reviews or summaries of some of these books, as well as new ones I come across. What distinguishes these books from many other good ones out there is that each of them is based on solid research that illuminates some particular issue of public importance. In other words, they are books that educate citizens.
* * *
My “Citizenship List”:
Anderson, Elijah. Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City
. New York: Norton, 1999.
Barlett, Donald L., and James B. Steele. America: Who Really Pays the Taxes?
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Bollier, David. Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth
. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Caufield, Catherine. Masters of Illusion: The World Bank and the Poverty of Nations
. New York: Holt, 1996.
Cohen, David. Chasing the Red, White, and Blue: A Journey in Tocqueville's Footsteps through Contemporary America
. New York: Picador, 2001.
Donahue, Brian. Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town
. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
Dyer, Joel. Harvest of Rage: Why Oklahoma City Is Only the Beginning
. Boulder: Westview Press, 1998.
Dyer, Joel. The Perpetual Prisoner Machine: How America Profits from Crime
. Boulder: Westview Press, 2000.
Edin, Kathryn, and Laura Lein. Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work
. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1997.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
. New York: Metropolitan, 2001.
Estes, Ralph. Tyranny of the Bottom Line: Why Corporations Make Good People Do Bad Things
. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1996.
Frank, Thomas. One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy
. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
Frank, Thomas. What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
. New York: Metropolitan, 2004.
Greider, William. One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism
. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.
Greider, William. Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy
. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
Himmelstein, David, Steffie Woolhandler, and Ida Hellander. Bleeding the Patient: The Consequences of Corporate Health Care
. Monroe, Me.: Common Courage Press, 2001.
Kahlenberg, Richard D. All Together Now: Creating Middle-Class Schools through Public School Choice
. Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.
Kahlenberg, Richard D. The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action
. New York: Basic Books, 1996.
Kuttner, Robert. Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets
. New York: Knopf, 1997.
Loeb, Paul Rogat. Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time
. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1999.
Manning, Robert D. Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of America's Addiction to Credit
. New York: Basic Books, 2000.
Nader, Ralph, and Wesley J. Smith. No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America
. New York: Random House, 1996.
Nestle, Marion. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health
. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
Teixeira, Ruy, and Joel Rogers. America's Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters
. New York: Basic Books, 2000.