The Smear

How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote

5114jqvksfl-_sx328_bo1204203200_By Sharyl Attkisson
Call Number: PN4888.C6 A85 2017
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Behind most major political stories there is an agenda: To destroy an idea or the people advancing it. Maybe you watched someone on the news report that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, read that Hillary Clinton used a body double, or heard that Bernie Sanders cheated in the primary. Regardless of accuracy, the themes get repeated until they become accepted by many as the truth. It’s called “the smear.” Sophisticated operatives work behind the scenes to establish narratives, manipulate journalists, and shape the images you see every day. Nothing is by accident. Now investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson takes you behind the scenes of the modern smear machine, exploring how operatives from corporations and both sides of the political aisle have manipulated a complicit mainstream media to make disinformation, rumor, and dirty tricks defining traits of our democracy. Pulling back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research, she reveals how those in power create well-funded, organized attack campaigns to take down their enemies and influence your opinions, offering an examination of the think tanks, super PACS, LLCs, and nonprofits that have become the hidden backers of some of the biggest smears in American politics. And she doesn’t just tell stories — she names names, sharing her account of how smears take shape and who their perpetrators are — from Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal to liberal political operative David Brock, who, along with his expansive Media Matters for America empire, has been rewriting the rules of the smear game for decades while raking in millions of dollars in generous compensation. In addition, Attkisson reveals transactional journalism and exposes scandalous emails behind the smear industrial complex, showing how Campaign 2016 became the exclamation point on the thirty-year evolution of the smear machine. Dissecting the most divisive, partisan election in American history, she explores how both sides used every smear tactic as a political weapon, culminating in Donald Trump’s hard-fought victory, even as his detractors have continued their smears against him into the Oval Office. What emerges is an assault on the mainstream media’s willingness to sacrifice ethics for clicks, and the cynical politicians and high-paid consultants who exploit this reality. A critical discussion for this perilous moment, The Smear is a look at how the black market serving professional propagandists really works.

Everybody Lies

Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us about Who We Really Are

9780062390851-frBy Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Call Number: QA76.9.D343 S685155 2017
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A former Google data scientist presents an insider’s look at what the vast, instantly available amounts of information from the Internet can reveal about human civilization and society.

How much sex are people really having? How many Americans are actually racist? Is America experiencing a hidden back-alley abortion crisis? Can you game the stock market? Does violent entertainment increase the rate of violent crime? Do parents treat sons differently from daughters? How many people actually read the books they buy? In this groundbreaking work, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard-trained economist, former Google data scientist, and New York Times writer, argues that much of what we thought about people has been dead wrong. The reason? People lie, to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys–and themselves. However, we no longer need to rely on what people tell us. New data from the internet–the traces of information that billions of people leave on Google, social media, dating, and even pornography sites–finally reveals the truth. By analyzing this digital goldmine, we can now learn what people really think, what they really want, and what they really do. Sometimes the new data will make you laugh out loud. Sometimes the new data will shock you. Sometimes the new data will deeply disturb you. But, always, this new data will make you think. This book will change the way you view the world. There is almost no limit to what can be learned about human nature from Big Data–provided, that is, you ask the right questions.

Evicted

Poverty and Profit in the American City

41c15bznmhl-_sx315_bo1204203200_By Matthew Desmond
Call Number: HD7287.96.U6 D47 2016
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The author takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the 20 dollars a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas. Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality– and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

High Performance Habits

How Extraordinary People Become That Way

9781401952853By Brendon Burchard
Call Number: BF637.S4 B867 2017
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Twenty years ago, author Brendon Burchard became obsessed with answering three questions:

  1. Why do some individuals and teams succeed more quickly than others and sustain that success over the long term?
  2. Of those who pull it off, why are some miserable and others consistently happy on their journey?
  3. What motivates people to reach for higher levels of success in the first place, and what practices help them improve the most?

After extensive original research and a decade as the world’s leading high performance coach, Burchard found the answers. It turns out that just six deliberate habits give you the edge. Anyone can practice these habits and, when they do, extraordinary things happen in their lives, relationships, and careers. Which habits can help you achieve long-term success and vibrant well-being no matter your age, career, strengths, or personality? To become a high performer, you must seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. This book is about the art and science of how to cultivate and practice these proven habits. Whether you want to get more done, lead others better, develop skill faster, or dramatically increase your sense of joy and confidence, the habits in this book will help you achieve it faster. Each of the six habits is illustrated by powerful vignettes, cutting-edge science, thought-provoking exercises, and real-world daily practices you can implement right now. If you’ve ever wanted a science-backed, heart-centered plan to living a better quality of life, it’s in your hands. Best of all, you can measure your progress. A link to a free professional assessment is included in the book.

Unbelievable

My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

9780062684929By Katy Tur
Call Number: E911 .T87 2017
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Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ — a Trump rally playlist staple. From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur. This is her darkly comic and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?

Celebrate October

October feels like a month of holidays! This year October encompasses Sukkot, Diwali, and Samhain/Hallowe’en among others. We have cookbooks with recipes for these holidays, and children’s books about them too. Come on in and browse!

As the leaves fall, you can use the online TreeFinder to identify the tree species they are from. And of course you can find many uses for colorful leaves, and leaf-themed designs, in our Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center.

Don’t forget to observe All Hallows Read by giving someone you love a scary book that they would like. Our new favorite for children is I Want to Be in a Scary Story. Check it out!

Other new books received this month include:
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies, by Jason Fagone.
George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl, the acclaimed debut novel by NPR books commentator.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, a young adult novel of which Kirkus Reviews says: “This story is necessary. This story is important.”
Sleeping Beauties, another novel with topical overtones, from horror master Steven King and his son Owen King.

Meet Your Library Staff
There is no better illustration of talent hiding behind a job description than Library Director Nicole Treesh. (That’s her on the left)

What do you do at the Library?
I have been the Library Director for almost a year.  The synopsis of what I do is oversee the Fort Wayne, Wabash, and now Warsaw library services, resources, and staff while supporting the mission and goals of the College particularly related to student success.  I can’t do what I do without the amazing staff on my team.  I represent the library on several committees and consortia including the Statewide Library Director’s Committee, our Regional Academic Affairs Team, and the Regional Extended Cabinet.
I develop, manage, and evaluate the library budgets, the library collections, and our online resources.  My brain is always working, thinking, and learning about trends in information technology, library services, and community college completion and retention.  I’m always striving to tell the story of the library and our mission to serve the students, faculty, and staff in more ways than just offering books and resources.

How did you gain your expertise?
I have a BS in Counseling and worked several years in community mental health organizations.  My passion for wanting to help people overcome adversity and obtain their goals in life started when I was in elementary school.  I’ve also always loved libraries, books, and technology.  I got a part time job at a library and quickly realized that my passions for helping people and information technology go hand in hand.  I decided to get my MLS and started pursuing full time library jobs.  I spent a couple years working in secondary schools in both IT, media centers, and as a Computer Programming Teacher.  My first MLS job was as a librarian here at Ivy Tech!  Soon after I started, the library director resigned and I became interim director until hired officially in November 2016.  My library career path isn’t traditional and certainly moved rapidly, but I couldn’t be happier or feel more blessed.

What is unique about you that could be of service to the Ivy Tech Community?
I believe that my background in mental health is invaluable, but also my personal experience with mental illness particularly as it relates to suicide prevention and awareness having lost my dad to suicide when I was just 17.  I’m compassionate and empathetic, can relate to the struggles of many of our students, and have the strength to move mountains for our students to succeed.

What is your favorite thing to do outside the Library?
I should say reading, right?  But truthfully, I’m a Netflix addict.  I love gardening, spending time with my husband, my kitty Maggie, and family.  I also dance obnoxiously to Kelly Clarkson 24/7 who I’ve seen 4 times in concert.

What books would you recommend to readers?
The Watersong series by Amanda Hocking who is a terrific YA author, I also have loved anything by Jandy Nelson, Jodi Picoult, or Ellen DeGeneres who is my favorite person/philanthropist.

What website do you recommend just for fun?
Everyone needs a goodreads.com account!