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Title: Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall–and Those Fighting to Reverse It
Author: Steven Brill
Call #: HN 59 .B75 2018
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How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote
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.
My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
By 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?
How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids
By Joy Pullman
Call Number: LB3060.83 .P85 2017
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In 2009, a conglomerate of unelected, self-appointed officials met behind closed doors to create a set of rules that would outline what children must learn in every grade in core K-12 classes. In 2010, the Obama administration required states to use these rules for curriculum and tests to have a chance at extra federal money during the Great Recession. Three years later, most Americans told pollsters they had no idea what common Core was. Their children were beginning to find out, however. Pullmann tugs on a thread that leads to a big tangle of history, politics, and intrigue that together help explain why small children must sit and cry over math homework while their parents look on helplessly. Early test results suggest Common Core means American kids will learn less. Why, then, did we do it? Who made out like bandits while kids and self-governance suffered? And how can Americans ensure their children won’t be served the same rewarmed brain hash they have rejected time and time again?
Call number: JQ1850.A91 A75 2013
This volume explores the topic of the Arab Spring, the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began in late 2010, by presenting varied expert opinions that examine many of the different aspects that surround this issue. The viewpoints are selected from a wide range of highly respected and often hard-to-find sources and publications. Allows the reader to attain the higher-level critical thinking and reading skills that are essential in a culture of diverse and contradictory opinions. (From Google Books)
Call number: HV6430.B55 B69 2012
From Mark Bowden, the preeminent chronicler of our military and special forces, comes The Finish, a gripping account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With access to key sources, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
After masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden managed to vanish. Over the next ten years, as Bowden shows, America found that its war with al Qaeda?a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track?demanded an innovative approach. Step by step, Bowden describes the development of a new tactical strategy to fight this war, the fusion of intel from various agencies and on-the-ground special ops. After thousands of special forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the right weapon to go after bin Laden had finally evolved. By Spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. Bowden shows how three strategies were mooted: a drone strike, a precision bombing, or an assault by Navy SEALs. In the end, the President had to make the final decision. It was time for the finish. (From Google Books)