Click here to bookmark us!






Listen live


Pirates of Liberty
By Dorothy Anne Seese


Political USA Political Columnists
Kirsten Andersen

Brent Barksdale
Paul Conroy
Joe Giardiello

Mario Giardiello

Scott Gillette

Marc Levin
Rachel Marsden
Tom McClintock
Dorothy Seese
Debbie Schlussel

Dr. Jack Wheeler

Hans Zeiger









column21.jpg (2497 bytes) The Political Bookstore column21.jpg (2497 bytes)

In the News

Repression in China, the gun control debate, or the latest news from Washington, D.C. and world capitols.  The Political Bookstore carries books on political news and books that look to history to interpret the present.

Click on a book cover to see reviews, pricing, and to order!

Kosovo, a 55-mile-long plateau in southern Serbia, should by all rights be a historical and political backwater. A Bulgarian geographer who visited Kosovo during World War I remarked that it was "almost as unknown and inaccessible as a stretch of land in Central Africa." The observation would prove ironically fitting by the '90s, as Central Africa and Kosovo both became sites of widespread genocide, fueled by ethnic hatreds, of the deepest international significance. Noel Malcolm, a British historian and journalist who has written extensively about the Balkans, provides an overview of Kosovo's long- standing cultural divisions.

Kosovo: A Short History

by Noel Malcolm

List Price: $28.95
Our Price: $20.27
You Save: $8.68 (30%)

Also by Malcolm:
Bosnia: A Short History

To End A War
by Richard Holbrooke

List Price: $27.95
Our Price: $19.57
You Save: $8.38 (30%)

See also:
Serbs:   History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

Between 1991 and 1995 over a quarter million people died during the conflict in the Balkan states. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe did not understand -- or chose not to understand -- what this war was about. The U.N. sent peacekeeping forces but would not assert its will to bring a peaceful end to the atrocities. In a bold, contentious move by Clinton's first administration, a peace delegation was sent to Bosnia to secure an accord at any cost. A vocal proponent of this was Richard Holbrooke, then assistant secretary of state, who believed in hawkish diplomacy and a willingness to impose the moral will of America, if necessary.



In retrospect, it perhaps should not have been surprising that increasing the number of civilians with guns would reduce crime rates. The possibility of armed victims reduces the expected benefits and increases the expected costs of criminal activity. And, at the margin at least, people respond to changes in costs, even for crime, as Nobel-Prize winning economist [TAG]Gary Becker showed long ago. Allusions to the preferences of criminals for unarmed victims have seeped into popular culture; Ringo, a British thug in Pulp Fiction, noted off - handedly why he avoided certain targets:  "Bars, liquor stores, gas stations, you get your head blown off stickin' up one of them."  But Lott's actual quantification of this, in the largest and most comprehensive study of the effects of gun control to date, a study well-detailed in the book, provoked a number of attacks, ranging from the amateurish to the subtly misleading, desperate to discredit him. Lott takes the time to refute each argument; it's almost touching the way he footnotes each time he telephones an attacker who eventually hangs up on him without substantiating any of their claims.

Lott loses a little focus when he leaves his firm quantitative base; as an economist, he should know that the low number of rejected background checks under the Brady Bill doesn't demonstrate anything by itself, because some people may have been deterred from even undergoing the background check in the first place, but he attacks the bill on this ground anyway. But the conclusions that are backed by evidence--that concealed - weapons permits reduce crime, and do so at a lower cost to society than increasing the number of police or prisons--are important ones that should be considered by policymakers. --Ted Frank

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws
by John R. Lott

List Price: $23.00
Our Price: $16.10
You Save: $6.90 (30%)


The Color Bind: The Campaign to End Affirmative Action
by Lydia Chavez

The Color Bind is an excellent report on Proposition 209, passed by California voters in 1996 to prevent the state government from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to people on the basis of their race. Although Berkeley journalism professor Lydia Chavez sympathizes with the liberal supporters of affirmative action, her reporting on the political campaign surrounding Proposition 209 is strikingly evenhanded. She reveals that the initiative's opponents often employed questionable tactics, such as when they paid David Duke to come to California in an attempt to link him with the effort to pass the law. She also makes clear that the authors of the initiative were inspired by good principles, even as cynical Republicans, including Bob Dole, tried to hijack the issue in the final weeks before the election. Anybody who has followed the political and legal issues swirling around Proposition 209--no matter what their political persuasion--will consider this a fascinating and useful book. --John J. Miller

List Price: $16.95
Our Price: $13.56
You Save: $3.39 (20%)


As of 1998, whites are a minority in the state of California. Part of the state's response to its increasing multiculturalization is rooted in a conservative backlash that has launched successful voter initiatives against bilingual education, affirmative action programs, and the extension of public services to illegal immigrants. On the other hand, Latino voting rates have more than doubled, establishing a new, unignorable electoral bloc, and nearly one out of every five children born in California in 1996 came from a multiracial family.

These points are all worth mentioning because history shows us that where California goes, the rest of the United States will eventually follow. But while most of the political debate over the state's transformation has been marked by extremism on both sides, Pulitzer-winning journalist Dale Maharidge has chosen to talk to the ordinary people--white, black, Latino, and Asian--who are quietly creating the California of tomorrow. The Coming White Minority is a remarkable work of social journalism that combines intimate portraits with expansive history lessons; what Maharidge has to say about Californian society will prove illuminating for all Americans.

The Coming White Minority
by Dale Maharidge

List Price: $14.00
Our Price: $11.20
You Save: $2.80 (20%)


In this controversial book, Jacob Sullum demolishes the leading claims of the antismoking movement; their assertions have been advanced, he says, because the movement's principals would like the government to take control of the tobacco industry. Have you heard that secondhand smoke is bad for you? "There is no evidence that casual exposure to secondhand smoke has any impact on your life expectancy," writes Sullum, a drug policy expert and senior editor at Reason magazine. The debate over smoking is really more about the nature of liberty--how should a society restrict the choices of its members?--than it is about public health.  Ex-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop is certain not to like For Your Own Good, but Sullum makes a powerful and provocative case against America's public health crusaders.

For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health
by Jacob Sullum

List Price: $25.00
Our Price: $17.50
You Save: $7.50 (30%)

The People Vs. Big Tobacco: How the States Took on the Cigarette Giants
by Carrick Mollenkamp

List Price: $23.95
Our Price: $16.77
You Save: $7.18 (30%)

After nimbly sidestepping any and all lawsuits for more than four decades, the tobacco industry received what could prove to be a mortal blow when Merrell Williams, a Louisville paralegal, stole thousands of pages of confidential documents from the law firm where he worked and handed them over to Michael Moore, the attorney general of Mississippi. These confidential documents proved that the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., a client of the firm, knew the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes, and that they had lied repeatedly to the public about the risks.  Once these documents were released via the Internet and numerous anonymous mailings, the blood was in the water. A coalition of 65 top American trial lawyers attacked the tobacco industry from one side, while Moore and 39 other states' attorneys general pounced from the other, eventually resulting in a $368 billion settlement--the largest in American history. The People Vs. Big Tobacco is a blow - by - blow account of how the "Mother of All Lawsuits" was eventually settled, who the major players were, and what the settlement actually means for the future of Big Tobacco.


This in-depth investigation allegedly uncovers terrifying information about the tragic Oklahoma City bombing and suggests that terrorist acts are used by the government to increase wiretapping, search and seizure, and invasive surveillance of private citizens. Photos & illustrations.

List Price: $18.95
Our Price: $15.16
You Save: $3.79 (20%)


0922915490_m.gif (6373 bytes)

The Oklahoma
City Bombing
and the Politics
of Terror

by David Hoffman

Fools of Scandal
by Gene Lyons

Originating in an article in Harper's, this is the anti-Whitewater book. There is no Clinton scandal in that unfortunate little real estate deal, according to Gene Lyons, a columnist with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. The scandal Lyons sees is in the media hype that elevated the Whitewater
story to a level that threatens the Clinton Presidency.

List Price: $9.95
Our Price: $7.96
You Save: $1.99 (20%)


Americans are being taxed to death--literally, says author Amity Shlaes in The Greedy Hand. At work or out shopping, upon marriage or even after death, we are paying more in taxes than ever before, according to Shlaes, a Wall Street Journal editorial writer. The average family with two wage-earners is now seeing almost 40 percent of its money go to local, state, and federal taxes.

The Greedy Hand
by Amity Shlaes

List Price: $22.95
Our Price: $16.07
You Save: $6.88 (30%)

Perfect Enemies:
The Religious Right,
the Gay Movement,
and the Politics of the 1990's

by Chris Bull & John Gallagher

Currently Unavailable

As the influence of both religious conservatives and gay activists grew in the 1990s, the two movements repeatedly came into conflict with each other. Chris Bull and John Gallagher, veteran political journalists for The Advocate, outline the struggle between them and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of both.   Their analysis of battle- grounds range from state elections in Oregon and Colorado to the 1992 presidential election and the gays-in-the-military hearings.


For the first time in over twenty - five years. the issue of poverty -- and our failure to deal with it -- is back at the top of the policy agenda and on the front page of the news. In this magisterial overview social historian Michael B. Katz, examines the ideas and assumptions that have shaped public policy from the sixties War on Poverty to the current war on welfare. Closely argued and lucidly written.  The Undeserving Poor transcends the barriers that have channeled the American discussion of poverty and wealth into a narrow, self-defeating course, and points the way to a new, constructive approach to our major social problem. 067972561x_UndesPoor.gif (3973 bytes)

The Undeserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare
by Michael B. Katz

List Price: $17.00
Our Price: $13.60
You Save: $3.40 (20%)

The Great Deficit Scares: The Federal Budget, Trade, and Social Security
by Robert Eisner

List Price: $9.95
Our Price: $7.96
You Save: $1.99 (20%)

American politics often seems to be focused on three deficits, real and potential: the federal budget, the Social Security Trust Fund, and the trade balance. Robert Eisner, past president of the American Economic Association, explains why this is an unhealthy situation as well as a source of much misunderstanding. He argues that simply looking at the raw numbers creates misimpressions about the country's real economic situation, as well as provoking potentially damaging ideas for "remedies."


Molly Ivins  sheds light on the "great clouds of obsfucation" that stymie attempts to clearly
analyze President Clinton's job per- formance. Ivins stayed a Clinton supporter after most of her fellow liberals bailed--up until 1996, when Clinton signed the welfare "reform" bill. "Real Democrats don't hurt children. Clinton did," she says.   Nevertheless, current Clinton bashing defies logic and she provides a levelheaded analysis of the wave of anti-Clinton sentiment.

You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You
by Molly Ivins

List Price: $23.00
Our Price: $16.10
You Save: $6.90 (30%)

Also by Ivins:
Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She

by Harry Wu

List Price: $14.00
Our Price: $11.20
You Save: $2.80 (20%)

Also by Wu:
Bitter Winds: A Memoir of My Years in China's Gulag

In 1995, Chinese-born American citizen Harry Wu touched off an international incident when he was arrested in China for spying. As rumors swirled that Hillary Clinton's long- planned trip to Beijing depended on Wu's release, the world wondered: Who was this troublemaker? Now, Harry Wu takes us on a soul-searching odyssey as he traces his bold effort to reenter China and expose its atrocities. We join him on covert trips to labor camps, to the hospitals where organs of executed prisoners sell for top dollar, and brave the long months before his arrest when he feared the Chinese government might once and for all make a martyr of their number one troublemaker.


"This book is designed to reveal the most insidious lies spun by special-interest groups, parroted by politicians, and accepted by the media," write authors Major Garrett, a reporter for U.S. News & World Report, and Timothy J. Penny, a former  Congressman. Each of their chapters intends to defy conventional wisdom; they spin out readable mini-essays on a variety of "lies": "Gun Control Reduces Crime," "Money Buys Elections," "Social Security Is a Sacred Government Trust," and "Medicare Works."

The Fifteen Biggest Lies in Politics
by Major Garrett & Timothy J. Penny

List Price: $22.95
Our Price: $16.07
You Save: $6.88 (30%)

The Natural Law Party: A Reason to Vote: Breaking the Two - Party Stranglehold and Bringing Effective New Solutions to America's Problems
by Robert Roth

List Price: $23.95
Our Price: $16.77
You Save: $7.18 (30%)

"Third parties have contributed huge ideas to American politics, from the abolition of slavery, to a woman's right to vote, to child - labor laws. Their relatively recent exile to the margins of American political life is highly unfortunate. THE NATURAL LAW PARTY: A REASON TO VOTE gives us the information we need to bring third parties back to center stage." -Marianne Williamson, author of THE HEALING OF AMERICA


Global Warming and the resulting climate change is one of the most serious environmental problems
facing the world community. Global Warming: the Complete Briefing is the most comprehensive guide available to the subject. A world - renowned expert, Sir John Houghton explores the scientific basis of global warming and the likely impacts of climate change on human society, before addressing the action that could be taken to mitigate the effects.

Global Warming: The Complete Briefing
by J. T. Houghton

List Price: $23.95
Our Price: $19.16
You Save: $4.79 (20%)

0679424148_m.gif (6174 bytes)

On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America
by Melissa Ludtke

List Price: $25.95
Our Price: $18.17
You Save: $7.78 (30%)

At the heart of the national debate about "family values" is the population of women who become mothers without first becoming wives.   Regardless of the way they're perceived, hundreds of thousands of unmarried women begin families each year. With a reporter's zeal, an analyst's thirst for research, and a personal involvement with its subjects, the book is a compelling blend of stories and social commentary.


The New York Times Book Review, James Lardner - In Turnaround, Bratton presents a model equally worthy of study by ex-officials embarking on that tricky literary genre, the memoir of the ousted. There are no high literary ambitions at work here, but to the credit of both Bratton and Peter Knobler, the book sounds like Bratton throughout, and thoughts of posterity have not tamed him.

How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic
by William Bratton
& Peter Knobler

List Price: $25.00
Our Price: $17.50
You Save: $7.50 (30%)

Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future
by Mark Hertsgaard

List Price: $26.00
Our Price: $18.20
You Save: $7.80 (30%)

Paying his own way, Mark Hertsgaard set out on a world tour in 1991 wondering what people thought of environ- mental problems. Earth Odyssey is his result, a sweeping and provocative work of travel and serious reporting that covers 19 countries and reveals, with often stark reality and vision, the legacy and prospects for our global environment. Earth Odyssey is not only a good book, but an important one--even essential--grasping the true human predicament as we face a worldwide environmental breakdown.


The New York Times Book Review, Nicholas Eberstadt - Unlike other monumental atrocities in living memory... the story of China's state - sponsored famine remains largely unknown to the world's informed public.... With Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine, however, there is at last an accessible -- and as it happens, a masterly - -account of the greatest peacetime disaster of this century.

Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine
by Jasper Becker

List Price: $14.95
Our Price: $11.96
You Save: $2.99 (20%)

The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America
by Stephen Goldsmith

List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $17.47
You Save: $7.48 (30%)

America's cities can be saved - so says Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. As the mayor of America's twelfth largest city he eliminated city deficits, cut the city payroll, enhanced services, rebuilt infrastructure, revitalized neighbor - hoods, and reduced crime. And he did it all while cutting taxes! Now, in The Twenty - First Century City, Goldsmith shows how he did it. The Twenty-First Century City gives a hopeful glimpse of the city of the future - a city where less bureaucratic intervention means lower costs, safer streets, and better services.


"History and research support the proposition that a warmer climate is beneficial," writes Thomas Gale Moore in this socioeconomic analysis of the potential effects of global warming. Moore--once
a member of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers--is an economist, and thus wisely decides to focus on what might happen if global temperatures rise, rather than try to debunk the respected scientists who have concluded that they will.

Climate of Fear:
Why We Shouldn't Worry About Global Warming
by Thomas Gale Moore

List Price: $9.95
Our Price: $7.96
You Save: $1.99 (20%)

About Face:
A History of America's Curious Relationship With China, From
Nixon to Clinton

by James Mann

List Price: $30.00
Our Price: $21.00
You Save: $9.00 (30%)

The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Carroll Bogert - [Mann] has written a cogent and authoritative study. He shows how the exigencies of the Cold War shaped an unlikely partnership--"cozy, secretive, elite-based" - -that couldn't withstand the pressure of American public opinion after Tiananmen. Every president starting with Nixon made diplomatic concessions to the Chinese government that weren't really necessary, he argues.

More Current Events