Politics and Government

It Takes Three: Learning About the Branches of Government and How Laws Get Made

It takes three sets of people -- the president, the judges, and the Congress -- to make our government work. If the president does something wrong, it's up to the judges and Congress to hold him accountable. If laws are made by Congress that people think are not really fair, the judges can strike them down, or the president can choose to veto them before they become laws. Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president, but they usually stay on long after the president has left office, so as time passes we have a mix of different political views.

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

book cover for pirate cinema by cory doctorow

Leave it to Cory Doctorow, author, blogger, and technology activist-extraordinaire, to weave a story that successfully blends coming-of-age woes, homelessness, national politics, copyright law, cooking, gadgetry, love, overcoming homophobia, civil disobedience, film-making, mashups, public speaking, the judicial system, beer and coffee brewing, cryptography, and oh so, so much more into a wonderfully geeky, heart-wrenching, page-turning bang-up novel that people of all ages should read.  This book is full of such big, exquisite ideas to learn about that you’ll be Googling your fingers off through the entire story and I mean that in the best way possible.  You will learn reading Pirate Cinema and you will love this as much as you love the characters. 

Dr. Johnson's London: Coffee-houses and Climbing Boys, Medicine, Toothpaste and Gin, Poverty and Press-gangs, Freakshows and Female Education

By Liza Picard

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Coffee shops have been used as gathering places for a long time. During their mid-eighteenth century incarnation, they served as a meeting place for middle class up and comers and political radicals.

As might be surmised from the title, Dr. Johnson's London gives glimpses into the various sights, smells, and practical matters of life in long ago London for criminals, the poor, the middle class, high society and royalty. The author draws largely from original sources.

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Manchurian Candidate

By Richard Condon

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First published in 1959, (this is a) riveting take on a little-known corner of the cold war, the almost sci-fi concept of American soldiers captured, brainwashed, and programmed by their Chinese captors to return to the states as unsuspected political assassins.
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Coup

By Jamie Malanowski

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After four years in the Senate, Godwin Pope, a rich and handsome Princeton grad, decides to run for president against the incumbent, Jack Mahone, a slick, folksy former Louisiana governor who crushes him in a primary debate. In a surprise move, Jack asks Godwin to be his running mate and Godwin accepts. (from Publishers Weekly)
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The First Patient

By Michael Palmer

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The personal physician of U.S. President Andrew Stoddard has disappeared, (the president) calls on Naval Academy classmate and old friend Gabe Singleton....Arriving in Washington, Singleton quickly sinks deep into both politics and the realization that all is not right with the President's mental health
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Marine One

By James W. Huston

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When the President is killed in the crash of the Marine One helicopter, while en route to a mysterious meeting at Camp David, the world wants to know why. Mike Nolan, former marine helicopter pilot and lawyer, is tapped by the chopper's French manufacturer to protect them from claims of liability as initial suspicion points at them. But the more Nolan digs, the more he finds. (from Library Journal)
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Rules of the Game

By Leonard Downie, Jr.

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The editor of "The Washington Post" presents a novel of corruption and cover-ups at the highest levels of Washington politics, while also portraying the morally ambiguous ways in which the press, and Washington politics, really work.
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American Wife

By Curtis Sittenfeld

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No one is more surprised than Alice when her hard-drinking, sports-team-owning husband morphs into a born-again Christian with political ambitions. Suddenly, Alice's life is no longer her own as her every move is parsed for its political implications. (from BookList)
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Our American King

By David Lozell Martin

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America doesn't fade—it falls apart following a national calamity. The rich continue playing golf behind barricades, while the rest of the country starves. Chaos and savagery reign. Then a wanderer declares himself king.
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