Democrats Abroad France - Paris partners with The Red Wheelbarrow to invite you to a discussion with Nancy MacLean and Margaret Somers. Both have recently published best-selling books on the state of US politics today, and who have rocked the media world with their analyses.
Nancy MacLean’s book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (Viking Press 2017) won the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The Nation’s Most Valuable Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award.” MacLean is the award-winning author of Behind the Mask of Chivalry. The William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, she regularly appears on radio and TV, including NPR, CSPAN, and the Bill Maher show.
“[A] remarkably important book…this book is a superb contribution to our understanding of the rise of libertarian notions and right-wing political power in the US. If you wonder how the Supreme Court came to define speech as money or corporations as people, this volume will help you to figure it out…The melting ice caps, if nothing else, stand as testament to the folly of listening mainly to the rich and powerful.”—Bill McKibben, The Times Literary Supplement
Margaret Somers’ book The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique (Harvard 2016) has also been stirring up something of a storm, as Polanyi is increasingly recognized as the 20th century’s most important analyst of the perils of market society. The book asks what is it about free-market ideas that give them tenacious staying power in the face of such manifest failures as persistent unemployment, widening inequality, and the severe financial crises that have stressed Western economies over the past forty years?
“In seeking to understand the dynamics of our own time, we can do no better than to revisit Polanyi…As more of us are having second thoughts about the second coming of the primal market, it is as if Polanyi is somewhere in the ether. Rereading Polanyi at a time when events vindicate his vision, one has to be struck with the eerie contemporary ring. Polanyi is startlingly 21st-century in addressing how the private rule of global finance puts public policy in a straitjacket.”―Robert Kuttner, American Prospect
Somers, Professor of Sociology and History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has impacted the world of economics with her theories of social capital. Already in 2008 she wrote: “Social capital is bad for reducing poverty or elevating cultures; and it is bad for sociology – as a discipline and as a social project. Above all, it is very bad for democratic citizenship.”
If you want to learn the latest on new political thinking, these authors will surely give you that insight, in addition to a stimulating and challenging discussion of the new “socialists” elected to the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm!
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