Whether you’re raring to get out and cast your vote for a much-loved candidate, or you’re just going to get by this time trying to figure which lesser evils are going to get your grudging support, here at the library we are grateful to live in a time and a place where we get to cast a vote at all. That’s a fairly new development in the history of the world–the opportunity for all of the citizenry to have a say in their government. We encourage you to make your polling place a priority today. Get out and cast your vote, then drop by the library for some politically charged reading/watching/or listening materials. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
The Manchurian Candidate: A Korean war hero is brainwashed when captured and is used as a tool in a political assassination plot to be triggered by his domineering mother.
Team of Rivals and Lincoln (2012): Obviously, this is a twofer. The book is an analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s political talents identifies the character strengths and abilities that enabled his successful election that also describes how he used the same abilities to rally former opponents in winning the Civil War. The movie is a great insider view of politics, what it takes to get a controversial bill passed with a congress divided along ideological lines.
A People’s History of the United States: According to one of our librarians, no one should be allowed to pass through life without reading this book. And it should not be wasted on highschoolers, but should be read, or re-read, by adults
Duck for President : When Duck gets tired of working for Farmer Brown, his political ambition eventually leads to his being elected President. Read it with the little bubs.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism: This introduction to the concept of “disaster capitalism” offers an exposé of how the global “free market” has exploited crises, violence, and shock over the past three decades to promote radical privatization that benefits large corporations and powerful interest groups. It’s a lot to get through according to one Library staffer. “Started shocking me from page one.”
Election: Civics teacher Jim McAllister is worried: obnoxious, perennial overachiever Tracy Flick looks likely to win the student body presidency–she is running unopposed. Seeking to inject some democracy into the process, he persuades nice but dim football hero Paul Metzler to stand against her. This merely makes Tracy even more determined to win, and when Paul’s alienated younger sister Tammy joins the race, leads her to use extreme measures to guarantee success. Meanwhile, Mr. McAllister’s life becomes increasingly complicated as he strays from the principles he teaches. Politics is rarely pretty, but the students and faculty at Carver High are about to find out just how ugly it can get.
The Dead Zone : For fun and scares, this early King novel is awesome, and seems particularly timely. Our description in the catalog doesn’t really reveal anything, not even what the book is about, so to that, I’ll add this from Amazon… “When Johnny has a disturbing vision after he shakes the hand of an ambitious and amoral politician, he must decide if he should take drastic action to change the future.” Yes, well.
The Federalist Papers : Three early American statesmen defend the political principles and ideologies set forth in the Constitution of the United States, in a new edition of the classic, which is accompanied by a selected bibliography, historical glossary, new introduction, and other resource material.
The West Wing: One of my favorite TV series of all time. Headed by President Josiah Bartlet, demonstrates that office politics are the same everywhere; things just have greater repercussions when your office happens to be the White House. Stories surround the President; his deputy communications director Sam Seaborn; his beleaguered press secretary, C.J. Cregg; the chief of staff, recovering boozehound Leo McGarry, who sacrifices his marriage to his career. Among the global crises Bartlet must finesse are a nuclear showdown between India and Pakistan, an American plane shot down by terrorists, and another downed U.S. plane in Iraq.