Read-Alikes for ‘Oath and Honor’ by Liz Cheney | LibraryReads

Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning by Liz Cheney (Little, Brown) is the top holds title of the week. LibraryReads and Library Journal offer read-alikes for patrons waiting to read this buzziest book.

Cheney, an attorney, national security specialist, and former House Republican leader, offers a first-hand account of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the aftermath of the insurrection, including the Congressional investigation that she helped lead.—LJ Reviews

The Civic Bargain: How Democracy Survives by Brook Manville & Josiah Ober (Princeton Univ.)

Political historians Manville and Ober (coauthors, A Company of Citizens) have written much about the politics of ancient Greece. In this book, they apply some of that scholarship to the struggles of present-day democracies by scrutinizing four major Western historical democratic experiments: classical Athens; Republican Rome; Great Britain’s monarchy; and the founding of the United States. The authors argue that democracy’s future can be secured if citizens consider a “civil bargain, which depends on the practice of “good-faith compromise” and “civic friendship,” instead of a mindset to crush a nation’s enemies. The book’s analysis centers on the meaning of democracy, and it identifies traits that have promoted stability throughout history. The authors note seven conditions necessary for self-governance and highlight examples of bargaining and compromise in four case studies. They also point out the periodic failures and civil strife that forced some nations to adapt and prevail. Manville and Ober warn against the dangers of “hyperpolarized partisanship,” which often results in widespread disengagement from civil life. A need for better civic education is stressed as a solution. VERDICT A guarded but optimistic vision for saving democracy. Best for readers who are concerned about the future of the U.S.—Thomas Karel

The Age of Insurrection: The Radical's Right's Assault on Democracy by David Neiwert (Melville House; LJ starred review)

Award-winning investigative journalist Neiwert (Red Pill, Blue Pill) chronicles, defines, and thoroughly documents the rise of alt-right ideologies in the U.S. This impressive narrative spans the 1970s through the present and is a good primer to all of the figures and terms of the alt-right: the great replacement conspiracy theory, accelerationism, Alex Jones, QAnon, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, the boogaloo movement, the evolving definition of a patriot, neo-Nazi alliances, Christian nationalists, Michael Flynn, COVID deniers, rhetoric about another U.S. civil war, and critical race theory. The book notes that the alt-right’s seemingly small groups contribute pieces to a larger movement, and a long-embedded threat to democracy emerges. A history of disruption, violence, and racism is abundantly clear in this work, which depicts authoritarian personalities, social dominance orientation, and the demise of accountability. Neiwert insists that readers take notice as alt-right adherents fill roles in law enforcement and local and federal government. VERDICT Equal parts enlightening and terrifying, this is imperative reading for anyone in the United States.—Tina Panik

American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation by David Rothkopf (PublicAffairs: Perseus)

The phrase “deep state” has become a shorthand term for a sinister, out-of-control bureaucracy within the U.S. government. Political analyst Rothkopf (National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear), who also hosts the podcast Deep State Radio, is a champion of dedicated, selfless bureaucrats. The focus of his new book is on the government employees, including many appointed by the Trump administration, who, in his view, placed the Constitution and the interests of the country first and above loyalty to an individual. Through more than 100 interviews, Rothkopf relates how highly competent civil servants triumphed over the gross ineptitude at the top of the Trump administration. This book provides chapter-length case studies on immigration policy, Trump’s relationship with the military, Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin, plus the mishandling of the COVID pandemic and the insurrection of January 6, 2021. Heroes that emerge from these accounts include Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, all who either resigned or were fired by Trump. VERDICT This book is a worthy companion to recent books by Marie Yovanovitch (Lessons from the Edge) and Alexander Vindman (Here, Right Matters). It is an unrelenting indictment of Donald Trump’s abuse of the presidency.—Thomas Karel

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