Fall books preview: politics, behavior, & public health
Ronald P. Formisano surveys the widening circle of inequality’s effects, the exploitation of the poor and the middle class, and the new ways that predators take money out of Americans’ pockets while passive federal and state governments stand by. This data-driven book offers insight into the fallacy of widespread opportunity, the fate of the middle class, and the mechanisms that perpetuate income disparity.
“An accessible overview of recent trends in economic inequality. Formisano has a gift for presenting abstract information in compelling, even gripping, terms.”—Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University, author of The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression
Available in September
We like to think that science always illuminates. But the disturbing persistence of the concept of biological determinism—the false idea that human behavior is genetically fixed or inherently programmed and therefore is not susceptible to rapid change—shows that scientific research and concepts can be distorted to advance an inhumane and sometimes deadly political agenda. Anthropologist Richard J. Perry delivers a scathing critique of determinism. Exploring the historical context and enduring popularity of the movement over the past century and a half, he debunks the facile and the reductionist thinking of so many popularizers of biological determinism while considering why biological explanations have resonated in ways that serve to justify deeply conservative points of view.
“I read Richard Perry’s thought-provoking book in a single sitting. Written in a lively, engaging style, the book takes evolutionary psychology to task in a perceptive and penetrating fashion.”—Paul Farber, Oregon State University, author of Mixing Races: From Scientific Racism to Modern Evolutionary Ideas
Available in September
While 40 percent of premature deaths in the United States can be attributed to such dangerous behaviors as smoking, overeating, inactivity, and drug or alcohol use, medical education has generally failed to address how these behaviors are influenced by social forces. This new textbook from Dr. Donald A. Barr was designed in response to the growing recognition that physicians need to understand the biosocial sciences behind human behavior in order to be effective practitioners. Introduction to Biosocial Medicine explains the determinants of human behavior and the overwhelming impact of behavior on health.
“A compelling, clearly written, and original review of how social factors influence well-being, this timely and accessible book will greatly benefit students who intend to pursue further study in medicine.”—Mark J. Graham, Yale School of Medicine
Available in January 2016
edited by Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner. essays by Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Larry Diamond, Thomas Carothers, Marc F. Plattner, Philippe C. Schmitter, Steven Levitsky, and Lucan Way
foreword by Condoleezza Rice
For almost a decade, Freedom House’s annual survey has highlighted a decline in democracy in most regions of the globe. While some analysts draw upon this evidence to argue that the world has entered a “democratic recession,” others dispute that interpretation, emphasizing instead democracy’s success in maintaining the huge gains it made during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Discussion of this question has moved beyond disputes about how many countries should be classified as democratic to embrace a host of wider concerns about the health of democracy: the poor economic and political performance of advanced democracies, the new self-confidence and assertiveness of a number of leading authoritarian countries, and a geopolitical weakening of democracies relative to these resurgent authoritarians.
Available in October
Irene S. Wu’s Forging Trust Communities argues that the Internet, and the technologies that predate it, catalyze political change by creating new opportunities for cooperation. The Internet does not simply enable faster and easier communication, but makes it possible for people around the world to interact closely, reciprocate favors, and build trust. The information and ideas exchanged by members of these cooperative communities become key sources of political power akin to military might and economic strength.
“Accessible and engaging, Wu’s book merges the practical with the scholarly to embed the current, Internet-led information revolution’s effects on collective action and governance within a historical perspective, weaving together a wealth of diverse and expansive cases.”—Catie Snow Bailard, George Washington University, author of Democracy’s Double-Edged Sword: How Internet Use Changes Citizens’ Views of Their Government
Available in July
Why do presidents face so many seemingly avoidable bureaucratic conflicts? And why do these clashes usually intensify toward the end of presidential administrations, when a commander-in-chief’s administrative goals tend to be more explicit and better aligned with their appointed leadership’s prerogatives? In Rethinking the Administrative Presidency, William G. Resh considers these complicated questions from an empirical perspective.
“In this theoretically and empirically sophisticated book, Bill Resh makes important contributions to our understanding of the role of political appointees in advancing presidential policy agendas. His analysis demonstrates that political appointees who approach the career services with distrust will find distrust mirrored back to them.”—James P. Pfiffner, George Mason University, author of The Managerial Presidency
Available in December
edited by Sergio Bitar and Abraham F. Lowenthal
National leaders who played key roles in transitions to democratic governance reveal how these were accomplished in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, and Spain. Commissioned by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), these interviews shed fascinating light on how repressive regimes were ended and democracy took hold.
The book includes probing conversations with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Patricio Aylwin, Ricardo Lagos, John Kufuor, Jerry Rawlings, B. J. Habibie, Ernesto Zedillo, Fidel V. Ramos, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, F. W. de Klerk, Thabo Mbeki, and Felipe González.
Available in September