Perpetual Potential

Making Volunteers: Civic Life After Welfare's End

by Nina Eliasoph

Reviewed by Carren Jao

A robust civic life is essential to building a great country. It is no wonder, then, that former President John F. Kennedy’s call to the American people to “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” still rings powerfully to this day. With a struggling economy, a broken health care system and economic bubbles popping left and right, the need for citizens willing to volunteer to help fix this nation’s ails is ever more …

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Braving the Silence

The Long Goodbye: A Memoir

by Meghan O’Rourke

Reviewed by Marc Jaffee

A memoir does not instruct. It searches. In 2008, Meghan O’Rourke’s mother died of cancer, at the age of fifty-five. In The Long Goodbye, …

The World According to Chris Hedges

The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

by Chris Hedges

Reviewed by Lee Linderman

For decades, acclaimed writer Chris Hedges has worked as a journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in Middle East and American politics and wartime …

The Moral War

America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation

by David Goldfield

Reviewed by Adam Fleisher

Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address with victory in a long, brutal and bloody civil war at hand.  The Union – and …

The Uncertainty Principle

The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty

by William Byers

Reviewed by James Romoser

William Byers opens his dense and detailed book on the philosophy of science with a provocative claim: Many of the most serious problems afflicting …

Western Civilization Was Great While It Lasted

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

by Francis Fukuyama

Reviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn

Francis Fukuyama, almost singlehandedly, belies the belief that the age of great books in the field of political science is a bygone one. He …