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Facebook Democracy (Open Access)
by José Marichal

In July 2010, Facebook had over 500 million subscribers worldwide and the rapid rise of the site prompted Time magazine to name Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg its person of the year for 2010. This novel book advances our understanding of how democratic citizens are transformed by the “Facebook revolution”. Despite increasing interest in politics and popular media, there has been little academic work on the impact of Facebook on politics in general, and on democratic processes in particular. The work that does exist has been limited to Facebook’s impact on politics as a mobilization tool used by social movement activists. In this book, José Marichal argues that understanding Facebook’s impact on political processes requires an understanding of how Facebook’s architecture of disclosure shapes the construction of individuals’ political identities by drawing users further into their pre-selected social networks. Drawing on a number of disciplines and an ethnographic analysis of 250 Facebook political groups, Marichal explores how Facebook’s emphasis on social connection impacts key dimensions of political participation: e.g., mobilization, deliberation, and attitude formation.

The Mueller Report
by Robert S. Mueller, Special Counsel’s Office Dept of Justice

Just under two years ago, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to head a special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign was involved. With the investigation now concluded, his report was submitted to the Department of Justice on Friday 22nd March 2019. This is the full text of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: it is the report and nothing but the report, presented as released by the Attorney General of the United States, with no positioning or framing apparatus – such as a celebrity introduction – that would give it bias or impede its clarity.

Can America Govern Itself?
by Frances E. Lee, Nolan McCarty

Can America Govern Itself? brings together a diverse group of distinguished scholars to analyze how rising party polarization and economic inequality have affected the performance of American governing institutions. It is organized around two themes: the changing nature of representation in the United States; and how changes in the political environment have affected the internal processes of institutions, overall government performance, and policy outcomes. The chapters in this volume analyze concerns about power, influence and representation in American politics, the quality of deliberation and political communications, the management and implementation of public policy, and the performance of an eighteenth century constitution in today’s polarized political environment. These renowned scholars provide a deeper and more systematic grasp of what is new, and what is perennial in challenges to democracy at a fraught moment.

Jihad of the Soul
by Zarinah El-Amin Naeem

How do young single American Muslims balance their faith with western culture? This topic and more is tackled by author Zarinah El-Amin Naeem in Jihad of the Soul, an open and honest look at how young Muslim singles navigate love and faith.
Let’s face it, no matter how many T.V. episodes of The Bachelor or Sex and the City air, singlehood for the average person is a difficult life period. Most singles want to be in a loving, romantic, long-term relationship. They want to be married. Unfortunately, in the American Muslim community, there are Muslim single men available, and Muslim single women available, but there is a huge disconnect and a serious lack of marriage.
Why? El-Amin Naeem says, “My research shows there are a number of factors including the practice of strict gender separation and marital endogamy that affect and delay the transition from singlehood to marriage for many American Muslims. The Muslim community has serious issues it needs to face, but unfortunately seems to be in denial.”
The only book on the subject, Jihad of the Soul is an anthropological exploration into the attitudes, experiences and emotions of single Muslim young adults between the ages of 18-40.

An Ecology of Happiness
by Eric Lambin

We know that our gas-guzzling cars are warming the planet, the pesticides and fertilizers from farms are turning rivers toxic, and the earth has run out of space for the mountains of unrecycled waste our daily consumption has left in its wake. We’ve heard copious accounts of our impact—as humans, as a society—on the natural world. But this is not a one-sided relationship. Lost in these dire and scolding accounts has been the impact on us and our well-being. You sense it while walking on a sandy beach, or in a wild, woody forest, or when you catch sight of wildlife, or even while gardening in your backyard. Could it be that the natural environment is an essential part of our happiness? Yes, says Eric Lambin emphatically in An Ecology of Happiness. Using a very different strategy in addressing environmental concerns, he asks us to consider that there may be no better reason to value and protect the health of the planet than for our own personal well-being.
In this clever and wide-ranging work, Lambin draws on new scientific evidence in the fields of geography, political ecology, environmental psychology, urban studies, and disease ecology, among others, to answer such questions as: To what extent do we need nature for our well-being? How does environmental degradation affect our happiness? What can be done to protect the environment and increase our well-being at the same time? Drawing on case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, Lambin makes a persuasive case for the strong link between healthy ecosystems and happy humans.
Unique in its scope and evenhanded synthesis of research from many fields, An Ecology of Happiness offers a compelling human-centered argument that is impossible to overlook when we marvel at murmurations of starlings or seek out the most brilliant fall foliage: nature makes our steps a little lighter and our eyes a little brighter. What better reason to protect an ecosystem or save a species than for our own pleasure?

Code
by Lawrence Lessig

Since its original publication in 1999, this foundational book has become a classic in its field. This second edition, Code Version 2.0, updates the work and was prepared in part through a wiki, a web site allowing readers to edit the text, making this the first reader-edited revision of a popular book. Code counters the common belief that cyberspace cannot be controlled or censored. To the contrary, under the influence of commerce, cyberspace is becoming a highly regulable world where behavior will be much more tightly controlled than in real space. We can – we must – choose what kind of cyberspace we want and what freedoms it will guarantee. These choices are all about architecture: what kind of code will govern cyberspace, and who will control it. In this realm, code is the most significant form of law and it is up to lawyers, policymakers, and especially average citizens to decide what values that code embodies.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
by Shoshana Zuboff

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called “surveillance capitalism,” and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth.
Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new “behavioral futures markets,” where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new “means of behavioral modification.”
The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a “Big Other” operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff’s comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled “hive” of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit–at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future.
With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future–if we let it.


Killing the Deep State
by Jerome R. Corsi. Ph.D.

The truth behind how well-funded hard-left extremists, the mainstream media, and Obama/Clinton holdovers in the government bureaucracy have combined with clandestine forces within the US intelligence apparatus – the “Deep State” — to block and undermine Trump’s every move. At 2:45 a.m. ET on Nov. 8, 2016, television networks announced to a stunned nation that Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral had gone for Donald Trump, making him the president-elect of the United States, defying all odds in a surreal victory that sent the Deep State into an immediate sense of panic. By dawn on Nov. 9, 2016, the Deep State forces that expected Hillary Clinton to continue the leftist politics of Barack Obama were already planning Donald Trump’s demise. What emerged from the hard left was a political strategy calculated to block Donald Trump from being inaugurated, and if that failed, to make sure Donald Trump would not long serve out his term as 45th President of the United States. Investigative journalist and conspiracy expert Jerome Corsi goes into shocking detail about how this Deep State or Shadow Government secretly wields power in Washington, and why the Deep State is dangerous – capable of assassinating Trump, if efforts to impeach him or to force him to resign fail. Corsi will also define a three-point strategy Trump — as a political independent, opposed both by Democratic Party enemies and GOP establishment — must employ to stay in office and have a chance of a successful first term in office.

The Coddling of the American Mind
by Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt

Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?
 
First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life.
 
Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade.
 
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.

Building Access
by Aimi Hamraie

“All too often,” wrote disabled architect Ronald Mace, “designers don’t take the needs of disabled and elderly people into account.” Building Access investigates twentieth-century strategies for designing the world with disability in mind. Commonly understood in terms of curb cuts, automatic doors, Braille signs, and flexible kitchens, Universal Design purported to create a built environment for everyone, not only the average citizen. But who counts as “everyone,” Aimi Hamraie asks, and how can designers know? Blending technoscience studies and design history with critical disability, race, and feminist theories, Building Access interrogates the historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts for these questions, offering a groundbreaking critical history of Universal Design. 

Hamraie reveals that the twentieth-century shift from “design for the average” to “design for all” took place through liberal political, economic, and scientific structures concerned with defining the disabled user and designing in its name. Tracing the co-evolution of accessible design for disabled veterans, a radical disability maker movement, disability rights law, and strategies for diversifying the architecture profession, Hamraie shows that Universal Design was not just an approach to creating new products or spaces, but also a sustained, understated activist movement challenging dominant understandings of disability in architecture, medicine, and society.

Illustrated with a wealth of rare archival materials, Building Access brings together scientific, social, and political histories in what is not only the pioneering critical account of Universal Design but also a deep engagement with the politics of knowing, making, and belonging in twentieth-century United States.



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