Political Book Definition
Safire’s Political Dictionary
by William Safire
Safire’s Political Dictionary is a stem-to-stern updating and expansion of the Language of Politics, which was first published in 1968 and last revised in 1993, long before such terms as Hanging Chads, 9/11 and the War on Terror became part of our everyday vocabulary. Nearly every entry in that renowned work has been revised and updated and scores of completely new entries have been added to produce an indispensable guide to the political language being used and abused in America today.
Safire’s definitions–discursive, historically aware, and often anecdotal–bring a savvy perspective to our colorful political lingo. Indeed, a Safire definition often reads like a mini-essay in political history, and readers will come away not only with a fuller understanding of particular words but also a richer knowledge of how politics works, and fails to work, in America. From Axis of Evil, Blame Game, Bridge to Nowhere, Triangulation, and Compassionate Conservatism to Islamofascism, Netroots, Earmark, Wingnuts and Moonbats, Slam Dunk, Doughnut Hole, and many others, this language maven explains the origin of each term, how and by whom and for what purposes it has been used or twisted, as well as its perceived and real significance.
For anyone who wants to cut through the verbal haze that surrounds so much of American political discourse, Safire’s Political Dictionary offers a work of scholarship, wit, insiderhood and resolute bipartisanship.
Hannah Arendt and the Meaning of Politics
by Craig J. Calhoun, John McGowan
For each essay — on the fate of politics in a postmodern, post-Marxist era; on the connection of nonfoundationalist ethics and epistemology to democracy; on the conditions conducive to a vital public sphere; on the recalcitrant problems of violence and evil — the volume includes extended responses, and a concluding essay by Martin Jay responding to all the others. Ranging from feminism to aesthetics to the discourse of democracy, the essays explore how an encounter with Arendt reconfigures, disrupts, and revitalizes what passes for public debate in our day. Together they forcefully demonstrate the power of Arendt’s work as a splendid provocation and a living resource.
The Politics of Information
by Frank R. Baumgartner, Bryan D. Jones
With The Politics of Attention, leading policy scholars Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones demonstrated the central role attention plays in how governments prioritize problems. Now, with The Politics of Information, they turn the focus to the problem-detection process itself, showing how the growth or contraction of government is closely related to how it searches for information and how, as an organization, it analyzes its findings. Better search processes that incorporate more diverse viewpoints lead to more intensive policymaking activity. Similarly, limiting search processes leads to declines in policy making. At the same time, the authors find little evidence that the factors usually thought to be responsible for government expansion—partisan control, changes in presidential leadership, and shifts in public opinion—can be systematically related to the patterns they observe.
Drawing on data tracing the course of American public policy since World War II, Baumgartner and Jones once again deepen our understanding of the dynamics of American policy making.