Polity Press

Is the American Century Over? by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Is the American Century Over? by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

In his book Is the American Century Over?, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a renowned political scientist and professor, attempts to answer that very question to understand why America has been in an economic and political decline. If nothing else, his brief thesis gives both educated citizens and ignorant ones (like me) an intelligent, unbiased evaluation of one of the most powerful nations in recorded history. 

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A Stranger in My Own Country by Hans Fallada

A Stranger in My Own Country by Hans Fallada

If Mein Kampf is one dictator’s racist, dogmatic manifesto, then A Stranger in My Own Country is one German citizen’s sardonic rebuttal. Translated by Allan Blunden and edited by Jenny Williams and Sabine Lange, Hans Fallada’s A Stranger in My Own Country is a memoir describing the life of a writer under the Nazi regime. While imprisoned in 1944, Fallada hand wrote the manuscript using abbreviations, writing in between lines, and flipping pages upside down to keep the text as illegible as possible lest it be confiscated.

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Walter Benjamin and the Media by Jaeho Kang

Walter Benjamin and the Media by Jaeho Kang

I’m lucky: book reviewers are only really expected to write about the content of the books they review. They almost never have to write about what it was actually like to read a book. That is, they don’t have to talk about how they read a book, how it felt to see printed letters on a mass-produced page, or how they thought their understanding may have differed had they, say, read the words on a computer, or as scrolling credits at the end of a movie, or scrawled in pen on some bathroom stall (a very erudite bathroom stall). It’s simply beside the point. Because we already know what it means to read a book. Or at least we think we do.

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