I may be alone on this, but I’m already looking forward to the endless Game Change-style books we’re bound to get on the 2016 presidential election. We’ll have to wait until votes are counted for those titles, but there’s plenty to read on some of the election’s major issues. Along with books on individual campaigns and candidates, the second half of 2016 brings us nonfiction that digs deep into some fiercely debated topics.
“In Necessary Trouble, journalist Sarah Jaffe leads readers into the heart of these movements [the growth of the Tea Party, the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage, BlackLivesMatter, Occupy Wall Street], explaining what has made ordinary Americans from Seattle to St. Louis to Atlanta become activists. As Jaffe shows, Americans, regardless of political alignment, are boldly challenging who wields power in this country. They are poised to permanently remake politics as we know it—and in many cases, they already have.”
“With the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright became generally acknowledged as one of our major journalists writing on terrorism in the Middle East. Here, in ten powerful pieces first published in The New Yorker, he recalls the path that terror in the Middle East has taken, from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS.”
“From a country with one of the world’s lowest rates of income and social inequality comes a clear-eyed and timeless account that recalls Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In The Anatomy of Inequality, Swedish analyst Per Molander examines the development of social and economic inequity throughout the modern world, its history, and what can be done about it.”
“In Enough Said, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson argues that there is a widening gap between political power and the public, because public language is being misused or misunderstood. Drawing from classical rhetoric as well as contemporary political doublespeak, Thompson outlines the dangers of speech without accountability, while identifying positive trends in modern speech and exploring our new age of public engagement.”
“If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right? Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.”
“On an average day in America, seven young people, aged nineteen or under, will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning Guardian journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost on one random day—November 23, 2013. Ten children died that day. From Jaiden Dixon, nine, shot point-blank by his mother’s ex-boyfriend on his doorstep in suburban Ohio, to Tyshon Anderson, an eighteen-year-old gang member who’d recently been released from prison on Chicago’s South Side; from a rural hamlet in Michigan to the deindustrialised streets of Newark, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the stories behind the statistics and brief mentions in local papers.”
“In a closely reported book that draws on his own experience as a young biracial journalist, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery tells the story of the year that shook America. From the killings of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida and Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, with a stop in Selma, Alabama along the way, Lowery takes readers to the front lines of history as it unfolds.”
Are you planning to read anything alongside the election?