Sunday, October 25, 2015

Who Can Win the Presidency in 2016?

The field is still crowded for the U.S. presidential nomination even though there are more names that have halted their quest for the job ("Who Is Running for President," The New York Times, October 21, 2015). The article analyzes each candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and unique appeal.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to the campaign for the White House at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. (Note: Also check the library catalog for individual candidate names to find more information on them.) Click the title of a listed item, select the "Request" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to reserve for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more in the library catalog:
  • campaign funds United States
  • political campaigns United States
  • presidential candidates United States
  • right and left political science
  • women presidential candidates

Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform by Robert E. Mutch.
Oxford, 2014
call number: 324.78 Mut

"Campaign finance expert Mutch surveys an incendiary and timely subject with considerable finesse. . . He surveys campaign financing trends and reform cycles during the 20th century. . . He briefly considers Barack Obama's 2008 campaign innovations, notably how his team used the Internet for fund-raising. Mutch includes detailed commentaries on Supreme Court rulings, focusing on the widely followed and criticized 2010 Citizens United case, the ruling that prohibits the government from restricting corporate and union political expenditures, and vastly widens the power of outside money in the electoral system. . . Given prevailing judicial thought on the First Amendment and rights of corporations, he is pessimistic about the possibilities of containing their influence in future elections. " - Publishers Weekly review excerpt

Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age by Jennifer Stromer-Galley
Oxford, 2014
call number: 324.73 Str

"The expansion of new technologies has presented candidates with greater opportunities to micro-target potential voters, cheaper and easier ways to raise money, and faster and more innovative ways to respond to opponents. The need for communication control and management, however, has made campaigns slow and loathe to experiment with truly interactive internet communication technologies. Citizen involvement in the campaign historically has been and, as this book shows, continues to be a means to an end: winning the election for the candidate. For all the proliferation of apps to download, polls to click, videos to watch, and messages to forward, the decidedly undemocratic view of controlled interactivity is how most campaigns continue to operate." - publisher summary excerpt

What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?: Conversations about Women, Leadership and Power by Marianne Schnall
Seal, 2013
call number: 305.409 Sch

"Schnall, a journalist who runs the website, has asked 30 successful and well-known women-e.g., Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou, Anita Hill, Nancy Pelosi-and a few feminist men why we have not had a woman president. Their answers are alike: the responsibility of women for family care, the expectation that leaders will be men, the failure to recruit women for political or leadership positions, women's lesser access to money, and the stereotyped presentation of women in various media." - Library Journal review excerpt

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Freedom from Religion Trending in America

Religion is becoming less important in American culture according to results from the Pew Research Center's 2014 Religious Landscape Study ("Christianity Faces Sharp Decline as Americans Are Becoming Even Less Affiliated with Religion," The Washington Post, May 12, 2015). The number of people who identified themselves in some way as Christian decreased from 78% in 2007 to 71% in 2014. Catholics and mainline Protestants both saw a dip of about 3% in their ranks during that same period.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to the religion and spirituality at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Request" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to reserve for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more in the library catalog:
  • Christianity United States
  • families religious United States
  • interfaith United States
  • philosophy and religion
  • religion United States
  • spiritual life
  • spirituality

American Christianity: The Continuing Revolution by Stephen Cox
University of Texas Press, 2014.
call number: 277.3 Cox

". . . An objective look at what impacts religious affiliations among the American people, Cox's candid demeanor invites the reader into the discussion. . .a comprehensive social study of the way Christian Americans have worshiped and will do so in the future. . . Both religious and sociological scholars will be impressed with the thoroughness of Cox's research, and lay readers will be drawn in by his open, conversational writing. A fascinating, pleasurable read." - Library Journal review excerpt

Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich
New York: Twelve, 2014.
call number: 215 Ehr

"Ehrenreich's work is engaging and invites-no, demands that its readers question the world around them and everything they believe about it. The author's rational approach to researching "religious experiences" similar to her own, her mission to find an answer to: "Why are we here?" is profoundly relatable to those who have asked similar questions, who have wondered at humanity's purpose, and who have probed at the presence of the Other. Part memoir, part mystical journey, this is essential for anyone with an interest in religious studies, contemporary history, or memoir and biography." - Library Journal review excerpt

Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family by Susan Katz Miller
Beacon Press, 2013.
call number: 306.843 Mil

"This positive, hopeful book studies an increasingly common choice of American families-the adoption of the faith practices of both parents rather than the choosing of one. Freelance journalist Miller provides an overview of the movement in which interfaith couples raise their children with both religions. . . Miller's narrative moves beyond the personal as she shares the findings of surveys and interviews she conducted with more than 250 interfaith parents and children. Although most of the stories focus on Jewish and Christian couples, she frequently refers to other faiths, even including pagan and atheist partners in the mix. Miller sees Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist interfaith couples as "the next wave" and devotes a chapter to exploring the spiritual integration of such families." - Library Journal review excerpt

Monday, May 11, 2015

Middle Class Moves Up on Presidential Campaign Agenda

Ordinary Americans are in the spotlight in the current campaign for the White House ("Why 'Middle-Class Economics' Has Moved Front and Center for 2016," The Christian Science Monitor, April 22, 2015). Both Republicans and Democrats seem to be courting the middle class with talk of bettering their situation through economic reforms.

Review selected hard copy and online library books related to the middle class at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Request" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to reserve for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more in the library catalog:
  • American Dream
  • income distribution United States
  • middle class United States
  • social classes United States
  • social mobility United States
(1:43 minutes) from the Films on Demand video database - Films Media Group, 2014.
Note: Login with your My LoneStar login or Lone Star College ID/library card barcode number to view the video off campus.
"(Senator Elizabeth) Warren discusses how Washington only works for the wealthy. She calls for increased minimum wage and lowered student loan interest rates—issues Republicans refuse to compromise on." - video excerpt

Middle Class Meltdown in America: Causes, Consequences, and Remedies by Kevin T. Leicht and Scott T. Fitzgerald
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.
call number: 305.55 Lei

". . .This short text provides a sociological understanding of the causes and consequences of growing middle class inequality, with an abundance of supporting, empirical data. The book also addresses what we, as individuals and as a society, can do to put middle class Americans on a sounder footing." - publisher's summary excerpt

The Price of Paradise: The Costs of Inequality and a Vision for a More Equitable America by David Dante Troutt
New York University Press, 2013.
call number: 305.509 Tro

"Many American communities, especially the working and middle class, are facing chronic problems: fiscal stress, urban decline, environmental sprawl, failing schools, mass incarceration, political isolation, disproportionate foreclosures, and severe public health risks. . .Through a careful presentation of this crisis at the national level and also through on-the-ground observation in communities like Newark, Detroit, Houston, Oakland, and New York City that all face similar hardships, he makes the case that America's tendency to separate into enclaves in urban areas or to sprawl off on one's own in suburbs gravely undermines the American dream. . .The Price of Paradise is a multilayered exploration of the legal, economic, and cultural forces that contribute to the squeeze on the middle class, the hidden dangers of growing income and wealth inequality, and environmentally unsustainable growth and consumption patterns." - publisher's summary excerpt