The Presidency and Domestic Policy: Comparing Leadership Styles, FDR to Obama

Presidency and Domestic PolicyGenovese (Loyola Marymount Univ.), Belt (Univ. of Hawaii, Hilo), and Lammers (Univ. of Southern California) examine and compare the domestic policy leadership styles and strategies of presidents since 1933; this new edition adds George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s presidencies. They assess presidents’ leadership styles and strategies for governing by looking at their approaches to advising processes and decision making, administrative strategies, public leadership, and congressional leadership. Importantly, the book considers presidential leadership in the context in which presidents serve, recognizing that presidents have different opportunities to lead based on the times in which they are in office. They thus categorize presidents based on the political environments they faced (high-opportunity presidents, moderate-opportunity presidents, and low-opportunity presidents), and evaluate their leadership and success based on their opportunities. They argue that, given their levels of opportunity, different presidents overachieved while others underachieved. Each president has one chapter dedicated to discussing his presidency, and each chapter follows the same format. The book is clearly written, easy to understand, and full of interesting anecdotes to help support its arguments.   R. L. Welch West Texas A&M University Copyright 2014 American Library Association.

Children Living in Transition: Helping Homeless and Foster Care Children and Families

Children Living in TransitionSharing the daily struggles of children and families residing in transitional situations (homelessness or because of risk of homelessness, being connected with the child welfare system, or being new immigrants in temporary housing), this text recommends strategies for delivering mental health and intensive case-management services that maintain family integrity and stability. Based on work undertaken at the Center for the Vulnerable Child in Oakland, California, which has provided mental health and intensive case management to children and families living in transition for more than two decades, this volume outlines culturally sensitive practices to engage families that feel disrespected by the assistance of helping professionals or betrayed by their forgotten promises. Chapters discuss the Center’s staffers’ attempt to trace the influence of power, privilege, and beliefs on their education and their approach to treatment. Many U.S. children living in impoverished transitional situations are of color and come from generations of poverty, and the professionals they encounter are white, middle-class, and college-educated. The Center’s work to identify the influences or obstacles interfering with services for this target population is therefore critical to formulating more effective treatment, interaction, and care.

Student Assessment: Fast, Frequent and Formative

Student AssessmentIn this book, the author provides strategies and techniques, such as the use of graphic organizers, quick writes, and journaling, to be used as formative assessments. Specific information about each tool and recommendations for data analysis and implementation are provided, helping teachers to implement formative assessment effectively and efficiently and allow their students to “preset the reset button” and master the skills they need to be successful in the classroom.

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Manufactured Crisis “Manufactured Crisis provides unique and timely background to the ongoing diplomacy around Iran’s nuclear technology program. In it, award-winning investigative journalist Gareth Porter offers a well documented critique of the official ‘western’ account of what the Iranian government has been doing, and why. In Manufactured Crisis, Porter brings together the results of his many years of research into the issue–including numerous interviews with former insiders. He shows that the origins of the Iran nuclear “crisis” lay not in an Iranian urge to obtain nuclear weapons but, rather, in a sustained effort by the United States and its allies to deny Iran its right, as guaranteed in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to have any nuclear program at all. The book highlights the impact that the United States’ alliance with Israel had on Washington’s pursuit of its Iran policy and sheds new light on the US strategy of turning the International Atomic Energy Agency into a tool of its anti-Iran policy.” — Amazon.com

Timing and Turnout : How Off-Cycle Elections Favor Organized Groups

.Timing and Turnout

Public policy in the United States is the product of decisions made by more than 500,000 elected officials, and the vast majority of those officials are elected on days other than Election Day. And because far fewer voters turn out for off-cycle elections, that means the majority of officials in America are elected by a politically motivated minority of Americans. Sarah F. Anzia is the first to systemically address the effects of election timing on political outcomes, and her findings are eye-opening.
The low turnout for off-cycle elections, Anzia argues, increases the influence of organized interest groups like teachers’ unions and municipal workers. While such groups tend to vote at high rates regardless of when the election is held, the low turnout in off-cycle years enhances the effectiveness of their mobilization efforts and makes them a proportionately larger bloc. Throughout American history, the issue of election timing has been a contentious one. Anzia’s book traces efforts by interest groups and political parties to change the timing of elections to their advantage, resulting in the electoral structures we have today. Ultimately, what might seem at first glance to be mundane matters of scheduling are better understood as tactics designed to distribute political power, determining who has an advantage in the electoral process and who will control government at the municipal, county, and state levels.

Why Global Poverty? A Companion Guide to the Film “The End of Poverty?”

Why Global PovertyGlobal poverty did not just happen: it is the result of the geo-politics of injustice stretching back centuries and continuing to our day. This book presents notes on the production of the film “The End of Poverty?”, a complete transcript of the film, and over seventy full interviews – including Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson, Susan George, and Eric Toussaint – to give an in-depth account of the methods of global economic domination and ways to remedy worldwide injustice.

Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

Stem CellsEmbryonic stem cells have been hot-button topics in recent years, generating intense public interest as well as much confusion and misinformation. In this Very Short Introduction, leading authority Jonathan Slack offers a clear and informative overview of stem cells–what they are, what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and how they might be used in the future. Slack explains the difference between embryonic stem cells, which exist only in laboratory cultures, and tissue-specific stem cells, which exist in our bodies, and he discusses how embryonic stem cells may be used in the future to treat such illnesses as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, spinal trauma, and retinal degeneration. But he stresses that, despite important advances, the clinical applications of stem cells are still in their infancy and that most real stem cell therapy today is some form of bone marrow transplantation. Slack concludes by analyzing how medical innovation has occurred in this area in recent years and he draws out some of the lessons for the development of new therapies in the future.

Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513 – 2008

Life Upon These ShoresHenry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a sumptuously illustrated landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama.

Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship and including more than seven hundred images—ancient maps, fine art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters—Life Upon These Shores focuses on defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as the signal achievements of people famous and obscure. Gates takes us from the sixteenth century through the ordeal of slavery, from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration; from the civil rights and black nationalist movements through the age of hip-hop to the Joshua generation. By documenting and illuminating the sheer diversity of African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture, Gates bracingly disabuses us of the presumption of a single “black experience.”

Life Upon These Shores is a book of major importance, a breathtaking tour de force of the historical imagination.

The War on Poverty: A New Grasroots History, 1964 – 1980

The War on Poverty

Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty has long been portrayed as the most potent symbol of all that is wrong with big government. Conservatives deride the War on Poverty for corruption and the creation of “poverty pimps,” and even liberals carefully distance themselves from it. Examining the long War on Poverty from the 1960s onward, this book makes a controversial argument that the programs were in many ways a success, reducing poverty rates and weaving a social safety net that has proven as enduring as programs that came out of the New Deal.

The War on Poverty also transformed American politics from the grass roots up, mobilizing poor people across the nation. Blacks in crumbling cities, rural whites in Appalachia, Cherokees in Oklahoma, Puerto Ricans in the Bronx, migrant Mexican farmworkers, and Chinese immigrants from New York to California built social programs based on Johnson’s vision of a greater, more just society. Contributors to this volume chronicle these vibrant and largely unknown histories while not shying away from the flaws and failings of the movement—including inadequate funding, co-optation by local political elites, and blindness to the reality that mothers and their children made up most of the poor.

In the twenty-first century, when one in seven Americans receives food stamps and community health centers are the largest primary care system in the nation, the War on Poverty is as relevant as ever. This book helps us to understand the turbulent era out of which it emerged and why it remains so controversial to this day.

Legacies of the War on Poverty

Legacies of the War on PovertyMany believe that the War on Poverty, launched by President Johnson in 1964, ended in failure. In 2010, the official poverty rate was 15 percent, almost as high as when the War on Poverty was declared. Historical and contemporary accounts often portray the War on Poverty as a costly experiment that created doubts about the ability of public policies to address complex social problems. Legacies of the War on Poverty, drawing from fifty years of empirical evidence, documents that this popular view is too negative. The volume offers a balanced assessment of the War on Poverty that highlights some remarkable policy successes and promises to shift the national conversation on poverty in America. Featuring contributions from leading poverty researchers, Legacies of the War on Poverty demonstrates that poverty and racial discrimination would likely have been much greater today if the War on Poverty had not been launched. Chloe Gibbs, Jens Ludwig, and Douglas Miller dispel the notion that the Head Start education program does not work. While its impact on children’s test scores fade, the program contributes to participants’ long-term educational achievement and, importantly, their earnings growth later in life. Elizabeth Cascio and Sarah Reber show that Title I legislation reduced the school funding gap between poorer and richer states and prompted Southern school districts to desegregate, increasing educational opportunity for African Americans. The volume also examines the significant consequences of income support, housing, and health care programs. Jane Waldfogel shows that without the era’s expansion of food stamps and other nutrition programs, the child poverty rate in 2010 would have been three percentage points higher. Kathleen McGarry examines the policies that contributed to a great success of the War on Poverty: the rapid decline in elderly poverty, which fell from 35 percent in 1959 to below 10 percent in 2010. Barbara Wolfe concludes that Medicaid and Community Health Centers contributed to large reductions in infant mortality and increased life expectancy. Katherine Swartz finds that Medicare and Medicaid increased access to health care among the elderly and reduced the risk that they could not afford care or that obtaining it would bankrupt them and their families. Legacies of the War on Poverty demonstrates that well-designed government programs can reduce poverty, racial discrimination, and material hardships. This insightful volume refutes pessimism about the effects of social policies and provides new lessons about what more can be done to improve the lives of the poor.–Publisher description

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