The Democrats’ New Reading List


A reading list on national securitySpent a couple of hours this morning knocking around ideas on how to cover the new majority in the House and — George Allen is about to concede has officially conceded — now the Senate. Then, in a comment thread, we see from Sutter a complete show in a box:


Recommended topic: “The 2006 Election Reading List.” Shortly after winning power in 2004 1994, Speaker-elect Newt Gingrich publicly exhorted the incoming class of Republican Representatives to read a list of books reflecting his governing philosophy. The list included an odd mix of materials on or by the Founders (The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and James Flexner’s biography of George Washington), Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” and more recent post-industrial political/economic thinking (work by Drucker, Demming, and the Tofflers, as well as books with titles like “Working Without a Net” and “Leadership and the Computer”). One suspects that Nancy Pelosi will not be presenting her counter-list for 2006. But what would that list look like? Hopefully, it would go far deeper than books about the failure in Iraq, and would explore key issues: How will we accommodate globalization while maintaining American values? How will we protect the unprotected when even highly paid professionals feel less secure than ever? How can we forge consensus when the country is so badly fractured on critical moral and political issues not susceptible to easy reconciliation? And how will we address the grave threats posed by terrorism and failed states in an increasingly multipolar world?

We don’t need to answer these questions right away, but what are the books (or articles or pamphlets or blogs or whatever) that best explain where the country will (or should) be going under a Democratic Congress? What is the 2006 Election’s reading list?

Sutter, in a comment to Open Source, November 8, 2006

We’re doing it.

Chris Suellentrop

Blogger, The Opinionator, New York Times

Blogger, Chris Suellentrop

Michael Kinsley

American Editor-at-large, The Guardian

Op-Ed Columnist, Washington Post

Ezra Klein

Writing Fellow, American Prospect

Blogger, Ezra Klein: Tomorrow’s Media Conspiracy Today

Irene Gendzier

Professor, Department of Political Science, Boston University

Author, Notes from the Minefield: United States Intervention in Lebanon, 1945-1958

Co-Editor, Crimes of War: Iraq

David Rieff

Senior Fellow, World Policy Institute at The New School

Author, At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention

Lila Azam Zanganeh

Contributor, Le Monde

Editor, My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices

Robert Reich

U.S. Secretary of Labor, 1993-1997

Professor of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley

Author, Reason:Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America and The Work of Nations, among many others

Extra Credit Reading
The US Constitution,, September 17, 1787.

Newt’s Book List,, 2005.

United States Marine Corps Professional Reading Program Reading List, USMC, 2005.

Republican National Committee Reading List,, 2006.

(via Old Nick) Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Samuel Kercheval,, June 12, 1816: “In truth, the abuses of monarchy had so much filled all the space of political contemplation, that we imagined everything republican which was not monarchy. We had not yet penetrated to the mother principle, that “governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people, and execute it.”

(via Old Nick) George Lakoff, Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision, , Farrar Straus Giroux, October 2006.

(via Old Nick) Peter Wallsten, One Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century, , John Wiley & Sons, July 2006.

(via Old Nick) Sanford Levinson, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It), , Oxford University Press, October 2006.

(via jdyer) Elie Kedourie, The Chatham House Version, , Ivan R. Dee Publisher, January 2004.

(via Sutter) Michael J. Sandel, Public Philosophy: Essays in Morality in Politics, , Harvard University Press, October 2006.

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