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January 2017 Selected New Titles (PDF)

Librarian's Picks for January 2017:

A field guide to lies : critical thinking in the information age / Daniel Levitin. Toronto : Allen Lane, 2016. xi, 292 pages.

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From the publisher:

“There is no master narrative for Canadian history; there are too many stories to package into a tidy-tightly scripted identity. Yet Canada exerts a sense of endless promise because over the years it has successfully managed so many competing pressures - parallel identities, layers of allegiance, rooted hostilities, overlapping loyalties...Our country owes its success not to some imagined tribal singularity but to the fact that, although its thirty-five million citizens do not look, speak or pray alike, we have learned to share this land and for the most part live in neighbourly sympathy.” Charlotte Gray, from the preface of The Promise of Canada.

On the eve of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations comes a richly rewarding new book from acclaimed historian Charlotte Gray about what it means to be Canadian. Readers already know Gray as an award-winning biographer, a writer who has brilliantly captured significant individuals and dramatic moments in our history. Now, in The Promise of Canada, she weaves together masterful portraits of nine influential Canadians, creating an engaging history of the country over the past 150 years and arguing that Canada has constantly reimagined itself in every generation since 1867.

A fresh take on our history that offers fascinating insights into how this country has matured and how - 150 years after Confederation and beyond - we are still a people in progress, The Promise of Canada will inspire and challenge readers to envision the Canada they want to live in. Charlotte Gray makes history come alive as she opens doors into our past, our present and our future.

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The business of America is lobbying : how corporations became politicized and politics became more corporate / Lee Drutman. New York : Oxford University Press, 2015. xiv, 269 pages.

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From the publisher:

Corporate lobbyists are everywhere in Washington. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 represent business. The largest companies now have upwards of 100 lobbyists representing them. How did American businesses become so invested in politics? And what does all their money buy?

Drawing on extensive data and original interviews with corporate lobbyists, The Business of America is Lobbying provides a fascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do in Washington, why they do it, and why it matters. […]

Lively and engaging, rigorous and nuanced, The Business of America is Lobbying will change how we think about lobbying-and how we might reform it.

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Forging trust communities : how technology changes politics / Irene S. Wu. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. xii, 163 pages.

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From the publisher:

Author Wu is a senior analyst at the US Federal Communications Commission, as well as a teacher in Georgetown University’s Communications, Culture & Technology Program. Here, she presents an original conceptual framework of trust communities, which are networks of human beings connected by communication technology and held together by common ideas and goals. She demonstrates how the concept of trust communities can be used as an analytical tool for exploring the impact of the Internet and digital technology on politics. Although much of the discussion centers on how political activists use technology, there is also examination of how governments use communications technology for economic development, national security, and delivering public services. Historical and contemporary cases describe examples such as cable TV and the rise of democracy in Taiwan in the 1970s, the role of blogs and wikis in the response to the 2004 tsunami, and the place of social media in the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia of 2011. The last part of the book returns to the concept of trust communities and discusses its implications for research. The book ends with 15-page section of advice for activists, businesses, and governments on how to use technology to lead change. The book’s readership includes students and scholars in political science, international studies, sociology, public administration, and history of technology.

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How to be a minister : a 21st century guide / John Hutton & Leigh Lewis. London : Biteback Publishing, 2014. viii, 280 pages.

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From the publisher:

Politics has all sorts of downsides as a career choice but the fortunate few get the opportunity to do something meaningful – prevent or win wars, reduce poverty, create the NHS or, just sometimes, put an end to real injustice.

How to Be a Minister launches you into your fledgling ministerial career and shows you how to proceed. This is a fail-safe guide to how to survive as a Secretary of State in Her Majesty’s Government, from dealing with civil servants, Cabinet colleagues, the opposition and the media, to coping with the bad times whilst managing the good (and how to resign with a modicum of dignity intact when it all inevitably falls apart).

Co-written by former Labour minister John Hutton and former Permanent Secretary Sir Leigh Lewis, How to Be a Minister  is not only an invaluable survival guide for ambitious MPs but a tantalising view into the working lives of the people we elect to run our country.

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Running from office : why young Americans are turned off to politics / Jennifer Lawless and Richard L. Fox. New York : Oxford University Press, 2015. xiv, 211 pages.

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From Library Journal Reviews

The nature of the current American political system is creating negative consequences. As Lawless and Fox illustrate in this title, one such outcome is that younger people say they are disinclined to run for office in the future—at all levels of government. The authors draw on a large survey and in-depth interviews with high school and college students and conclude that the roots of the problem lie with a lack of conversations at home and within social circles and negative perception of politicians as leaders. This tendency threatens democracy because the best and brightest will not shape future governance. This effective treatise on the consequences of the great partisan divide in Washington will work well with The Networked Young Citizen, edited by Brian D. Loader and others, and Jay Childers's The Evolving Citizen. VERDICT Recommended for students of American democracy, government officials, and young citizens.

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The Selected New Titles list includes new items in the library collection and is published monthly. These items are available for circulation to Manitoba government personnel through our library catalogue, by email at legislative_library@gov.mb.ca, or by phone at 204-945-4330. They are available to the public through interlibrary loan services at their library.

For more information on the Selected New Titles lists, call 204-945-6384 or email leglibraryservices@gov.mb.ca