Small “d” democrats of whatever political persuasion must read, Lincoln Caplan’s heavy-hitting take in the American Scholar the meaning of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision for U.S. democracy. Many may not realize that the Court’s decision rests on an interpretation of the First Amendment that transforms its historic separation of “commercial free speech” from
Eric Chenoweth has written a heartfelt tribute to a Polish resistance leader of Solidarity days Zbigniew Romaszewski, who died in 2014. Among their most famous achievements, Romaszewski and his wife Zofia were the authors of Radio Solidarność. Based on temporary rooftop transmitters run by activists in hiding the radio managed to override state broadcasts to
Academics debate whether or not inequality threatens democracy, but when we look at the influence of wealth on political spending, restrictive voting rules and gerrymandered districts – all of which are pretty clearly designed to weaken the political power of the less fortunate – we don’t have much of a problem making up our minds.
Bayard Rustin, the Invisible Activist, A New Children’s Book on Bayard Rustin, by Jacqueline Houtman Walter Naegle Michael Long. We have not seen this yet, but given the authors and what we have heard it must be a promising read for students of middle school ages and up.
The New Dictators Rule by Velvet Fist, by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treismanmay. This New York Times op ed, appearing May 24th offers a brilliant and concise analysis of how the new crop of dictators differ from the old. Here is just one paragraph: “. . . in recent decades, a new brand of authoritarian