Movies in the Age of Obama
This collection of essays looks at how films in the last few years have reflected and juxtaposed the ascent of Barack Obama and his administration. The films examined here include The Help, Django Unchained, Lincoln, The Mist, Invictus, Black Dynamite, and The Great Gatsby.
Social Media Branding in the Age of Obama
"Social Media Branding in the Age of Obama" is a social media guide designed to help you understand and make the most of the free social media tools available for use on the internet.Barack Obama made history by not only becoming the United States' first African American President, but by using social media technology to get elected. Never has a presidential candidate used the internet and social media so effectively. President Barack Obama used social media web sites such as Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Myspace, Blogger, BlogTalk Radio, YouTube and other web sites as a cohesive, collective social juggernaut.
Between Barack and a Hard Place
Race is, and always has been, an explosive issue in the United States. In this timely new book, Tim Wise explores how Barack Obama’s emergence as a political force is taking the race debate to new levels. According to Wise, for many white people, Obama’s rise signifies the end of racism as a pervasive social force; they point to Obama not only as a validation of the American ideology that anyone can make it if they work hard, but also as an example of how institutional barriers against people of color have all but vanished. But is this true? And does a reinforced white belief in color-blind meritocracy potentially make it harder to address ongoing institutional racism? After all, in housing, employment, the justice system, and education, the evidence is clear: white privilege and discrimination against people of color are still operative and actively thwarting opportunities, despite the success of individuals like Obama. Is black success making it harder for whites to see the problem of racism, thereby further straining race relations, or will it challenge anti-black stereotypes to such an extent that racism will diminish and race relations improve? Will blacks in power continue to be seen as an “exception” in white eyes? Is Obama “acceptable” because he seems “different from most blacks,” who are still viewed too often as the dangerous and inferior “other”? "From the Civil Rights struggle, to Dr. King's dream, to Barack Obama's election, Tim Wise provides us with an extremely important and timely analysis of the increasing complexity of race on the American political and social landscape. Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama provides an insightful and much needed lens through which we can begin to navigate this current stage in our ongoing quest for a more inclusive definition of who we are as a nation. It's definitely a book for these times!"—Danny Glover "Tim Wise has looked behind the curtain. In Between Barack and a Hard Place he explores the real issues of race in the Obama campaign and incoming presidency, issues that the mainstream media has chosen to ignore. His book debunks any notion that the United States has entered a post-racial period; instead he identifies the problems that emerge in the context of the victory of a black presidential candidate who chose to run an essentially non-racial campaign. With this book, Wise hits the bull's eye."—Bill Fletcher "Wise outlines…how racism and white privilege have morphed to fit the modern social landscape. In prose that reads like his lightening rod speeches, he draws from a long list of high-profile campaign examples to define what he calls 'Racism 2.0,' a more insidious form of racism that actually allows for and celebrates the achievements of individual people of color because they're seen as the exceptions, not the rules."—Jamilah King, Colorlines "This book makes an intriguing argument and is packed with insight. Wise clearly explains the complexity of institutional racism in contemporary society. He continuously reminds the reader that Obama's victory may signal the entrenchment of a more complicated, subtle, and insidious form of racism. The jury is still out."—Jeff Torlina, Multicultural Review Tim Wise is among the most prominent antiracist writers and activists in the US and has appeared on ABC's 20/20 and MSNBC Live. His previous books include Speaking Treason Fluently and White Like Me.
In The Breakthrough, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential victory and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power. Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama (all interviewed for this book), and also covers numerous up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on exclusive interviews with power brokers such as President Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, his son Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict, the race/ gender clash, and the "black enough" conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history. The Breakthrough is a remarkable look at contemporary politics and an essential foundation for understanding the future of American democracy in the age of Obama. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Change I Believe In
Presents a collection of political essays by a progressive author who comments on the economic and social problems of the first two years of the Obama administration.
This is a book about the need for redemptive narratives to ward off despair and the dangers these same narratives create by raising expectations that are seldom fulfilled. The quasi-messianic expectations produced by the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, and their diminution, were stark reminders of an ongoing struggle between ideals and political realities. Redemptive Hope begins by tracing the tension between theistic thinkers, for whom hope is transcendental, and intellectuals, who have striven to link hopes for redemption to our intersubjective interactions with other human beings. Lerner argues that a vibrant democracy must draw on the best of both religious thought and secular liberal political philosophy. By bringing Richard Rorty's pragmatism into conversation with early-twentieth-century Jewish thinkers, including Martin Buber and Ernst Bloch, Lerner begins the work of building bridges, while insisting on holding crucial differences in dialectical tension. Only such a dialogue, he argues, can prepare the foundations for modes of redemptive thought fit for the twenty-first century.
American Exceptionalism in the Age of Obama
The election of President Obama in 2008 and the apparent decline of American power in the world has rekindled an old and important debate. Is the United States exceptional in its values and institutions, as well as in the role that it is destined to play in world affairs? In this book, Stephen Brooks argues that American exceptionalism has been and continues to be real. In making this argument he focuses on five aspects of American politics and society that are most crucial to an understanding of American exceptionalism today. They include the appropriate relationship between the state and citizens, religion, socio-economic mobility, America's role in the world, and ideas about the Constitution. American exceptionalism matters in domestic politics chiefly as a political narrative around which support for and opposition to certain policies, values and vision of American society coalesce. But in world affairs it is not the story but the empirical reality of American exceptionalism that matters. Although the long era of America's global economic dominance has entered what might be called a period of diminished expectations, the United States remains exceptional--the indispensable nation--in world affairs and is likely to remain so for many years to come.
Wingnuts exist on the extreme edges of the political spectrum. They’re the professional polarizers and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They’re people who always try to divide us instead of unite us. And at a time when the fringe is blurring with the base, they’ve hijacked American politics. The Obama era has been a boom-time for Wingnuts, kicked off by a financial collapse and the election America’s first black president. For some, losing an election feels like living under tyranny. John Avlon tracks down preachers who pray for the president’s death, goes inside the growing “Hatriot” militia movement, and identifies the fright-wing swamp where the Obama “Birthers” and the Bush-era “9/11 Truthers” bubble up. Wingnuts echo earlier fear-fueled movements in American history. But bolstered by the rise of hyper-partisan media, the Wingnut echo chamber is more influential than ever before and it has led directly to the division and dysfunction in Congress. Avlon asserts that the time has come for the moderate majority of Americans to straighten their civic backbone and hold the extremes accountable while restoring a sense of perspective to our politics.
"In this thoughtful book, Ken Woodward offers us a memorable portrait of the past seven decades of American life and culture. From Reinhold Niebuhr to Billy Graham, from Abraham Heschel to the Dali Lama, from George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton, Woodward captures the personalities and charts the philosophical trends that have shaped the way we live now." –Jon Meacham, author of Destiny and Power Impeccably researched, thought-challenging and leavened by wit, Getting Religion, the highly-anticipated new book from Kenneth L. Woodward, is ideal perfect for readers looking to understand how religion came to be a contentious element in 21st century public life. Here the award-winning author blends memoir (especially of the postwar era) with copious reporting and shrewd historical analysis to tell the story of how American religion, culture and politics influenced each other in the second half of the 20th century. There are few people writing today who could tell this important story with such authority and insight. A scholar as well as one of the nation’s most respected journalists, Woodward served as Newsweek’s religion editor for nearly forty years, reporting from five continents and contributing over 700 articles, including nearly 100 cover stories, on a wide range of social issues, ideas and movements. Beginning with a bold reassessment of the Fifties, Woodward’s narrative weaves through Civil Rights era and the movements that followed in its wake: the anti-Vietnam movement; Liberation theology in Latin America; the rise of Evangelicalism and decline of mainline Protestantism; women’s liberation and Bible; the turn to Asian spirituality; the transformation of the family and emergence of religious cults; and the embrace of righteous politics by both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Along the way, Woodward provides riveting portraits of many of the era’s major figures: preachers like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell; politicians Mario Cuomo and Hillary Clinton; movement leaders Daniel Berrigan, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Richard John Neuhaus; influential thinkers ranging from Erik Erikson to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross; feminist theologians Rosemary Reuther and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza; and est impresario Werner Erhardt; plus the author’s long time friend, the Dalai Lama. For readers interested in how religion, economics, family life and politics influence each other, Woodward introduces fresh a fresh vocabulary of terms such as “embedded religion,” “movement religion” and “entrepreneurial religion” to illuminate the interweaving of the secular and sacred in American public life. This is one of those rare books that changes the way Americans think about belief, behavior and belonging.
The Violence of Peace
"The man who many considered the peace candidate in the last election was transformed into a war president," writes bestselling author and leading academic Stephen l. Carter in The Violence of Peace, his new book decoding what President Barack Obama's views on war mean for America and its role in military conflict, now and going forward. As America winds down a war in Iraq, ratchets up another in Afghanistan, and continues a global war on terrorism, Carter delves into the implications of the military philosophy Obama has adopted through his first two years in office. Responding to the invitation that Obama himself issued in his Nobel address, Carter uses the tools of the Western tradition of just and unjust war to evaluate Obama's actions and words about military conflict, offering insight into how the president will handle existing and future wars, and into how his judgment will shape America's fate. Carter also explores war as a way to defend others from tyrannical regimes, which Obama has endorsed but not yet tested, and reveals the surprising ways in which some of the tactics Obama has used or authorized are more extreme than those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "Keeping the nation at peace," Carter writes, "often requires battle," and this book lays bare exactly how America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are shaping the way Obama views the country's role in conflict and peace, ultimately determining the fate of the nation.