From the blurb for Major Garrett’s Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary Presidency (All Points Books, Sept. 18, 2018):

In Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride, Major Garrett provides what journalists are often said to do, but usually don’t: a true first draft of history. His goal was to sift through the mountains of distracting tweets and shrieking headlines in order to focus on the most significant moments of Trump’s young presidency, the ones that Garrett believes will have a lasting impact. The result is an authoritative, mature, and consistently entertaining account of one of the strangest eras in American political history.

From the blurb for Bill Press, Trump Must Go: The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (and One to Keep Him) (Thomas Dunne Books, Sept. 11, 2018):

In Trump Must Go, TV and radio host Bill Press offers 100 reasons why Trump needs to be removed from office, whether by impeachment, the 25th Amendment, or the ballot box.

Beginning with the man himself and moving through Trump’s executive action damage, Press covers Trump’s debasement of the United States political system and degrading of the American presidency. Ranging from banning federal employees’ use of the phrase “climate change,” to putting down Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole” countries, we have to wonder what he’ll do next. He has a bromance with Putin that enables several meetings between Trump staffers and Russian officials, and he has a wrecking crew administration: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Housing Secretary Ben Carson, to name a few. Extensive “executive time” marks Trump’s calendar so he can golf, watch TV, and eat fast food. Trump has done it all…badly.

But, in a political climate where the world has learned to expect the unexpected, Press offers readers a twist: one reason not to ditch Donald Trump.

— Joe

From the blurb for Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 11, 2018):

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.

Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office.

— Joe

From the blurb for Rick Wilson’s Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever (Free Press, Aug. 7, 2018):

Everything Trump Touches Dies deftly chronicles the tragicomic Trump story from the early campaign days through the shock of election night, to the inconceivable trainwreck of Trump’s first year. Rick Wilson provides not only an insightful analysis of the Trump administration, but also an optimistic path forward for the GOP, the conservative movement, and the country.

— Joe

From the blurb for Craig Unger, House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia (Dutton, Aug. 14, 2018):

It is a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States. That moment was the culmination of Vladimir Putin’s long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that he and his hand-selected group of oligarchs and Mafia kingpins had ensnared Trump in, starting more than twenty years ago with the massive bailout of a string of sensational Trump hotel and casino failures in Atlantic City. This book confirms the most incredible American paranoias about Russian malevolence.

To most, it will be a hair-raising revelation that the Cold War did not end in 1991—that it merely evolved, with Trump’s apartments offering the perfect vehicle for billions of dollars to leave the collapsing Soviet Union. In House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger methodically traces the deep-rooted alliance between the highest echelons of American political operatives and the biggest players in the frightening underworld of the Russian Mafia. He traces Donald Trump’s sordid ascent from foundering real estate tycoon to leader of the free world. He traces Russia’s phoenixlike rise from the ashes of the post–Cold War Soviet Union as well as its ceaseless covert efforts to retaliate against the West and reclaim its status as a global superpower.

Without Trump, Russia would have lacked a key component in its attempts to return to imperial greatness. Without Russia, Trump would not be president. This essential book is crucial to understanding the real powers at play in the shadows of today’s world.

From the blurb for Blockchain: A Practical Guide to Developing Business, Law, and Technology Solutions (McGraw-Hill Education, Feb. 16, 2018), by Joseph J. Bambara et al.:

Get the most out of cutting-edge blockchain technology using the hands-on information contained in this comprehensive resource. Written by a team of technology and legal experts, Blockchain: A Practical Guide to Developing Business, Law, and Technology Solutions demonstrates each topic through a start-to-finish, illustrated case study. The book includes financial, technology, governance, and legal use cases along with advantages and challenges. Validation, implementation, troubleshooting, and best practices are fully covered. You will learn, step-by-step, how to build and maintain effective, reliable, and transparent blockchain solutions.

•Understand the fundamentals of decentralized computing and blockchain
•Explore business, technology, governance, and legal use cases
•Review the evolving practice of law and technology as it concerns legal and governance issues arising from blockchain implementation
•Write and administer performant blockchain-enabled applications
•Handle cryptographic validation in private, public, and consortium blockchains
•Employ blockchain in cloud deployments and Internet of Things (IoT) devices
•Incorporate Web 3.0 features with Swarm, IPFS, Storj, Golem, and WHISPER
•Use Solidity to build and validate fully functional distributed applications and smart contracts using Ethereum
•See how blockchain is used in crypto-currency, including Bitcoin and Ethereum
•Overcome technical hurdles and secure your decentralized IT platform

— Joe

Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services, edited by Ed Walters “helps legal professionals meet the challenges posed by a data-driven approach to delivering legal services. Its chapters are written by leading experts who cover such topics as:

Mining legal data
Computational law
Uncovering bias through the use of Big Data
Quantifying the quality of legal services
Data mining and decision-making
Contract analytics and contract standards

“In addition to providing clients with data-based insight, legal firms can track a matter with data from beginning to end, from the marketing spend through to the type of matter, hours spent, billed, and collected, including metrics on profitability and success. Firms can organize and collect documents after a matter and even automate them for reuse. Data on marketing related to a matter can be an amazing source of insight about which practice areas are most profitable.

“Data-driven decision-making requires firms to think differently about their workflow. Most firms warehouse their files, never to be seen again after the matter closes. Running a data-driven firm requires lawyers and their teams to treat information about the work as part of the service, and to collect, standardize, and analyze matter data from cradle to grave. More than anything, using data in a law practice requires a different mindset about the value of this information. This book helps legal professionals to develop this data-driven mindset.”

Recommended. — Joe

Here’s the blurb for Craig Bruce Smith, American Honor: The Creation of the Nation’s Ideals during the Revolutionary Era (Univ. of North Carolina Press, April 23, 2018):

The American Revolution was not only a revolution for liberty and freedom, it was also a revolution of ethics, reshaping what colonial Americans understood as “honor” and “virtue.” As Craig Bruce Smith demonstrates, these concepts were crucial aspects of Revolutionary Americans’ ideological break from Europe and shared by all ranks of society. Focusing his study primarily on prominent Americans who came of age before and during the Revolution—notably John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington—Smith shows how a colonial ethical transformation caused and became inseparable from the American Revolution, creating an ethical ideology that still remains.

By also interweaving individuals and groups that have historically been excluded from the discussion of honor—such as female thinkers, women patriots, slaves, and free African Americans—Smith makes a broad and significant argument about how the Revolutionary era witnessed a fundamental shift in ethical ideas. This thoughtful work sheds new light on a forgotten cause of the Revolution and on the ideological foundation of the United States.

— Joe

Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law (Ankerwycke, 2018) by Michele Destefano “is for anyone invested in the future of the legal profession, be it someone tasked with transforming their practice, someone looking to approach their work in a new way, someone looking for a fresh approach to client relations, or someone new to the field interested in a forecast of the world to come.” — Joe

From the blurb for The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West (Hachette Books, June 26, 2018):

In the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world, Donald Trump was made President of the United States with the assistance of a foreign power. For the first time, The Plot to Destroy Democracy reveals the dramatic story of how blackmail, espionage, assassination, and psychological warfare were used by Vladimir Putin and his spy agencies to steal the 2016 U.S. election–and attempted to bring about the fall of NATO, the European Union, and western democracy. It will show how Russia and its fifth column allies tried to flip the cornerstones of democracy in order to re-engineer the world political order that has kept most of the world free since 1945.

Career U.S. Intelligence officer Malcolm Nance will examine how Russia has used cyber warfare, political propaganda, and manipulation of our perception of reality–and will do so again–to weaponize American news, traditional media, social media, and the workings of the internet to attack and break apart democratic institutions from within, and what we can expect to come should we fail to stop their next attack.

Nance has utilized top secret Russian-sourced political and hybrid warfare strategy documents to demonstrate the master plan to undermine American institutions that has been in effect from the Cold War to the present day. Based on original research and countless interviews with espionage experts, Nance examines how Putin’s recent hacking accomplished a crucial first step for destabilizing the West for Russia, and why Putin is just the man to do it.

Nance exposes how Russia has supported the campaigns of right-wing extremists throughout both the U.S. and Europe to leverage an axis of autocracy, and how Putin’s agencies have worked since 2010 to bring fringe candidate Donald Trump into elections.

Revelatory, insightful, and shocking, The Plot To Destroy Democracy puts a professional spy lens on Putin’s plot and unravels it play-by-play. In the end, he provides a better understanding of why Putin’s efforts are a serious threat to our national security and global alliances–in much more than one election–and a blistering indictment of Putin’s puppet, President Donald J. Trump.

— Joe

An excerpt from the blurb for James R. Clapper, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, Viking, May 22, 2018):

The former Director of National Intelligence’s candid and compelling account of the intelligence community’s successes–and failures–in facing some of the greatest threats to America. Facts and Fears offers a privileged look inside the U.S. intelligence community and, with the frankness and professionalism for which James Clapper is known.

— Joe

From the blurb for Michael McFaul’s From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 8, 2018):

From one of America’s leading scholars of Russia who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, a revelatory, inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset” that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. This riveting inside account combines history and memoir to tell the full story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president. From the first days of McFaul’s ambassadorship, the Kremlin actively sought to discredit and undermine him, hassling him with tactics that included dispatching protesters to his front gates, slandering him on state media, and tightly surveilling him, his staff, and his family.

— Joe

Here’s the blurb for Michiko Kakutani, The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump (Tim Duggan Books, July 17, 2018):

We live in a time when the very idea of objective truth is mocked and discounted by the occupants of the White House. Discredited conspiracy theories and ideologies have resurfaced, proven science is once more up for debate, and Russian propaganda floods our screens. The wisdom of the crowd has usurped research and expertise, and we are each left clinging to the beliefs that best confirm our biases.

How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America? This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm. In social media and literature, television, academia, and politics, Kakutani identifies the trends—originating on both the right and the left—that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, science, and common values. And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant.

With remarkable erudition and insight, Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and points toward a new path for our truth-challenged times.

— Joe

From the blurb for The Case Against Impeaching Trump, (Hot Books, July 9, 2018):

The Case Against Impeaching Trump seeks to reorient the debate over impeachment to the same standard that Dershowitz has continued to uphold for decades: the law of the United States of America, as established by the Constitution. In the author’s own words:

“In the fervor to impeach President Trump, his political enemies have ignored the text of the Constitution. As a civil libertarian who voted against Trump, I remind those who would impeach him not to run roughshod over a document that has protected us all for two and a quarter centuries. In this case against impeachment, I make arguments similar to those I made against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton (and that I would be making had Hillary Clinton been elected and Republicans were seeking to impeach her). Impeachment and removal of a president are not entirely political decisions by Congress. Every member takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution sets out specific substantive criteria that MUST be met.

I am thrilled to contribute to this important debate and especially that my book will be so quickly available to readers so they can make up their own minds.”

— Joe

Here’s the blurb for Karen Dawisha’s Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? (Simon & Schuster, 2015):

The raging question in the world today is who is the real Vladimir Putin and what are his intentions. Karen Dawisha’s brilliant Putin’s Kleptocracy provides an answer, describing how Putin got to power, the cabal he brought with him, the billions they have looted, and his plan to restore the Greater Russia.

Russian scholar Dawisha describes and exposes the origins of Putin’s kleptocratic regime. She presents extensive new evidence about the Putin circle’s use of public positions for personal gain even before Putin became president in 2000. She documents the establishment of Bank Rossiya, now sanctioned by the US; the rise of the Ozero cooperative, founded by Putin and others who are now subject to visa bans and asset freezes; the links between Putin, Petromed, and “Putin’s Palace” near Sochi; and the role of security officials from Putin’s KGB days in Leningrad and Dresden, many of whom have maintained their contacts with Russian organized crime.

Putin’s Kleptocracy is the result of years of research into the KGB and the various Russian crime syndicates. Dawisha’s sources include Stasi archives; Russian insiders; investigative journalists in the US, Britain, Germany, Finland, France, and Italy; and Western officials who served in Moscow. Russian journalists wrote part of this story when the Russian media was still free. “Many of them died for this story, and their work has largely been scrubbed from the Internet, and even from Russian libraries,” Dawisha says. “But some of that work remains.”

— Joe

From the blurb for Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family (Harper, June 19, 2018) by Emily Jane Fox

Who is Donald J. Trump? To truly understand America’s forty-fifth president, argues Vanity Fair journalist Emily Jane Fox, you must know his children, whose own stories provide the key to unlocking what makes him tick. Born Trump is Fox’s dishy, deeply reported, and richly detailed look at Trump’s five children (and equally powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner), exploring their lives, their roles in the campaign and administration, and their dramatic and often fraught relationships with their father and with one another.

Reexamining the tabloid-soaked events that shaped their lives in startling new detail, Born Trump is full of surprising insights, previously untold stories, and delicious tidbits about their childhoods (ridiculously privileged and painful, in equal measure) and the extraordinary power they now wield. As a version of this new kind of American royalty they wish to be, they are ensconced not in palaces but in Trump Tower and the White House.

Even before Trump’s oldest child, Don Jr., was born, Donald told friends that he wanted at least five kids—to make sure there was a greater probability one would turn out just like him. His vision didn’t pan out exactly as he’d imagined, but Trump’s children each inherited some of his essential traits—as one source says, “collectively, they make the whole.”

Ivanka is a media-savvy, hyperskilled messenger with her father’s self-promotional ease but without the brash.

Don Jr. has the most contentious relationship with his father yet seems prone to endlessly repeat his mistakes.

Eric embraced the family’s real estate business but has, in surprising ways, charted a more independent course than his siblings.

While Tiffany grew up mostly separate from her father, she inherited Trump’s perspective as an outsider—his unique combination of assurance and insecurity.

And there is Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, whose own family drama and personal ambition is a crucial thread in this saga.

Come for the vision of Trump as a father—a portrait of the president at his kindest and cruelest. Stay for the revelatory gossip, including the truth about the firings of Christie and Manafort, the inside scoop on Donald’s three marriages, why Ivanka and Jared are “bashert,” and how this family of real estate tycoons have become the most powerful people in the world.

— Joe

Here’s the blurb for John Moore’s Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border (PowerHouse Books, Mar. 27, 2018):

John Moore has focused on the issue of undocumented immigration to the United States for a decade. His access to immigrants during their journey, and to U.S. federal agents tasked with deterring them, sets his pictures apart. Moore has photographed the entire length of the U.S. southern border, and traveled extensively throughout Central America and Mexico, as well as to many immigrant communities in the United States. His work includes rare imagery of ICE raids, mass deportations, and the resulting widespread fear in the immigrant community. For its broad scope and rigorous journalism, Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border is the essential record on the prevailing U.S. domestic topic of immigration and border security.

Recommended. — Joe

Here’s the blurb for David A. Fahrenthold’s Uncovering Trump: The Truth Behind Donald Trump’s Charitable Giving (Diversion Book, May 4, 2017):

In February of 2016, Donald Trump promised $6 million in donations, including $1 million from his own pocket, to local charities along his campaign trail. But by the time he won the New Hampshire primary, he had stopped giving away money and had donated far less than his pledged amount. Washington Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold went in search of the missing money, and found a bigger story than he ever expected.

In this collection of articles from The Washington Post, Fahrenthold chronicles his investigations on candidate Trump. From a deep dive into the Trump Foundation to breaking the news of the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, the information he discovered shaped the course of the campaign and set the tone for the Trump presidency.

A must-read for anyone who followed the 2016 campaign, Uncovering Trump takes you behind the scenes of Fahrenthold’s investigation, through the lens of his expertly reported news stories.

— Joe

Here’s the blurb for Asad Haider’s Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump (Verso, May 15, 2018):

Whether class or race is the more important factor in modern politics is a question right at the heart of recent history’s most contentious debates. Among groups who should readily find common ground, there is little agreement. To escape this deadlock, Asad Haider turns to the rich legacies of the black freedom struggle. Drawing on the words and deeds of black revolutionary theorists, he argues that identity politics is not synonymous with anti-racism, but instead amounts to the neutralization of its movements. It marks a retreat from the crucial passage of identity to solidarity, and from individual recognition to the collective struggle against an oppressive social structure.

Weaving together autobiographical reflection, historical analysis, theoretical exegesis, and protest reportage, Mistaken Identity is a passionate call for a new practice of politics beyond colorblind chauvinism and “the ideology of race.”

— Joe