Category Archives: Book Reviews – Politics

Review of Aaron James’ “Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump”

© Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission)
http://darrellarnold.com/2018/08/14/on-aaron-james-assholes-a-theory-of-donald-trump/

If you are interested in knowing about assholes, Aaron James is your man. In the rather new and thin study of asshology, James has emerged as the leading voice. His Assholes: A Theory was a New York Times bestseller in 2012Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump is his more recent sequel … Continue reading Review of Aaron James’ “Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump”

Review of Richard J. Bernstein’s, Why Read Hannah Arendt Now


© Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission) http://darrellarnold.com/2018/07/08/why-read-hannah-arendt-now/

Freedom—as Hannah Arendt understands it—is only possible in a participatory political life. Such a form of life, which cultivates individuality and spontaneity, can be contrasted with totalitarianism, which ultimately aims at the total domination of the individual. Our responsibility is to ensure our own freedom—that is, to ensure collective, participatory forms of political life under which such freedom is possible. Continue reading Review of Richard J. Bernstein’s, Why Read Hannah Arendt Now

Review of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: “How Democracies Die”

© Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission) http://darrellarnold.com/2018/07/12/how-democracies-die/

We all know of democratic institutions that have ended by revolution or coup. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two professors of government at Harvard University, highlight another way that they increasingly end — through a slow erosion of institutions by those who were democratically elected to oversee them.

In How Democracies Die the authors apply their knowledge of the collapse of democratic institutions from Europe and Latin America to analyze the erosion of democratic norms in the United States. Continue reading Review of Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: “How Democracies Die”

Review of Douglas Kellner’s: American Nightmare. Donald Trump, Media Spectacle, and Authoritarian Populism


© Darrell Arnold Ph.D.– (Reprinted with Permission)  http://darrellarnold.com/2018/07/09/american-nightmare-donald-trump-media-spectacle-and-authoritarian-populism/

Donald Trump developed skills in marketing and show business, as a savvy self-marketer and a reality TV star, able to exploit new media — to plaster his name on the side of buildings, on boxes of steaks and on a fake university. He’s something of a 21st-century version of P.T. Barnum, able to garner popular attention, but with new media unavailable to the 19th-century showman/con-artist. Continue reading Review of Douglas Kellner’s: American Nightmare. Donald Trump, Media Spectacle, and Authoritarian Populism

Review of Timothy Snyder’s, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century


© Darrell Arnold– (Reprinted with Permission)
http://darrellarnold.com/2018/07/16/on-tyranny/

In bite-sized chunks of two to eight (short) pages Timothy Snyder, the Levin Professor of History at Yale University, offers a practical guide to understanding and possibly averting tyranny. [In his new book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.] Continue reading Review of Timothy Snyder’s, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century