Thursday, December 25, 2008

unSpun or Democracy in America

unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation

Author: Brooks Jackson

Americans are bombarded daily with mixed messages, half-truths, misleading statements, and out-and-out fabrications masquerading as facts. The news media--once the vaunted watchdogs of our republic--are often too timid or distracted to identify these deceptions.

unSpun is the secret decoder ring for the twenty-first-century world of disinformation. Written by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the founders of the acclaimed website, unSpun reveals the secrets of separating facts from disinformation, such as:

• the warning signs of spin, hype, and bogus news
• common tricks used to deceive us
• how to find trustworthy and objective sources of information

Telling fact from fiction shouldn't be a difficult task. With this book and a healthy dose of skepticism, anyone can cut through the haze of biased media reportage to be a savvier consumer and a better-informed citizen.

What People Are Saying

"Read this book and you will not go unarmed into the political wars ahead of us. Jackson and Jamieson equip us to be our own truth squad, and that just might be the salvation of democracy."
----Bill Moyers

---Mark Shields, syndicated columnist and political analyst, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

"unSpun is an essential guide to cutting through the political fog. Just in time for the 2008 campaign, Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson have written a citizen's guide to avoiding the malarkey of partisan politics."
---Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent

"The Internet may be a wildly effective means of communication and an invaluable source of knowledge, but it has also become a new virtual haven for scammers---financial, political, even personal. Better than anything written before, unSpun shows us how to recognize these scams and protect ourselves from them."
---Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative,

Interesting book:

Democracy in America

Author: Alexis de Tocquevill

In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and ambitious civil servant, made a nine-month journey throughout America. The result was Democracy in America, a monumental study of the life and institutions of the evolving nation. Tocqueville looked to the flourishing democratic system in America as a possible model for post-revolutionary France, believing that the egalitarian ideals it enshrined reflected the spirit of the age and even divine will. His insightful work has become one of the most influential political texts ever written on America and an indispensable authority on democracy.

This new edition is the only one that contains all Tocqueville's writings on America, including the rarely-translated Two Weeks in the Wilderness, an account of Tocqueville's travels in Michigan among the Iroquois, and Excursion to Lake Oneida.


<:st> Political philosophers Mansfield (government, Harvard U.) and Winthrop (constitutional government, Harvard U.) present a new translation<-->only the third since the original two-volume work was published in 1835 and 1840<-->aiming to restore the nuances of Tocqueville's language. Tocqueville himself was not satisfied with the 19th-century translation; the other, prepared in the late 1960s (Harper & Row), is cited in This translation is based on a recent critical French edition (Editions Gallimard, 1992). Mansfield and Winthrop provide a substantial introduction placing the work and its author in historical and philosophical context, as well as annotations elucidating references that are no longer familiar to readers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

New York Times Book Review - Caleb Crain

Thanks to [Tocqueville's] prescience, a new edition of ''Democracy in America'' is always timely.

Table of Contents:
Note on this Reeve Edition
Preface to this Edition
Introductory Notice
Introductory Chapter3
Ch. IExterior form of North America14
Ch. IIOrigin of the Anglo-Americans, and its importance in relation to their future condition20
Ch. IIISocial condition of the Anglo-Americans35
Ch. IVThe principle of the sovereignty of the people in America41
Ch. VNecessity of examining the condition of the States before that of the Union at Large44
Ch. VIJudicial power in the United States, and its influence on political society73
Ch. VIIPolitical jurisdiction in the United States79
Ch. VIIIThe Federal Constitution84
Ch. IXWhy the people may strictly be said to govern in the United States133
Ch. XParties in the United States134
Ch. XILiberty of the Press in the United States140
Ch. XIIPolitical associations in the United States147
Ch. XIIIGovernment of the Democracy in America154
Ch. XIVWhat the real advantages are which American Society derives from the Government of the Democracy186
Ch. XVUnlimited power of the majority in the United States, and its consequences201
Ch. XVICauses which mitigate the tyranny of the majority in the United States215
Ch. XVIIPrincipal causes which tend to maintain the Democratic Republic in the United States228
Ch. XVIIIThe present and probable future condition of the three Races which inhabit the territory of the United States264
Opinions of the Present Work344

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