New Nonfiction Arrivals

Posted on: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Here's a sampling of our new nonfiction arrivals. Click an image to view availability or place a hold.

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal

In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast?

Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries—the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers—that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw. 

The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.

Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.

The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty by Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider

The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty by Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider 

Deep within the American Dream lies the belief that hard work and steady saving will ensure a comfortable retirement and a better life for one's children. But in a nation experiencing unprecedented prosperity, even for many families who seem to be doing everything right, this ideal is still out of reach.

In The Financial Diaries, Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider draw on the groundbreaking U.S. Financial Diaries, which follow the lives of 235 low- and middle-income families as they navigate through a year. Through the Diaries, Morduch and Schneider challenge popular assumptions about how Americans earn, spend, borrow, and save--and they identify the true causes of distress and inequality for many working Americans.

We meet real people, ranging from a casino dealer to a street vendor to a tax preparer, who open up their lives and illustrate a world of financial uncertainty in which even limited financial success requires imaginative--and often costly--coping strategies. Morduch and Schneider detail what families are doing to help themselves and describe new policies and technologies that will improve stability for those who need it most.

Combining hard facts with personal stories, The Financial Diaries presents an unparalleled inside look at the economic stresses of today's families and offers powerful, fresh ideas for solving them.

The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science by Marcus du Sautoy

The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science by Marcus du Sautoy

Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things beyond the predictive powers of science and the capacities of the human brain? Or are those challenges the next big discovery waiting to happen?

In The Great Unknown, one of the world’s most brilliant mathematicians takes us into the minds of science’s greatest innovators as he probes the many mysteries we have yet to solve. From the very large to the very small, from the distant future to the deep past, from the complexities of the human brain to the infinities of mathematics, Marcus du Sautoy invites us to join him on a journey to the seven frontiers of knowledge, the outer edges where scientists are actively grappling with the unknown. Can we locate consciousness in the brain? What is dark energy made of? Can we speak of time before the Big Bang? Is it possible to predict the future?

At once exhilarating and mind bending, The Great Unknown will challenge you to think in new ways about every aspect of the known world. Du Sautoy reminds us that major breakthroughs were often ridiculed at the time of their discovery and invites us to consider big questions—about who we are and the nature of God—that even the most creative scientists have yet to answer definitively.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

A LibraryReads pick for April 2017.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 

In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.

In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why.

Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness―and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods.

A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas―from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

Newtown (Not Rated)

Newtown (Not Rated)

Three years after the horrific mass shooting in Newtown, CT that took the lives of twenty elementary school children and six educators on December 14, 2012, the small New England town is a complex psychological web in the wake of yet another act of mass killing at the hands of a disturbed young gunman. Kim A. Snyder's searing Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. There are no easy answers, no words of compassion or reassurance that can bring back those who lost their lives during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Instead, Snyder gives us exclusive access into the lives and homes of those who remain, all of whom have been indelibly changed by the events. Each person, be it a parent, school nurse, or state police officer, tries in their own way to make sense of their loss. NEWTOWN bears witness to their profound grief and allows it to reverberate within our collective conscience - exploring what happens to a community after it becomes the epicenter of a national discussion, and what is still left to cope with after the cameras leave.

Item descriptions from Amazon.

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