Category Archives: Current Events / Politics

Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power by Seth Rosenfeld

SubversivesSubversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power
Seth Rosenfeld
Picador Paperback
On sale: July 23

For a review copy (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Seth Rosenfeld, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com.

Winner of the Ridenhour Book Prize

PRAISE FOR SUBVERSIVES
Subversives has a powerful story to tell about the vanity and stupidity of political leaders of any persuasion who squander public resources spying on personal enemies…and the frightening weakness of the laws designed to restrain their authority.”—Matt Taibbi, The New York Times Book Review

“Crucial history. It’s also a warning….Rosenfeld has an agenda in this book of patience and passion: setting straight a previously hidden—and consequential—record….Chilling.”The Christian Science Monitor

“A well-written, dramatic narrative on Berkeley in the 1960s containing many scoops…Significant.”The Wall Street Journal

“Masterfully researched…A potent reminder of the explosiveness of 1960s politics and how far elements of the government were (and perhaps still are) willing to go to undermine civil liberties.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Narrative nonfiction at its best.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

ABOUT SUBVERSIVES
Part history, part biography, and part police procedural, SUBVERSIVES is a fresh look at the legacy of the sixties and a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power.

SUBVERSIVES traces the FBI’s secret involvement with three iconic figures at Berkeley during the 1960s: the ambitious neophyte politician Ronald Reagan, the fierce but fragile radical Mario Savio, and the liberal university president Clark Kerr. Through their converging narratives, the award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld tells a dramatic and disturbing story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories, poison-pen letters, and secret detention lists.

The FBI spent more than one million dollars trying to block the release of the secret files on which SUBVERSIVES is based. This is an extraordinary view of what the government was up to during a turning point in our nation’s history.

ABOUT SETH ROSENFELD
SETH ROSENFELD
was for many years an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, where his article about the FBI and the Free Speech Movement won seven national awards.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
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Visit Seth Rosenfeld’s website
Watch Seth Rosenfeld on Democracy Now!
Listen to Seth on Fresh Air

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Desert America: A Journey Through Our Most Divided Landscape by Rubén Martínez

Desert AmericaDesert America: A Journey Through Our Most Divided Landscape
Rubén Martínez
Picador Paperback
On sale: June 25

For a review copy (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Rubén Martínez, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com.

PRAISE FOR DESERT AMERICA
“It’s hard to imagine a more engaging and illuminating chronicle of the contemporary West….A nuanced, conflicted, poetic meditation on an endlessly elusive subject.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Deeply moving and insightful…A memoir that also manages to be an excellent work of reportage… Martínez treats all the people he writes about, and the places where they live, with the kind of profound respect all too rare among the legions of Western writers who have preceded him. The result is an emotional and intellectually astute portrait of communities long neglected and misunderstood by American literature.”Los Angeles Times

“A compelling and daring book, one filled with equal parts confession, history, and politics…Desert America will challenge every idea you may have formed about life and death in our Western deserts.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

ABOUT DESERT AMERICA
The economic boom—and the devastation left in its wake—was writ nowhere as large as on the American West. Over the past decade, the most iconic of American landscapes has undergone a political and demographic upheaval comparable only to the opening of the frontier. In DESERT AMERICA, a work of powerful reportage and memoir, acclaimed author Rubén Martínez explores a world of extremes: drug addiction flourishing in the shadow of some of America’s richest zip codes, an exclusive Texas enclave that coexists with bloodshed on the banks of the Rio Grande, and Native Americans hunting down Mexican migrants crossing the most desolate stretch of the border.

DESERT AMERICA details Martinez’s own love for this most contested region and reveals that the great frontier is now in the forefront of the vast disparities that are redefining the very idea of America.

ABOUT RUBEN MARTINEZ
Rubén Martínez, an Emmy-winning journalist and poet, is the author of Crossing Over and The New Americans. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University.

MORE INFORMATION
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Visit Rubén Martínez’s website

ALSO AVAILABLE
Crossing OverCrossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail
Now with a new afterword
Picador Paperback
On sale: June 25

PRAISE FOR CROSSING OVER
“Beautifully written and important…Martínez shows us how ‘America’ is being reimagined by its uninvited, its disrespected, its invisible, and he shows us that they will change us, whether we like it or not.”Los Angeles Times

“To read Crossing Over is to read the story of America, to understand the dynamic that renews the strength of the American Dream….Martínez has depicted a deep, enduring commonality that may change the way we understand immigration”Chicago Tribune

“Martínez’s portrait is a rich counterpoint to the simple patterns a demographer might draw.”The New York Times Book Review

ABOUT CROSSING OVER
The U.S.-Mexican border is one of the most permeable boundaries in the world, breached daily by Mexicans in search of work. Yet the migrant gambit is perilous. Thousands die crossing the line and those who reach “the other side” are branded illegals, undocumented and unprotected.

In CROSSING OVER, Ruben Martinez puts a human face on the phenomenon, following the exodus of the Chávez clan, an extended Mexican family with the grim distinction of having lost three sons in a tragic border incident. He charts the migrants’ progress from their small south-Mexican town of Cherán through the harrowing underground railroad to the tomato farms of Missouri, the strawberry fields of California, and the slaughterhouses of Wisconsin. He reveals the effects of immigration on the family left behind and offers a powerful portrait of migrant culture, an exchange that deposits hip hop in Indian villages while bringing Mexican pop to the northern plains. Far from joining the melting pot, Martinez argues, the migrants–as many as seven million in the U.S.–are spawning a new culture that will alter both countries as Latin America and the U.S. come increasingly to resemble each other.

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The Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Outsourced SelfThe Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Picador  / $17.00 / 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-250-02419-0
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Political Science / Sociology

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Arlie Russell Hochschild, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

PRAISE FOR THE OUTSOURCED SELF
“Brilliant, compelling, and hard to put down … The nation’s leading sociologist of daily life has turned her razor-sharp eye to the rapid advance of the commodity frontier.”—Juliet Schor, author of The Overworked American

“Hochschild’s big contribution here is to tally the subtler costs of outsourcing: the ‘depersonalization of our bonds with others,’ the failure to enjoy the process of planning a wedding, the missing out on one’s children’s childhoods – all of the little nontragedies that add up to a thinner, sadder life.”
—Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating … Hochschild asks important questions about the ways in which outsourcing affects our self-worth and our relationships to family and community.”The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“What happens to us as we outsource more and more of our personal—even intimate—tasks to paid ‘coaches,’ caretakers, companions, event planners, and Third World surrogate mothers? It takes a social thinker of great stature and scope to tackle this question, and a writer of immense charm to make the answer riveting. Arlie Hochschild is both, and this may be her best book ever…I won’t say Hochschild will ‘make’ you think: She’s such a keen observer and delightful writer that she makes it fun to think.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“Incisive, provocative, and often downright entertaining…It used to take a village, but these days it takes a full-service mall, much of it in cyberspace. Finding a mate, planning a wedding, potty-training a child, or being a better father—once intuitive, ordinary tasks involving family, friends, and neighbors—now require the services of paid experts, trainers, and a plethora of coaches, such as Internet dating coach Evan Katz, aka e-Cyrano, or Family360, which teaches executives to “invest time and attention in ‘high leverage’ family activities.”Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

ABOUT THE OUTSOURCED SELF
We’ve long imagined the family as immune to market forces, the one place where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet as Arlie Russell Hochschild shows in THE OUTSOURCED SELF: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us (Picador; On sale: April 2, 2013; ISBN: 978-1-250-02419-0; $17.00; 320pp), the market—ever more specialized and global—is very much present at home. Many aspects of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—are being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to anxious, time-starved Americans.

From dating services that train you to be the CEO of your love life to wedding planners who create a couple’s “personal narrative”; from nameologists (who help you name your child) to wantologists (who help you name your goals); from commercial surrogate farms in India to hired mourners who will scatter your loved one’s ashes in the ocean of your choice—Hochschild reveals a world in which the most intuitive and emotional of human acts have become work for hire.

Clear-eyed and empathic, Hochschild puts a finger on the most important unacknowledged trend of our time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD is the author of The Time Bind, The Second Shift, and The Managed Heart. Her articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others. A University of California–Berkeley sociologist, she lives in San Francisco.

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Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times by Eyal Press

Beautiful SoulsBeautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times
Eyal Press
Picador / $15.00 / 208 pages
On Sale: February 5, 2013
Political Science

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Eyal, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

 

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

PRAISE FOR BEAUTIFUL SOULS
“A hymn to the mystery of disobedience…What makes you eager to push this book into the hands of the next person you meet are the small, still moments, epics captured in miniature. … Essential.”—The New York Times

“Evocative…A valentine to the human spirit.”—The Wall Street Journal

“On stage and in the pulpit, moral dilemmas of this kind tend to have a black-and-white clarity. Working from life, Mr. Press brings out the grays….Rich in personal, circumstantial details that analytical thinkers in search of clear principles may overlook.”—The Economist

“Press examines his subjects carefully….In some ways Beautiful Souls is a thoughtful gesture of support. That might sound like a small thing, but it’s not. Compassion never is.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Provides rich, provocative narratives of moral choice…Press makes us wonder if we would have the strength to act against the crowd, and in so doing spread a bit of light in our own dark times.”—The Washington Post

“Fantastic…A brilliant meditation on [the] very difficult decisions of conscience that people have to make…I just want to urge everybody, please read this book.”—The Nation

“A fascinating study in the better angels of our nature.”—George Packer, The New Yorker

ABOUT BEAUTIFUL SOULS
History has produced many specimens of the banality of evil, but what about its flip side, what impels ordinary people to defy the sway of authority and convention? Through these dramatic stories of unlikely resisters, Eyal Press’ Beautiful Souls shows that the boldest acts of dissent are often carried out not only by radicals seeking to overthrow the system but also by true believers who cling with unusual fierceness to their convictions. Drawing on groundbreaking research by moral psychologists and neuroscientists, this deeply reported work of narrative journalism examines the choices and dilemmas we all face when our principles collide with the loyalties we harbor and the duties we are expected to fulfill.

ABOUT EYAL PRESS
Eyal Press is an author and journalist based in New York. His work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Raritan Review and numerous other publications. A 2011 Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, he is the author of Absolute Convictions, and a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

MORE INFORMATION
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Eyal Press on Democracy Now!
Eyal Press on NPR Talk of the Nation

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The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad by John R. Schmidt

The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad
John R. Schmidt
On Sale: October 30, 2012
Picador
Current Affairs / Politics

For a review copy (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with John R. Schmidt, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

PRAISE FOR THE UNRAVELING
“Pakistan is where all the headaches of the twenty-first century come together. In The Unraveling, John R. Schmidt draws upon his firsthand experience as a diplomat in that nation to explain why. This is a book filled with useful information, objectively presented and offered at precisely the right time.”—Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997–2001

“John R. Schmidt pulls no punches in this timely book. He makes a powerful case that Pakistan’s ‘feudal political class’ is that deserving but conflicted country’s worst enemy. He is just as frank in his critique of U.S. policy. His motive is entirely constructive: he administers a bracing and necessary dose of tough love to one of the most important and troubled interstate relations on earth.”—Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution

“This thought-provoking, evenhanded, and sobering history is a ‘cautionary tale’ about the choices Pakistan’s ruling classes have made that threaten to bring it to the brink of destruction.”Publishers Weekly

“A rare lucid take on the turmoil in Pakistan . . . [Schmidt] offers a cogent analysis of the havoc caused by a nettlesome concoction of feudal lords, strong military, American pressure and radical Islamist factions all vying for dominance . . . A deeply thoughtful study geared for the lay reader.”Kirkus Reviews

“[Schmidt] provides here a succinct history of Pakistan and examines, in highly readable and informative prose, how the country became a haven for jihadist groups . . . Because of Schmidt’s years of inside foreign policy experience, his book contains distinct details and observations that outsiders writing cannot offer. Recommended to all serious readers interested in a policymaker’s perspective.”Library Journal

ABOUT THE UNRAVELING
How did a nation founded as a homeland for South Asian Muslims become a haven for Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups? In this groundbreaking work, former U.S. diplomat John R. Schmidt, who served in Pakistan in the years leading up to 9/11, takes a detailed look at the country’s relationship with radical Islam. The Unraveling is the clearest account yet of the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and jihadist groups—and how the rulers’ decisions have led their nation to the brink of disaster and put the world at great risk.

ABOUT JOHN R. SCHMIDT
John R. Schmidt teaches at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He served in the State Department during a thirty-year service career, including as political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad in the years leading up to 9/11.

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Panel discussion with John R. Schmidt on India and Pakistan (C-Span)

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Politics

Privacy by Garret Keizer

Privacy [BIG IDEAS//small books]
Garret Keizer
On sale: August 7, 2012
A Picador Paperback Original
Politics / Current Events / Culture

PRAISE FOR PRIVACY
“Acclaimed essayist and Harper’s contributor Keizer conducts a philosophical meditation on the nature of privacy and finds that the ‘right to be let alone’ is a lot more complex than many may think…. With unyielding analytical scrutiny, Keizer raises plenty of doubt about the primacy of so-called private lives…. The consequences of such revelations are vast, and readers will be left considering the implications long after the last page is turned. A provocative and unsettling look at something most take for granted—but shouldn’t.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Keizer ably describes the disturbing and ever-diminishing expectations of privacy…and makes a cogent analysis of the threats to privacy that accompany smartphones and other digital devices. Keizer’s commentary reaches deeply into the fabric of post 9/11 America and finds a landscape that has compromised the fundamental human need for privacy, and argues passionately for the value of privacy in a democratic society”
Publishers Weekly

“[A] thoughtful examination of the concept of privacy… Though debates over privacy tend to be driven by technological developments—Facebook and the like—Keizer reminds us that our personal and cultural “privacy settings” or lack of them have political, environmental, and even spiritual valences that are ignored at the expense of democracy and social justice…. Keizer’s cautionary wisdom is informed by a deeply felt humanism and presented with eloquence and wit.”
— Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

PRAISE FOR GARRET KEIZER
“Very few writers combine thoughtfulness and rage as satisfyingly as Garret Keizer.”
—Naomi Klein

ABOUT PRIVACY
American essayist and Harper’s contributing editor Garret Keizer offers a brilliant, literate look at our strip-searched, over-shared, viral-videoed existence.

Body scans at the airport, candid pics on Facebook, a Twitter account for your stray thoughts, and a surveillance camera on every street corner — today we have an audience for all of the extraordinary and banal events of our lives. The threshold between privacy and exposure becomes more permeable by the minute. But what happens to our private selves when we cannot escape scrutiny, and to our public personas when they pass from our control?

In this wide-ranging, penetrating addition to the Big Ideas//Small Books series, and in his own unmistakable voice, Garret Keizer considers the moral dimensions of privacy in relation to issues of social justice, economic inequality, and the increasing commoditization of the global marketplace. Though acutely aware of the digital threat to privacy rights, Keizer refuses to see privacy in purely technological terms or as an essentially legalistic value. Instead, he locates privacy in the human capacity for resistance and in the sustainable society “with liberty and justice for all.”

ABOUT GARRET KEIZER
Garret Keizer is the author of six books, mostly recently of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise. He is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, a contributing writer to Mother Jones, and a recent Guggenheim Fellow.

MORE INFORMATION
Privacy on the Picador website
Cover image for download
Author photo for download
Author’s website
Garret Keizer on The Colbert Report (2010) [opens with sound]
Garret Keizer discusses his previous book about noise on To the Best of Our Knowledge
Garret Keizer on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate discussing his previous book 

For a review copy, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

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Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan by Ahmed Rashid

Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
Ahmed Rashid
Viking
On Sale: March 19, 2012

“… lucid, expert account of a disaster in the making.” —Kirkus, starred review

In PAKISTAN ON THE BRINK: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Ahmed Rashid, the leading journalist in Pakistan and an insider with superb sources, draws on his keen knowledge of the region to deftly explain what the future may hold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ahmed Rashid’s unique knowledge of this vast and complex region gives him a panoramic vision and nuance that no Western writer can emulate. Rashid is the bestselling author of Taliban and appears frequently on NPR’s Fresh Air. He is a regular columnist for the Financial Times, The Washington Post, BBC online, and elsewhere. Descent into Chaos is now one of the standard reference books on the region’s recent history, and he is still the world’s leading authority on the Taliban.

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