Globalization has a bad name. Critics on the Left have long attacked it for exploiting the poor and undermining labor. Today, the Right challenges globalization for tilting the field against advanced economies. Kimberly Clausing faces down the critics from both sides, demonstrating that open economies are a force for good, not least in helping the most vulnerable. In Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital, Clausing outlines a progressive agenda to manage globalization more effectively, presenting strategies to equip workers for a modern economy, improve tax policy, and establish a better partnership between labor and the business community. Open is the book we need to help us navigate the debates currently convulsing national and international economics and politics. …


By Michael J. Graetz and Ian Shapiro

There is a realistic and sustainable path to universal health insurance through the expansion of Medicare. It is not Medicare for All and it does not begin with Americans in their late 50’s and early 60’s. It begins with Americans in their late 20’s and early 30’s. It does not eliminate employer-provided health insurance or repeal Obamacare.

Three years ago, in the early hours of July 28, 2017, Senator John McCain walked onto the Senate floor to cast the decisive vote against the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare. …


When Americans think of freedom, they often picture the open road. Yet nowhere are we more likely to encounter law enforcement than in our cars. Sarah Seo reveals how the rise of the automobile led us to accept — and expect — pervasive police power. As Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom makes clear, this radical transformation in the nature and meaning of American freedom has had far-reaching political, legal, and moral consequences. In this excerpt, Seo looks at the long history of abuse by police on American drivers.

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Beginning in the late 1930s and with increasing frequency each decade, black Americans wrote to the NAACP about traffic stops for minor or fabricated charges that left them terrified. These letters described flagrant transgressions of constitutional limits, including false arrests, beatings, and shootings. …


While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police — especially those at the top — will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.

Law enforcement, especially, has doubled down on crime statistics in what is now the era of big data, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics. Old ideas, yet again, have been programmed into the latest technology. …


The story of the Confederate States of America, the proslavery, antidemocratic nation created by white Southern slaveholders to protect their property, has been told many times in heroic and martial narratives. Stephanie McCurry tells a very different tale of the Confederate experience. Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South tells the real story of what the Confederacy actually was— a proslavery anti-democratic state, dedicated to the proposition that all men were not created equal.

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Something stunning — epic even — transpired in the American South between 1860 and 1865. Then, in a gamble of world historical proportions, a class of slaveholders, flush with power, set out to build an independent proslavery nation but instead brought down the single most powerful slave regime in the Western world and propelled the emergence of a new American republic that redefined the very possibilities of democracy at home and abroad. In the process, too, they provoked precisely the transformation of their own political culture they had hoped to avoid by secession, bringing into the making of history those people — the South’s massive unfranchised population of white women and slaves — whose political dispossession they intended to render permanent. The story of the Confederacy is a story of intentions, reversals, undoing, and unlikely characters that form an arc of history rarely matched for dramatic interest and historical justice. …


As the nation is gripped in the throes of large-scale protests and there are calls for justice in the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, as well as for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, this excerpt from Elizabeth Hinton’s From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America details how the War on Crime, begun in the ’60s, focused mainly on urban crime and unfairly targeted African Americans.

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In a 1969 petition called “The Forgotten Cities,” sixteen mayors from the urban Midwest complained to Attorney General Mitchell about the way state planning agencies kept law enforcement funds from the places in the state with the most severe crime problems. Instead, crime control block grants were awarded to powerful state legislators representing rural constituencies. These mayors as well as like-minded policymakers contended that urban crime was as much a threat to the security of the United States as was Vietnam. “The forces of lawlessness appear to be alarmingly close to victory over the forces of peace,” Indiana Democrat Vance Hartke told his colleagues in Congress in support of the petition. “If positive action is not taken, and taken soon, a crime crisis of unprecedented proportions will soon surely envelop the nation.” It seemed to Hartke and many other politicians and law enforcement officials that the LEAA did little more than build criminal justice bureaucracies at the state level. Not only did state criminal justice planning agencies use substantial portions of LEAA funding for other agencies, such as the Federal Housing Authority and the Department of Defense, but planners in Hartke’s own state of Indiana used block grants for seemingly foolish programs. …


Can a well-programmed machine do anything a human can — only better? Complex algorithms are choosing our music, picking our partners, and driving our investments. They can navigate more data than a doctor or lawyer and act with greater precision. For many years we’ve taken solace in the notion that they can’t create. But now that algorithms can learn and adapt, does the future of creativity belong to machines, too? It is hard to imagine a better guide to the bewildering world of artificial intelligence than Marcus du Sautoy, a celebrated Oxford mathematician whose work on symmetry in the ninth dimension has taken him to the vertiginous edge of mathematical understanding. In The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI he considers what machine learning means for the future of creativity. …


In The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Helen Vendler, widely regarded as our most accomplished interpreter of poetry, serves as an incomparable guide to some of the best-loved poems in the English language. In detailed commentaries on Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, Vendler reveals previously unperceived imaginative and stylistic features of the poems, pointing out not only new levels of import in particular lines, but also the ways in which the four parts of each sonnet work together to enact emotion and create dynamic effect. The commentaries offer fresh perspectives on the individual poems, and, taken together, provide a full picture of Shakespeare’s techniques as a working poet. With the help of Vendler’s acute eye, we gain an appreciation of “Shakespeare’s elated variety of invention, his ironic capacity, his astonishing refinement of technique, and, above all, the reach of his skeptical imaginative intent.” …


Women have traditionally received little attention as subjects in the Civil War and, or in war in general. In a male-dominated historiography, women exist, if at all, in passive or non-military roles that are seen to have little impact on events or outcomes. In Women’s War: Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War, award-winning author of Confederate Reckoning, Stephanie McCurry offers a very different version of warfare, one in which women are active and significant agents and integral to the story of military conflict. McCurry’s vision makes clear that the female half of the population experienced the violence and deprivations of the Civil War fully and acted in diverse ways to protect themselves and their families and confront the devastation. Their personal and intimate tales of war and woe matter and bring us a far more inclusive vision of warfare and its impact on society than any we have previously held. …


Common advice for people with concussions is to avoid exercise and rest in the days and weeks after the injury. But that isn’t based on current medical advice. In fact, total rest beyond a day, and even relative rest beyond a few days, can prolong symptoms. Elizabeth Sandel, MD, author of Shaken Brain: The Science, Care, and Treatment of Concussion, sets the record straight.

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In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, doctors recommended rest for anyone with a concussion. Sometimes that included bedrest or sedentary activities within the home. In the twenty-first century, the concussion literature still uses varying definitions of rest. A practical definition of physical rest makes a distinction between the absence of athletic activities on the one hand, and daily activities that require exertion on the other. Sitting out football practice doesn’t mean you can’t go grocery shopping, mow the lawn, or lift free weights at the gym. Cognitive rest, on the other hand, refers to minimizing high-concentration activities that exacerbate concussion symptoms, such as computer use, reading and writing, and watching television. …

Harvard University Press

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