Radical: Fighting to Put Students First
By Michelle Rhee (March 15, 2013) - "The United States is known as a world leader in innovation, boasting brilliant thinkers and trendsetting companies, but that status is at grave risk. American children are well outside the top-ten international student rankings in reading, science, and math; those rankings-not to mention the nation's position of leadership on everything from the economy to the military to issues of moral authority-will continue to plummet unless we take dramatic action. Michelle Rhee, a driving force behind American education reform, is ready to make a change. In Radical, this fearless and pioneering advocate draws on her own life story and delivers her plan for better American schools. Rhee's goal is to ensure that laws, leaders, and policies are making students-not adults--our top priority, and she outlines concrete steps that will put us on a dramatically different course. An incisive and intensely personal call to arms, Michelle Rhee's Radical is required reading for anyone who seeks a guide not only to the improvement of our schools but also to a brighter future for America's children. (Harper-Collins)
By Rachel Maddow (March 15, 2013) - "Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state. (Random House)
Featuring Tom Colicchio (March 15, 2013) - "Fifty million people in the U.S.--one in four children--don't know where their next meal is coming from. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford. Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides--as they have in the past--that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all.