Bookmarked: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Killing the Poormaster

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Every day, new books arrive in the offices of Utne Reader.
It would be impossible to review all of them, but a shame to leave many
hidden on the shelves. In “Bookmarked,” we link to excerpts from some of
our favorites, hoping they’ll inspire a trip to your local library or bookstore. Enjoy!

In 2000, Greg Palast exposed how Katherine Harris removed thousands
of innocent Black citizens from voter rolls as “felons.” It was Palast
for Rolling Stone, with co-author Bobby Kennedy, who uncovered more
ballot-bending trickery–from inane ID laws to “caging” of absentee
ballots that earned the thanks of the US Civil Rights Commission. Now,
in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits (Seven
Stories Press, 2012), Palast tells two stories: First, the 9 ways over
5.9 million votes can be stolen in November 2012–unless the ballot
bandits are stopped. And, second, how billionaire PAC-men purchase
Congress and the White House through a mudslide of money. Discover the
dirty strategies that discourage Hispanic voter registration in this
excerpt taken from Chapter 26, “Block the Vote.”

Reflecting on a sensational, Depression-era murder trial, Killing the Poormaster
(Lawrence Hill Books, 2012) by Holly Metz chronicles the events that
lead up to–and follow–the death of Harry Barck, a poormaster who was
granted the authority to decide who would and would not receive public
aid in Hoboken, New Jersey. The conditions that plagued the American
people during the Great Depression–massive unemployment, endemic poverty
and the inadequacy of public assistance–still trouble our world today.
Find out how the conditions of unemployment during the Great Depression,
from denied bread tickets to brutal abuse from corrupted officials,
lead the American people to their last straw. Read an excerpt taken from
Chapter 1, “Waiting for Nothing.”

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.