Other Possible Readings



Reading Set 1: U.S. Land Acquisition from Native Americans

17 pages total

“Land Policy,” Encyclopedia of American History, Answers.com, 7 p.

A history of land distribution in the United States: taking from Native Americans and distributing it to settlers, railroads, and state colleges.

“Indian Land Cessions,” Encyclopedia of American History, Answers.com, 10 p.

A history of the taking of land from Native Americans.

Reading Set 2: Single-Payer Healthcare System

37 pages total

“What is Single Payer?” Physicians for a National Health Program, 3 p.

A basic description of a single-payer healthcare system.

“Déjà Vu All Over Again: Don’t look toward Canada for health care,” by Sally C. Pipes, National Review Online, February 4, 2003, 4 p.

Argues against a single-payer system of healthcare.

“Five Myths About Health Care: And Barack Obama believes them.,” by Sally C. Pipes, Forbes, November 1, 2008, 4 p.

Argues against a single-payer system of healthcare.

“Single-Payer FAQ,” Physicians for a National Health Program, 19 p.

Answers frequently asked questions about (and challenges to) a single-payer healthcare system.

Reading Set 3: Social Security

43 pages total

“"There is no long-term deficit in Social Security,” by Bruce Webb, blog comment, MyDD.com December 29, 2006, 2 p.

A very short summary of the argument that the perceived Social Security crisis was manufactured in order to destroy Social Security.

“Achieving Social Security Reform: A ‘Leninist’ Strategy,” by Stuart Butler and Peter Germanis, The Cato Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, Fall 1983, 16 p.

Libertarians present a strategy for building a coalition to privatize Social Security.

Introduction to Social Security: The Phony Crisis by Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot, University of Chicago Press, 1999, 25 p.

Progressive economists debunk the idea that Social Security is in crisis.

Reading Set 4: Jared Diamond’s Thesis

19 pages total

“The Ends of the World as We Know Them,” opinion column by Jared Diamond, New York Times, January 1, 2005, 10 p.

History warns us that when once-powerful societies collapse, they tend to do so quickly and unexpectedly. What can be learned from history that could help us avoid joining the ranks of those who declined swiftly?

“‘Collapse’: How the World Ends,” book review by Gregg Easterbrook of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond, New York Times, January 30, 2005, 9 p.

A critical review of Diamond’s thesis.

Reading Set 5: Miscellaneous

xx pages total

“Meet Jefferson Smith, the Oregon Bus Project,” an interview with Jefferson Smith by Nancy Scola, MyDD, March 3, 2007, 10 p.

The Bus Project has been touring Oregon, registering thousands of voters, knocking on thousands of doors, raging for progressive change.

“A Tale of Two Earth Days,” by Larry West, About.com, 3 p.

A short history of Earth Day.

“The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism,” by Chris Hedges, November 15, 2004, 18 p.

Argues that Christian Dominionists seek to create a global, Christian empire.

“Faith,” Chapter 1 of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America, by Chris Hedges, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2007, 50 p.

Compares the well-funded and highly organized “dominionist movement,” a theocratic sect within the evangelical Christian movement, to other recent totalitarian movements.

“The myth of Muslim support for terror,” opinion column by Kenneth Ballen, Terror Free Tomorrow, Christian Science Monitor, February 23, 2007, 3 p.

The common enemy is violence and terrorism, not Muslims any more than Christians or Jews.

“Creating Real Prosperity,” by Frances Moore LappĂ©, Yes! Magazine, Winter 2007, 6 p.

Critics of “go local” movements warn that buying local deprives people in the Global South of jobs that could lift them out of poverty. But are multinationals really helping?

“Moore Spin: Or, How Reporters Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Front Groups,” opinion column for CommonDreams.org, by Diane Farsetta, Center for Media and Democracy, March 16, 2007, 12 p.

With a massive PR budget, the nuclear power industry has skewed the debate over the future of nuclear energy in the US.

Reading Set 6: More Miscellaneous

xx pages total

“What to Expect from the Swing Vote in 2004,” by John Zaller, professor of political science at UCLA for Honors Collegium 155, edited by Leslie Evans, UCLA International Institute, May 28, 2003, 29 p.

What moves the undecided voter and what effect does war and terror have at the ballot box?

“Former President Jimmy Carter Examines Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” an interview by Judy Woodruff, News Hour, PBS television, November 28, 2006, 10 p.

Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jimmy Carter discusses his latest book, Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.