Challenges for Democracy Reviews

Political Parties: Division and Distrust: ISBN 978-1-6782-0306-1 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0307-8
Booklist, October 1, 2022

This entry in the Challenges for Democracy series (5 titles) examines how U.S. political parties function and provides suggestions for reform. It defines the two major parties and their ideologies, platforms, and demographic characteristics, as well as how they shape the election process and fund campaigns. The changes in election laws are detailed, many as a result of the 2020 election. The way gerrymandering creates an unfair election advantage and disproportionately affects communities of color is discussed. It describes how the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, has led to “heightening the extreme level of partisanship that threatens the functioning of government.” Reform suggestions include changing the way primaries are conducted, moving to a multiparty system, switching to ranked voting, and making social media liable for the content posted on their platforms.
— Sharon Rawlins

Clash of Powers: The President Versus Congress: ISBN 978-1-6782-0302-3 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0303-0
Media Literacy: Information and Disinformation: ISBN 978-1-6782-0304-7 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0305-4
Political Parties: Division and Distrust: ISBN 978-1-6782-0306-1 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0307-8
The Supreme Court: Activism Versus Restraint : ISBN 978-1-6782-0308-5 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0309-2
Voting: Rights and Suppression: ISBN 978-1-6782-0310-8 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0311-5
School Library Journal, September 1, 2022

Gr 7-10—Many political issues of the day are explored in these five volumes. Clash of Powers discusses the dissonance between the powers of the presidency and Congress. Voting examines how current state voting laws were influenced by the chaos of the 2020 presidential election. Media Literacy explains the differences between fake information and reality and how one can determine the differences. Political Parties describes the state of political parties with emphasis on their demographics and respective viewpoints. The Supreme Court emphasizes how activism and restraint depend on the point of view of those reacting to various court decisions. All of the volumes are informative; however, they tend to speak with a progressive voice which is reflected in such phrases as: "Republican lawmakers pushing for more restrictive voting laws." Some narratives lack context, for instance, when describing the 2018 gubernatorial election, the author implies Secretary of State Brian Kemp purposely purged voters for political gain, without referring to his obligation to execute Georgia law. (Voting) Most examples of media disinformation are about Trump's disseminations. The volume on the Supreme Court provides the most balanced view of Court, especially regarding current cases on abortion and gun laws. However, that book is already out of date as it does not include the outcome of the Dobbs case, and the picture on the cover does not include the newest justice. The left-leaning Brennan Institute is often cited, especially in Voting. VERDICT Those looking for political tomes with a progressive slant to counter conservative voices will find these volumes useful (except for The Supreme Court); those seeking more balance will find it in the numerous other titles available on the same topics.