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LWVP Book Club

Book Club

The LWVP book club meets quarterly (in August, November, February, and May) on the third Tuesday of the month at 5pm PT to discuss books about politics, policy, and social issues. See information about our books and upcoming meetings below.

Our book club is open to the public - you don't have to be a League member. We hope you'll join the discussion!

Next Book Club

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 5pm

American Identity in Crisis: Notes from an Accidental Activist
by Kat Calvin

American Identity in Crisis book cover
A trailblazing activist’s passionate and incisive look at why she started a movement to ensure that 26 million Americans have access to the IDs they need to escape poverty and live healthy and productive lives

American Identity in Crisis weaves together three remarkable stories: the making of an activist in the wake of the 2016 presidential election; the fight against the onerous rules that are being used to keep vulnerable and targeted populations from participating in all facets of American life -from obtaining jobs and housing to going to the polls- and how we can solve a problem that impacts millions of American adults.

Kat Calvin ties all of these threads together in profound ways. In American Identity in Crisis, she takes us on a cross-country tour as she and her team uncover one of the biggest secrets in America and learn how to solve it. We meet veterans, the unhoused, and senior citizens, and learn the story of the fierce advocate who insists on recognizing their humanity and seeing them as souls who are resilient and striving for change. 

Told in a voice that is strong and vulnerable; funny and fearless, confident and self-deprecating, American Identity in Crisis is a defense of human dignity and everyone’s right to have access to the pursuit of happiness.


Hear the author, Kat Calvin speak about the book.

Book Club Books

Moral Minority - Our Skeptical Founding Fathers book cover

August, 2023

Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers
by Brooke Allen

In her lively refutation of modern claims about America's religious origins, Brooke Allen looks back at the late eighteenth century and shows decisively that the United States was founded not on Christian principles at all but on Enlightenment ideas.

Enlivened by generous portions of the founders' own incomparable prose, Moral Minority makes an impassioned and scintillating contribution to the ongoing debate—more heated now than ever before—over the separation of church and state and the role (or lack thereof) of religion in government.

Shielded How the Police Became Untouchable - book cover

May, 2023

Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable
by Joanna Schwartz

An urgent and definitive examination of how the legal system prevents accountability for police misconduct, from one of the country’s leading scholars on policing.

In Shielded, University of California, Los Angeles, law professor Joanna Schwartz exposes the myriad ways in which our legal system protects police at all costs, with insightful analyses about subjects ranging from qualified immunity to no-knock warrants. The product of more than two decades of advocacy and research, Shielded is a timely and necessary investigation into why civil rights litigation so rarely leads to justice or prevents future police misconduct.

Hear the author, Joanna Schwartz, on NPR's Fresh Air

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

February, 2023

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado Perez

A landmark, prize-winning, international bestselling examination of how a gender gap in data perpetuates bias and disadvantages women.

Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development to health care to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this insidious bias, in time, in money, and often with their lives.

Hear the author, Caroline Criado-Perez, on NPR's Weekend Edition

Golden Gates - Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty - book cover

November, 2022

Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America
by Conor Dougherty

Spacious and affordable homes used to be the hallmark of American prosperity. Today, however, punishing rents and the increasingly prohibitive cost of ownership have turned housing into the foremost symbol of inequality and an economy gone wrong. Nowhere is this more visible than in the San Francisco Bay Area, where fleets of private buses ferry software engineers past the tarp-and-plywood shanties where the homeless make their homes. The adage that California is a glimpse of the nation's future has become a cautionary tale.

With propulsive storytelling and ground-level reporting, New York Times journalist Conor Dougherty chronicles America's housing crisis from its West Coast epicenter, peeling back the decades of history and economic forces that brought us here and taking readers inside the activist uprisings that have risen in tandem with housing costs.

Learn more about Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America.

Laboratories of Autocracy book cover

August, 2022

Laboratories of Autocracy: A Wake-Up Call from Behind the Lines
by David Pepper

David Pepper’s Laboratories of Autocracy shows that far more than the high-profile antics of national politicians and Trump himself, it’s anonymous, often corrupt politicians in statehouses across the country who pose the greatest dangers to American democracy. Amid all the chaos, these statehouses are hard at work, every day, hacking away at core principles and protections of our democratic system. And they’re getting more audacious every year.

Laboratories of Autocracy outlines 30 steps that must be undertaken, from federal action that must be taken immediately to steps every citizen can take to help fight back in their own community.

Learn more about Laboratories of Autocracy. Watch the author, David Pepper, give a presentation to the City Club of Cleveland.

Cheap Speech book cover

April, 2022

Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics—and How to Cure It

by Richard L. Hasen

With piercing insight into the current debates over free speech, censorship, and Big Tech’s responsibilities, Richard L. Hasen proposes legal and social measures to restore Americans’ access to reliable information on which democracy depends. In an era when quack COVID treatments and bizarre QAnon theories have entered mainstream, this book explains how to assure both freedom of ideas and a commitment to truth.

Learn more about Cheap Speech. Watch the recording of our April 5th discussion with author Rick Hasen: How Disinformation Undermines Fair Elections: What Can be Done?

Listen to WNYC Studio's On the Media podcast with the author
:  The Imminent Threat of Election Subversion.

Kill Switch book cover

January, 2022

Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy

by Adam Jentleson

Every major decision governing our diverse, majority-female, and increasingly liberal country bears the stamp of the United States Senate, an institution controlled by people who are almost exclusively white, overwhelmingly male, and disproportionately conservative. Although they do not represent a majority of Americans—and will not for the foreseeable future—today’s Republican senators possess the power to block most legislation. Once known as “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the Senate has become one of the greatest threats to our democracy. How did this happen?

Learn more about "Kill Switch."

Listen to NPR's Terry Gross
on Fresh Air: 'Kill Switch' Examines The Racist History Of The Senate Filibuster.

Supreme Inequality book cover

October, 2021

Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America

by Adam Cohen

In Supreme Inequality, bestselling author Adam Cohen surveys the most significant Supreme Court rulings since the Nixon era and exposes how, contrary to what Americans like to believe, the Supreme Court does little to protect the rights of the poor and disadvantaged; in fact, it has not been on their side for fifty years. Cohen proves beyond doubt that the modern Court has been one of the leading forces behind the nation’s soaring level of economic inequality, and that an institution revered as a source of fairness has been systematically making America less fair.

Learn more about "Supreme Inequality."

Listen to NPR's Terry Gross in a conversation with Author, Adam Cohen, on Fresh Air.

The Sum of Us book cover

July, 2021

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
by Heather McGhee

Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

Read more about "The Sum of Us."

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