Review: The Road to Poverty: The Making of Wealth and Hardship in Appalachia

We talk quite a bit about poverty and economic disparity in the U.S., but this is one of the few books that takes an in-depth view of the problem. This book is unique in that it combines 100 years of longitudinal social science with the history of Clay County, Kentucky in order to paint a picture of the forces that have helped drive Appalachia’s economic distress.

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Review: Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It

When Of Dice and Men is at its best, David M. Ewalt paints an interesting tale that follows the birth, demise, and rebirth of both Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop role-playing. While the territory of the game’s history isn’t new, Ewalt nevertheless wrote a fan’s history, which painted a tough by understandable picture of the original founders.

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Review: It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism

Still, it’s contribution to the larger story of Congressional dysfunction can’t be undersold. Taken together with books such as Lawrence Lessig’s Republic, Lost (which the authors argue is a well-written critique but ultimately unrealistic in its goal), one can begin to understand the deep, underlying forces that have disrupted traditional governance — at least on a federal level — in the United States.

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