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I want to be accurately informed. How?

I recently came upon the work of Noam Chomsky and it opened up a whole new world of information and ways of seeing the world. How can I become more informed about our world's recent history and be accurate about it? [more inside]
posted by drd on Jan 3, 2014 - 28 answers

Refresher Reading in basic Religion/Politics/Philosophy

Hi Metafilter. Recommendations, please? Recently I had ended a cycle of medication that was likely to affect my memory. It has. I feel as though I've gone from a quick, engaged conversationalist, to a bit of an observant, less inclined platform of speaking. Mostly, it's because I can't seem to recall things as quickly as before. It's so, so uncomfortable. I've been told my memory will return over time, but in the meantime, I can read and participate in exercises in an attempt to jar it. Can anyone offer some comprehensive overviews of religion, history, philosophy, or politics? Really basic stuff would be just find - Any texts going over the religions of the world, introductions to politic, lists of notable philosophers or historic figures.. Thank you!
posted by thewolfandewe on Jun 16, 2013 - 13 answers

Your recommendations for books about Vietnam (the country, not the war)

A friend of mine is about to move to Vietnam. I'd like to get him a book as a farewell gift. Please give me your recommendations for books about Vietnam the country - that is, books that cover something of the country's history, society and politics other than the American war.
posted by girlgenius on Jun 1, 2013 - 6 answers

Use of The City as a metaphor for the Internet/Web

I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Apr 12, 2013 - 9 answers

well known examples of power corrupts

Help me with my ten year old sons school project ! I'd like to find people - as well known as possible - to whom the adage "power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely" . So an ideal example would be someone who started off with good intentions and then on gaining power started behaving poorly . Also ideally once they'd turned nasty their actions would not be so despicable that you wouldn't mind explaining them to a ten year old Thanks
posted by southof40 on Mar 9, 2013 - 38 answers

Seeking future shock.

Where can I find summaries of historical developments, technological breakthroughs, political and social changes etc. in a similar style as the Afterword in Charles Stross's anthology Toast (free download here)? I am interested in stuff that has happened in the last 30 or 40 years.
posted by fullerenedream on Oct 22, 2012 - 0 answers

The greengrocer snaps!

What is it like to realize you live in a totalitarian system? [more inside]
posted by ecmendenhall on Oct 20, 2012 - 23 answers

Help me know more about Israel

Can you please recommend a good book on the formation of modern Israel? [more inside]
posted by Pecinpah on Oct 10, 2012 - 12 answers

Readings on changes of power?

Can you recommend books/articles about the dynamics of political power transitions? [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Aug 22, 2012 - 1 answer

WW1 Documentaries and Books

Care to recommend some in-depth documentaries (and books, or anything online) about World War One? [more inside]
posted by nfg on Aug 14, 2012 - 10 answers

I don't know anything about their race, history, or culture, but I'm sure they stand for everything we stand against.

Oddball American history question: Who was the worst Secretary of State? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Apr 10, 2012 - 11 answers

Cultural values affecting foreign policy?

To what extent do cultural values affect foreign policy making between U.S. and China? [more inside]
posted by espada0 on Feb 14, 2012 - 11 answers

Where'd that water come from?

Can you tell me about this large reservoir just east of Mexico City, apparently called Lago Nabor Carrillo? [more inside]
posted by brightghost on Jan 6, 2012 - 1 answer

Keep me from repeating mistakes I should know about....

Book suggestion filter! I need to catch up on all the 20th century history I missed because of childhood..... [more inside]
posted by motsque on Jun 28, 2011 - 14 answers

America isn't a Democrat, it's a Republican! Er, yeah.

Where did the "America is a republic, not a democracy" argument come from, and how much truth is there to it? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jan 17, 2011 - 30 answers

Learning more about Spanish history in the 1970s and King Juan Carlos I

Resources-- books, articles, lectures, whatever-- for learning more about King Juan Carlos of Spain and his decision to liberalize politics in Spain? [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty on Jul 13, 2010 - 3 answers

International Relations 101

I read the news (BBC) daily and pick up The Economist once in awhile (it's expensive!). I'm curious and want to know what is going on in the world, but most of the time I can't put anything into perspective and understand what this means for the rest of the world or the possible impact on my life. For example, I'm not really sure why Bush started a war in Afghanistan, or the repercussions of the Gaza flotilla attack. I like how The Economist will analyze issues and say "X happened. This is bad because Y might happen now." or "A is mad because B did this in the past." in short, up front sentences. When I try to look people/events up on Wikipedia or Google, it's overwhelming because there is TOO much information to read, and I'm constantly having to look up more and more and this easily turns into hours of reading and 60 tabs open on my browser. How can I get a general grasp of international relations? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 28, 2010 - 43 answers

Dates of the 1964 Presidential Primaries?

What were the dates of the early Presidential primaries in 1964? I don't need them all, just the first few - New Hampshire, Illinois, Texas etc. [more inside]
posted by bagadonuts on May 25, 2010 - 3 answers

An interesting political issue at some point in history?

Please tell me about a time/place in history that had some interesting political issue that was very divisive at the time. [more inside]
posted by giggleknickers on Apr 23, 2010 - 14 answers

What were the liberals wrong about?

I socialize almost exclusively with friends who are politically liberal, spanning the spectrum from left-of-center progressive to the more radical fringe. Frequently, among ourselves, political conversation drifts inevitably toward variations on this theme:
"The history of our country has always proven liberalism correct and conservatism incorrect. The principles of those on the left have been validated over and over again, while those on the right have been proven wrong by the progress of history."
While I admit that this hypothesis is selfishly pleasing (I'm a liberal too, after all), it seems to me that it can't be completely true. But I don't have a strong enough grasp of American history to prove it wrong. So what am I missing? What have liberals been proven wrong about? [more inside]
posted by AngerBoy on Dec 24, 2009 - 63 answers

Help me understand America.

Americans: if you had to represent the USA with only three things, what would they be? [more inside]
posted by lapsangsouchong on Oct 22, 2009 - 96 answers

Help a 13 y/o get to know the Amercian soldier.

What resources (films, books, websites) can I share with my 13 y/o daughter who has expressed a recent keen admiration and care for the American soldier from the Vietnam War era to the present? [more inside]
posted by keith0718 on Sep 3, 2009 - 22 answers

Government longevity, who wins?

What country or countries have the longest continuously functioning government? Please specify the type/form of government, such as US/ democratic republic.
posted by woman on May 31, 2009 - 14 answers

Where to find Jesse Helms videos from the 1960s?

Where can I find video footage of Jesse Helms from the 1960s? [more inside]
posted by EarBucket on Feb 13, 2009 - 7 answers

Who done it?

Significant historical and/or political figures since 1945? [more inside]
posted by kiki_s on Jan 28, 2009 - 24 answers

A Red/Blue maps for Canada?

Are there any Canadian federal election maps out there, coloring each federal riding by the winning party? I am thinking something like the Red/Blue coloring that is often done in the US (like this), but preferably something with intermediate colors (like this). [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Dec 3, 2008 - 6 answers

When did we get to start voting for voters instead of voting for legislators who voted for voters?

I'm looking for a listing, preferably something with citations of the actual state laws, of when each state changed it's laws to allow for the direct election of electors in the electoral college.
posted by phrontist on Oct 22, 2008 - 1 answer

A coherent, succinct history of the failures of the Bush Administration

Help me rationally and calmly document the Bush administration to a friend who thinks history will hold it in "high regard"? [more inside]
posted by idb on Sep 14, 2008 - 34 answers

Who has succeeded most in bringing people together?

What are some powerful examples throughout history of public figures or concepts that have successfully united disparate people?
posted by deern the headlice on May 23, 2008 - 24 answers

Where can I find film footage of Richard Nixon bowling?

Where can I find film footage of Richard Nixon bowling? [more inside]
posted by Tlogmer on Apr 19, 2008 - 1 answer

Russian politics primer?

Help me teach myself about the current political and social climate in Russia. [more inside]
posted by ellenaim on Mar 21, 2008 - 12 answers

Historical "jawboning"?

Can you think of any examples of "jawboning" from history? [more inside]
posted by yesno on Mar 6, 2008 - 4 answers

Books about Down Under

Can anyone reccomend good books, or documentaries, about Australia (history, culture, politics) written by people from outside Australia? [more inside]
posted by Jimbob on Feb 7, 2008 - 11 answers

radical books wanted

I'm looking for book suggestions for a radical reading group. [more inside]
posted by arcadia on Jan 29, 2008 - 24 answers

Montezuma's Revenge

Where can I find a downloadable version of Michael Murphey's classic, "Temple of the Sun" to download? Of course I am willing to pay for the copyrighted, legal, etc. version. But I would rather not have to buy the entire Swans Against the Sun CD to get this one song. Also, HUGE Bonus Points if you can lead me to similar(?) songs which might interest my sons (see inside for more on this challenge). [more inside]
posted by misha on Jan 7, 2008 - 8 answers

Books about Burma?

Books about Burma? [more inside]
posted by UbuRoivas on Nov 19, 2007 - 17 answers

Depress me!

Deforestation. Extinction. Soil depletion. Toxicity. Mental illness. Mass imprisonment. Neocolonialism. Etceterugh. What should one read for a better comprehension of just what the hell we're doing to the planet, ourselves, and eachother? [more inside]
posted by poweredbybeard on Sep 21, 2007 - 45 answers

What are Web 2.0's effects on American politics?

I always hear that blogging and YouTube are (and/or will be) revolutionary in American politics. Is this true? How so? Can you recommend recent books, academic articles, extended blog posts and other media that demonstrate (or argue against) the effects of blogging, citizen journalism, social networking web sites and YouTube on American politics? Differing viewpoints would be appreciated!
posted by eswusp86 on Aug 11, 2007 - 8 answers

Why did George Romney lose in 1968?

Why did George Romney get outed from the 1968 presidential race? [more inside]
posted by freddymungo on May 21, 2007 - 7 answers

Testing my students' Cultural Literacy

Help me devise a quiz testing my students (college fresh-people) on fundamental knowledge of current events, history, and culture. [more inside]
posted by papakwanz on Apr 13, 2007 - 34 answers

What are the best recent articles on immigration?

Help me find illuminating, educating, eye-opening articles on immigration for a class I'm teaching at the Kennedy School of Government. [more inside]
posted by josh on Apr 11, 2007 - 5 answers

Help a political newbie better understand US history

What books should I read to get a crash course in US political history? [more inside]
posted by fishmasta on Apr 2, 2007 - 26 answers

Who said "mistakes were made?"

What is the origin of the phrase "mistakes were made" - who said it, and in reference to what? [more inside]
posted by etoile on Mar 13, 2007 - 14 answers

The meaning of GOC

What is a GOC? [more inside]
posted by rabbitsnake on Mar 5, 2007 - 4 answers

a news site with historical data linkouts?

I find that I don't read enough news. When I look at the headlines I am lost about the history of the situation. Does anyone know of a news site that has the news with good historical link-outs to give me a broader understanding of the situation?
posted by lukeomalley on Feb 13, 2007 - 18 answers

Why has democracy had so many problems in developing countries?

Why has democracy, at least our version of it in the west, proven so difficult a system of government to maintain in the third/developping world? [more inside]
posted by dflemingdotorg on Oct 27, 2006 - 35 answers

Help me nourish my brain.

Can anyone recommend any good documentaries? Bonus points if its history or culture related. [more inside]
posted by Vindaloo on Aug 23, 2006 - 38 answers

Books on presidents

Bibliophiles: I want to read a book on every US president for my summer reading project. Recommendations? [more inside]
posted by state fxn on May 24, 2006 - 17 answers

US Supreme Court histories?

Good U. S. Supreme Court histories? I really like the Supreme Court. I like to hear about it and read about it. I love the place it occupies in our national politics, the deliberative position it holds. I'm interested in reading books of history about it, how it has evolved, major trends, what it used to be like. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Jan 25, 2006 - 15 answers

Please help me find this interview with former House Appropriations Chairman Jamie Whitten of Mississippi.

Please help me find this interview with former House Appropriations Chairman Jamie Whitten of Mississippi. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Dec 6, 2005 - 3 answers

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