Making Democracy Work

LWVBCC Book Group

LWVBCC Book Group

Nov. 2018

The next gathering of the book group will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 12 at Marilyn Klawiter's home. The focus will be on the Flint water crisis, which is the subject of three recent books: "What the Eyes Don't See" by Mona Hanna-Attisha, "The Poisoned City" by Anna Clark, and/or "The Death and Rebirth of a City" by Gale Glover.
Take your pick--or pick all. LWVBCC members and their guests are invited and encouraged to come.
(FYI: Gale Glover is scheduled to be at Forever Books in St. Joseph at 7:00 p.m. October 16.)

Sept. 2018

Emelie Shroder hosted a stimulating discussion of Jon Meacham's "Soul of America" on September 17.
A historian troubled by today's polarizing partisanship, Meacham tells of troubled times in our nation's history when elected leaders and citizens have led the way to look forward with hope. "The good news," he says, "is that we have come through such darkness before." It's an uplifting read.

April 2018

Recently, several LWV Book Group members gathered to discuss Sam Quinones book "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic."
This book is a sobering look at the opiate crisis in the United States. Quinones carefully traces the many strands that have led to the crisis from advertising, to pharmaceutical companies, to pain clinic pill mills, to the rise of black tar heroin and Fentanyl, and to law enforcement efforts to curb the growing spread of drug use. No one in the group that met had not been touched in some way by drugs-most usually because of knowing a family who had lost a loved one to an accidental overdose.
In many ways, even with growing news coverage, this is still a hidden problem. If the true extent of the loss of life were known, public outrage would drive a greater response to the crisis. Perhaps a weekly count of overdose deaths must be published like the weekend murder rates to gain everyone's attention.
Real money must be put into programs for rehabilitation rather than incarceration of low level users and drug dealers. Until the true depth of the problem is recognized, I fear that we will continue to rock along with Band-Aid fixes, punishing the users instead of drug companies whose greed for profits and the pill mill proprietors are among the basic causes of destruction of communities and people.
The Book Group welcomes all who enjoy reading and discussing books on the issues citizens are faced with on a daily basis.
"The Women's Hour: The Great Fight To Win The Vote" by Elaine Weiss (to be released on March 6) will be our April Book Group selection. We will announce here the home where the meeting will take place. -- Annette Van Dusen

October, 2017

The next meeting of the LWVBCC book group is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 9, at Emelie Shroder's home. Two books have been selected for discussion: "Climate of Hope" by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope, and "Strangers in Their Own Land" by Arlie Russell Hochschild.
Both books, to a greater and lesser extent, offer insights on climate change. The emphasis, though, is quite different. Climate is at the heart of Bloomberg and Pope's book, as they describe the issue, highlight its seriousness, and offer creative ways to address it. Hochschild, on the other hand, tells of her experience with people in Louisiana's bayou country whose livelihoods and way of life have been severely impacted by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident.
Participants are encouraged to read either or both of these books, or another of their choice dealing with related topics.
Then please call Emelie to let her know you will be attending. Her telephone number is 269-266-7299.


The LWVBCC Book Group was formed in 2005 and has been meeting regularly ever since. We currently meet quarterly on a Monday morning during the month. These are the only meetings that are convened in member homes.

Previous Selections

We have read some great books!

Occasionally the members are encouraged to select any book they wish in a subject area, so those individual selections are not listed.

"This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate" by Naomi Klein.

"George Washington's Secret Six" by Kilmeade and Yaeger

"Hamilton - The Revolution by Miranda and McCarter

"Alexander Hamilton" by Chernow

"Dark Money" by Mayer

"Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS" by Warrick

"ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror" by Weiss and Hassan

"ISIS: The State of Terror" by Stern and Berger.

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Irin Carmona and Shana Knizhnik

"Three Billion New Capitalists: the Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East" by Clyde Prestowicz.

"Critical Condition How Health Care in America Became Big Business and Bad Medicine" by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

"Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People who Think You're Stupid" by Joe Klein

"The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" by Lawrence Wright. Won 2006 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.

"Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben

"The Appeal" by John Grisham About judicial elections.

"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan

"The Post American World" by Fareed Zakaria

"The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America" by Jonathan Kozol

"Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture" by Ellen Rupell Shell

"Engaging the Muslim World" by Juan Cole

"The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court" by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong

"Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court" by Jan Crawford Greenburg

"Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy" by Louise W. Knight

"Jane Addams: Spirit in Action" by Louise W. Knight

"Twenty Years at Hull House" by Jane Addams

"Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future" by Robert Reich

"The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equality Will Determine Our Future" by Linda Hammond-Darling

"Reclaiming Public Education by Reclaiming Our Democracy" by David Mathews

"The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choices Are Undermining Education" by Diane Ravitch

"Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us" by Mike Rose

"What is Good for General Motors? Solving America's Industrial Conundrum" by Thomas Crumm

"Confidence Men" by Ron Suskind

"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson

"Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It" by Lawrence Lessig

"Drift: the Unmooring of American Military Power" by Rachel Maddow

"My Beloved World" by Sonia Sotomayor

"Catastrophic Health Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father and How We Can Fix It" by David Goldhill.

"County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital" by David Ansell M.D.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

"The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World's Food Supply" by Marie-Monique Robin

"Foodopoly: the Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America" by Wenonah Hauter

"Food, Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food Is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer--and What We Can Do About It" by Karl Weber

"Reign of Error" by Diane Ravitch

"Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World's Leading Systems" by Marc Tucker and Linda Darling Hammond.

"I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban" by Yousafzai, Malala and Lamb, Christina (Oct 8, 2013)

"Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution" by Justice John Paul Stevens.

"On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City" by Alice Goffman.

"Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights" by Katha Pollitt

Steven Brill " America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System" 2015

Atul Gwande "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End " 2014.