“When You Grow Up to Vote” (Roaring Brook Press), written by Eleanor Roosevelt and reissued with writer Michelle Markel and illustrator Grace Lin.
In 1932, Eleanor Roosevelt’s husband Franklin had just been elected president. In the throes of raising five children, Eleanor thought they should know “what their parents were up to” and “how it all worked,” according to her granddaughter Nancy Ireland.
“When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You,” a civics book Eleanor wrote for young children that year, only came across Ireland’s desk a year ago, even though she has spent three decades in charge of her grandmother’s literary estate. “I was never given a copy of it by my parents, which amuses me,” she told PBS NewsHour about the book’s new reissue this month.
The book, with revised text by Michelle Markel and illustrations by Grace Lin, explains to readers age 6-12 (and beyond) that we all have a stake in how our democracy is governed.
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Donald Trump has repeatedly complained that no one is investigating the people investigating him, and that no one is trying to jail his political enemies. On Sept. 10, national security adviser John Bolton did his boss one better. Rather than whining, he threatened. In a speech to the Federalist Society attacking the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court, Bolton said:
We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.
There’s nothing new in Bolton’s hostility to the ICC. He’s mentioned it many times before. He previously waged war against it as a top official in the George W. Bush administration, and was rewarded with appointment as Bush’s UN ambassador. But there is something new in the scope of havoc his hostility could bring. As a New York Times headline put it, “U.S. Attack on I.C.C. Is Seen as Bolstering World’s Despots.”
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What is “democratic socialism” in contemporary America? In November 2015, with the Iowa caucuses on the horizon, Bernie Sanders finally tackled the question head-on in a much-publicized speech at Georgetown University. Democratic socialism, he told his audience, is what Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal did. FDR’s unfinished vision of a second bill of rights, an “economic bill of rights,” “is my vision today,” Sanders remarked.
Now, two and a half years later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has vaulted onto the national political scene on a platform that sounds unmistakably familiar to students of American liberalism: Medicare for all, a job guarantee, housing programs, a new Glass-Steagall Act, and a green . . . New Deal. Democratic socialism, apparently, is less Eugene V. Debs than it is a more successful Harry Truman.
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Socialism and the Liberal Imagination
As the silent film rolls, the president sits by his wife at an outdoor gathering. A beer mug rests on his table, and dozens of people lounge on the grass while he holds court.
His shirt sleeves are rolled up. He is wearing his pince-nez glasses and reading aloud from a book. At one passage he chuckles, reaches for his cigarette in its long-stem holder and flashes his famous smile.
His thin legs, damaged by polio, are barely visible under the table.
It’s President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Labor Day 1934.
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Henry Morgenthau III, a TV producer and documentarian who helped shape public television in its early days and provided a forum for the nation’s civil rights conversation in the 1960s, died July 11 at a retirement community in Washington. He was 101.
The cause was complications from aortic stenosis, his daughter Sarah Morgenthau said.
A scion of a prominent German-Jewish family, Mr. Morgenthau was a son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s treasury secretary, a grandson of the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under President Woodrow Wilson, the older brother of former Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, and a cousin of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara W. Tuchman.
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