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Six Tales of Political Scandal

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Maeve O'Brien and SultanaBun found this witty
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On a worldwide scale, as we collectively continue to wait on the President of the United States to release his tax returns, which will undoubtedly rock the position of this most powerful and small-handed of men, it may serve us well to be versed in the language of deception, intrigue, and scandal.

The following list of six books ranges from words from players who were at the heart of significant government scandals, to those who fought against the Establishment and came face-to-face with the pollutants that are a scourge to modern ideas of democracy. 

Adults In The Room

Problematic ‘feminist’ views aside, Varoufakis’ most recent book is one of the best memoirs on scandals, corruption and the inner world of the EU published in recent times. Documenting his brief stint as the Greek Minister of Finance in 2015, Varoufakis takes us inside the meeting rooms and offices of Brussels as he negotiated and attempted to work with the IMF and other EU ministers to secure Greece’s stability following their debt crisis. Featuring the dominating personalities of figures such as Christine Lagarde, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and the then little known Emmanuel Macron, Adults in the Room is a fascinating and at times gossipy memoir full of the trademark wit and charisma that Varoufakis possess – enough to make even the most banal economic models appear sexy.

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All the President's Men

In hopeful anticipation of Donald Trump’s impeachment, All the President’s Men is a necessary read. Developed into a seminal film in 1976 featuring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, this Pulitzer prizewinning memoir is a blistering read. As investigative reporters for The Washington Post, Bernstein and Woodward unravelled the web of deceit and lies woven by then-President Richard Nixon, ultimately contributing to the demise of his political career. This book documents Bernstein and Woodward’s investigative journalism including communications with leaks from the White House and their absolute commitment to reporting the facts. While the Nixon impeachment is tossed about in contemporary media at a rate, this book will bring readers back to that era with precision and integrity – showing the hunger for power of many in the White House. Watergate was quite possibly the biggest political scandal of the twentieth century, and this book brings it to life with startling ferocity.

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Why Women Should Rule the World

DeeDee Myers is known to many as the inspiration for CJ Cregg, Chief of Staff and Press Secretary for President Bartlett in the NBC drama The West Wing. But in her role as Press Secretary for President Clinton in 1993, Myers was the first (and youngest) woman to take up this job. Her book documents this time period in her life, exploring what it was like to enter the den of journalists barking questions and her determination to succeed and to communicate her position despite the obstacles that women face in the political sphere. Myers weaves the experiences of other prominent political women in her book, giving an account of the pervasive sexism that infects politics – a scandal in itself. Her book is invigorating, fast-paced and a thoroughly enjoyable glimpse into the world of women navigating day-to-day political life. 

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No Place to Hide

In 2013, Edward Snowden made international headlines when he became an international fugitive – leaving his job at the NSA and revealing the contents of thousands of classified papers to a series of journalists from The Guardian and The Washington Post. In this book, Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists who was privy to the NSA documents, recounts the bravery and courage of Snowden – one man who went up against the might of the US intelligence in order to throw light on the illegalities and invasions of privacy being carried out. This book gives an in-depth account of the activities of the NSA and serves as a documentary of choice between going along with actions that violate your principles or to stand up and be heard. The fallout of Snowden’s revelations continues to cause tremors in the world today, producing numerous scandals that the US government scrabble to contain. In this book we get a sense of the white heat of the time of release and the impact of the truth in a world so riddled with fake news..

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Memoirs from the Women's Prison

In 1981 the Egyptian doctor, feminist and writer Nawal El-Saadawi was imprisoned in Cairo for dissent. Having been dismissed from her powerful post within the Ministry of Health in 1972, her imprisonment and fall from member of the Egyptian government to enemy of the state was a major scandal at the time. Accordingly, Memoirs from the Women’s Prison became an acclaimed memoir of prison experiences and demonstrates the fragile world occupied by women within the political realm. In this book we get an insight into how activists and opposition to governments rally together in their attempts to shake the system and cause scandals. El-Saadawi is a beautiful and evocative writer, with this memoir serving as an inspiration to many who fight for rights for women and minorities.

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Making Peace

In 1998, the historic Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast. With this document, decades of ‘The Troubles’ were quelled and agreement from all sections of the community in Northern Ireland, London and Dublin was achieved. In this book, Senator George Mitchell recounts the often excruciating and painstaking process of peace, getting parties to the table, problems of decommissioning, policing and civil rights. A fascinating read that explores the inner workings of a close community that was often positioned at polar opposites, Mitchell documents titanic figures such as John Hume as well as the interest in peace taken by President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A tense, thorough read with a cathartic ending, Making Peace is a fantastic read for those interested in conflict resolution and political dialogue in general. The positive impact of mediators in the Northern Irish peace talks paved the way for our current mindset – that despite current political scandals, everything is better since the Good Friday Agreement.

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Based in Northern Ireland, Maeve holds a PhD in English Literature - her thesis deconstructed silence in the work of Sylvia Plath. Maeve is an avid reader of poetry, fiction and academic ... Show More

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