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Posted February 21, 2009
The quality of the book exceeds its price. (I bought it for $5 which includes S&H.) The book is even entertaining to read. Catchy, witty captions accompany the pictures such as "This lesbian couple said 'I do' but the California Supreme Court said 'Adieu.'" The book makes clear efforts to engage the reader with "You Are There," a section that tries to put them into the shoes of powerful public figures facing a dilemma. It also has impressive, in-depth coverage of minority rights and women's issues, such as changing gender roles, abortion, and political representation.
The book falters on political balance, its sole but major weakness. The authors of the book lean left especially on gun control. While covering anti-abortion policies such as denying poor women access to abortion, the writers include facts that make pro-life activists look like a bunch of morons. The pictures that open each chapter include those of smiling Howard Dean at a rally in Iowa (not the Dean scream one), a delegate at the DNC, an anti-war protest before the Iraq War, and a barbed wire fence at Guantanamo Bay. I can see that the book might pose a problem for more moderate and conservative readers, and that the authors are happily revising the book now that Barack Obama is in power.