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State & Provincial

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  1. 12.4 hrs • 5/24/2016 • Unabridged

    The maverick (and very funny) governor of Colorado tells his story, from early loss to college on the ten-year plan, to remarkable business and later political success. In just over a decade, John Hickenlooper has gone from a craft-brew entrepreneur to mayor of Denver to governor of Colorado, hailed by many political analysts, the New York Times and Fox News alike as a solid contender to be the next vice president. It is an unlikely tale of success, quintessentially American yet utterly exceptional. In The Opposite of Woe, Hickenlooper tells his own story of determination and daring, from business to politics, in his singularly sharp and often hilarious voice. After taking ten years to graduate from Wesleyan University, Hickenlooper found himself laid off from his first job in the oil industry. Lacking a day job, he rented a space in one of Denver’s sketchiest neighborhoods and opened a brew pub. Honest, likable, and practical, Hickenlooper turned out to be a natural at running a restaurant; the pub was a huge success and did a great deal to revitalize a struggling neighborhood. In fifteen years, he blossomed from a small-business owner into a millionaire at the helm of a string of pubs in Denver. He was such an influential member of the community that he acted on the encouragement of many and ran for mayor, essentially on a lark. And then he won. So began an eight-year run as one of the most creative and successful mayors in the United States. Hickenlooper doubled down on his political career by running for Colorado governor in 2010, which he also won, and then won again. He has tackled a host of pressing and volatile issues in a true battleground state: immigration, fracking, capital punishment, guns, the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana. Time and again, his administration has persuaded ideologically opposed constituencies to agree on a middle path and move forward—all while dealing with a tragic series of wildfires, “biblical” floods, shootings, and the assassination of a cabinet member. On display throughout is the rare candidness that has made him not only wildly popular at every step of the way but remarkably successful at getting things done. Cowritten with journalist and cabinet member Maximillian Potter, The Opposite of Woe is a fresh—and refreshing—angle on our political landscape from one of its brightest rising stars.

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    The Opposite of Woe by John Hickenlooper

    The Opposite of Woe

    By John Hickenlooper, with Maximillian Potter
    12.4 hrs • 5/24/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.1 hrs • 9/14/2015 • Unabridged

    A provocative and eye-opening look at the most explosive and controversial state in America, where everything is bigger, bolder―and shaping our nation’s future in surprising ways To most Americans, Texas has been that love-it-or-hate it slice of the country that has sparked controversy, bred presidents, and fomented turmoil from the American Civil War to George W. Bush. But that Texas is changing―and it will change America itself. Richard Parker takes the reader on a tour across today’s booming Texas, an evolving landscape that is densely urban, overwhelmingly Hispanic, exceedingly powerful in the global economy, and increasingly liberal. This Texas will have to ensure upward mobility, reinvigorate democratic rights, and confront climate change―just to continue its historic economic boom. This is not the Texas of George W. Bush or Rick Perry. Instead, this is a Texas that will remake the American experience in the twenty-first century―as California did in the twentieth―with surprising economic, political, and social consequences. Along the way, Parker analyzes the powerful, interviews the insightful, and tells the story of everyday people because, after all, one in ten Americans in this century will call Texas something else: Home.

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    Lone Star Nation

    8.1 hrs • 9/14/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.8 hrs • 6/1/2014 • Unabridged

    In his new role as president and CEO of The Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint has travelled the country talking to Americans about how to return to our founding principles and restore and protect our economy and culture for future generations. He has realized that he—and all of us as fellow citizens—must fall in love with America again. In this audiobook, DeMint introduces Americans all across the country who are working towards the same goal. We see example after example of Americans coming together locally in what DeMint calls the “little platoons”—the families, churches, communities, and voluntary organizations succeeding on the model that smaller is better. They are the hands-on citizens who make America the exceptional, caring, and can-do country it has always been. DeMint illustrates why each of us—regardless of political party, age, race, religion, or ethnicity—must rediscover the power we represent. The country’s future is at risk, not just because of constant pressure from “the Bigs” (big government, big banks, big labor, big Wall Street cronies …), but because so many of us fear that it is too late to solve problems so huge and seemingly intractable. Jim DeMint is here to reassure us that this is not true. In riveting yet plainspoken style, he tells real-life success stories and affirms the compelling truth that conservative ideas are really American ideas, and they must guide us as we turn our institutions upside-down, taking them from the top-down centrally-controlled bureaucracies they have become back to the bottom-up democratic framework the Constitution intended. Through this heartfelt, fascinating, and inspiring look inside the America of both yesterday and today, and the everyday citizens who are working tirelessly and selflessly to insure its future fulfills the promise of its beginnings, Jim DeMint is beckoning us to join him on one of the most meaningful and momentous journeys we have ever undertaken together: falling in love with America again.

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    Falling in Love with America Again

    8.8 hrs • 6/1/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.1 hrs • 11/19/2013 • Unabridged

    “Today, we can sound like conservatives and act like conservatives—and still win elections. Those who say we can’t don’t see what I see in Wisconsin and what my fellow governors in states all across America see. We don’t need to change our principles. What we need is more courage.” In 2011, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s chances of staying in office looked bleak. Angry protesters—furious about his collective bargaining proposal—swarmed Madison, camped in the capitol, and attempted to block the passage of the governor’s reform legislation. Teachers unions accused him of sabotaging education. His approval numbers fell to the basement, and with the national media’s descent on Wisconsin, liberals denounced “Dead Man Walker.” He found himself fighting for his reforms, fielding death threats, and facing an unprecedented recall election. But then something happened. Walker’s policies began to work. His constituents realized they were better off with his leadership, and in June 2012, he became the first governor in American history to survive a recall attempt, winning with a higher share of the vote than he had for his original election. In Unintimidated, Governor Walker tells the story of his fight to save Wisconsin from a $3.6 billion budget deficit while simultaneously improving the state’s schools and public infrastructure. He describes how he stood for his convictions against enormous political pressure and personal attacks. He explains how he knew his reforms would work, based on his experience as a local official. Speaking from the perspective earned from his resounding victory, he outlines lessons conservatives on the national stage can learn from his success, such as: • Change the polls, not your principles • Don’t accept the false choices presented to you • You can reform entitlements and survive • Austerity is not the answer • Never stop reforming. Walker is living proof that conservatives need not move to the center to win. He argues that Republicans must offer Americans big, bold, positive solutions for our nation’s challenges—and have the courage to implement them. Walker has shown that even President Obama will back down when faced with reforms promoted with common sense and courage.

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    Unintimidated

    7.1 hrs • 11/19/13 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.2 hrs • 4/23/2013 • Unabridged

    Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude, and yet, according to journalist, and Texan, Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas. In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business. Looking to the present, Grieder assesses the unique mix of policies on issues like immigration, debt, taxes, regulation, and energy, which together have sparked a bona fide Texas miracle of job growth. While acknowledging that it still has plenty of twenty-first century problems to face, she finds in Texas a model of governance whose power has been drastically underestimated. Her book is a fascinating exploration of America’s underrated powerhouse.

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    Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right by Erica Grieder

    Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right

    8.2 hrs • 4/23/13 • Unabridged
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  6. 4.1 hrs • 3/11/2013

    The coauthor, editor, or coeditor of a number of books on American politics, Ken Masugi of Johns Hopkins University has been a speechwriter for two cabinet members. Examining the founding of the American political system through the classic works of Democracy in America author Alexis de Tocqueville, this course explores the big ideas of the American experiment. Taking into account matters from liberty and independence to self-government and civil associations, these lectures highlight issues of states’ rights, church and state, race, and public versus private charity.

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  7. 6.2 hrs • 6/5/2012 • Unabridged

    In one of the most explosive and timely political books in years, Gail Collins declares that "what happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas anymore." Not until she visited Texas, that proud state of big oil and bigger ambitions, did Gail Collins, the best-selling author and columnist for the New York Times, realize that she had missed the one place that mattered most in America’s political landscape. Raised in Ohio, Collins had previously seen the American fundamental divide as a war between the Republican heartland and its two liberal coasts. But the real story, she came to see, was in Texas, where Bush, Cheney, Rove, & Perry had created a conservative political agenda that is now sweeping the country and defining our national identity. Through its vigorous support of banking deregulation, lax environmental standards, and draconian tax cuts, through its fierce championing of states rights, gun ownership, and, of course, sexual abstinence, Texas, with Governor Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions, has become the bellwether of a far-reaching national movement that continues to have profound social and economic consequences for us all. Like it or not, as Texas goes, so goes the nation.

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    As Texas Goes …

    6.2 hrs • 6/5/12 • Unabridged
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  8. 4.9 hrs • 9/20/2011 • Abridged

    Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His reply to the crowd: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Now America’s most respected governor explains just how close we’ve come to losing the republic, and how we can restore it to greatness. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has been called “the most presidential man in America.” He has brought more change to his state in a few years than most see in decades. During his tenure, Daniels turned a $700 million deficit into a billion dollar surplus, balanced Indiana’s budget even during the recession, converted its once unattractive business climate into one of the strongest for private sector job growth. The Hoosier state is now a model of good and efficient governance. Its public sector payroll is now the smallest per capita in the nation. And yet services have improved across the board. Even its Bureau of Motor Vehicles—the ultimate symbol of dysfunctional bureaucracy—has been rated the best in the country. Daniels achieved this by focusing on government’s core responsibilities, cutting taxes, empowering citizens, and performing what he calls an “old tribal ritual”—spending less money than his state takes in, while distinguishing between skepticism towards big government and hostility towards all government. Unfortunately few politicians have the discipline or courage to follow his lead. And worse, many assume that Americans are too intimidated, gullible, or dim-witted to make wise decisions about their health care, mortgages, the education of their kids, and other important issues. The result has been a steady decline in freedom, as elite government experts—“our benevolent betters,” in Daniels’ words—try to regulate every aspect of our lives. Daniels bluntly calls our exploding national debt “a survival-level threat to the America we have known.” He shows how our underperforming public schools have produced a workforce unprepared to compete with those of other countries and ignorant of the requirements of citizenship in a free society. He lays out the risk of greatly diminished long term prosperity and the loss of our position of world leadership. He warns that we may lose the uniquely American promise of upward mobility for all. But the good news is that it’s not too late to save America. However, real change can’t be imposed from above. It has to be what he calls “change that believes in you”—a belief that Americans, properly informed of the facts, will pull together to make the necessary changes and that they are best-equipped to make the decisions governing their own lives. As he puts it: “I urge great care not to drift into a loss of faith in the American people. We must never yield to the self-fulfilling despair that these problems are immutable, or insurmountable. Americans are still a people born to liberty. Addressed as free-born, autonomous men and women of God-given dignity, they will rise yet again to drive back a mortal enemy.”

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    Keeping the Republic

    4.9 hrs • 9/20/11 • Abridged
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  9. 3.0 hrs • 9/8/2008 • Unabridged

    Sarah Palin, a hockey mom and small town mayor, thought her dream of making a difference in the male-dominated realm of Alaska politics was over when she clashed with the state chairman of her Republican Party and went head-to-head with the powerful Republican governor. In 2006, she became a long-shot candidate for governor, demanding a higher ethical standard in state government—and then fate intervened. When a major political scandal rocked Alaska politics, her populist reform message suddenly became front-page news—and when Alaskans began listening to her, they liked what they heard.

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    Sarah by Kaylene Johnson

    Sarah

    3.0 hrs • 9/8/08 • Unabridged
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  10. 2.9 hrs • 9/1/2000 • Abridged

    With jackhammer force and candor, Governor Ventura issues an urgent wake-up call to America -- a resounding indictment of our creeping national cynicism, and how our political system rewards mediocrity while turning a blind eye to accountability. In Do I Stand Alone? Ventura decries the ease with which most Americans surrender their freedoms and apathetically accept a system of governance driven more by pork and patronage than by the best interests of the constituency. He also denounces an irresponsible media, taking them to task for too often confusing fame with notoriety, and for driving the news instead of simply reporting it. And he unabashedly speaks out on today's hot-button issues, including welfare, racism, abortion, campaign finance reform, and gay rights. Giving us fascinating insights into the future of independent parties, Governor Ventura ushers us deep into the polished corridors of power, exposing the best -- and worst -- of our current crop of political personalities while laying out a workable strategy for bringing our political system -- and its politicians -- back to greatness. In a forthright, razor-sharp, and entertaining critique, Governor Jesse Ventura has once again thrown down the gauntlet -- challenging today's politicians as well as a disenchanted public to transcend the tired rhetoric and defiantly reclaim the freedom and opportunity that is our American birthright.

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    Do I Stand Alone?

    2.9 hrs • 9/1/00 • Abridged
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