IN THE HISTORY OF election forecasting, 2012 was 1936 all over again, with the roles updated. In 1936, a trio of new forecasters—Elmo Roper, Archibald Crossley, and George Gallup—used statistical sampling methods and predicted that Franklin D. Roosevelt would win re-election, contrary to the best-known “straw poll” of the time, conducted by The Literary Digest. The Digest mailed ballots to millions of automobile owners and telephone subscribers, groups that in the midst of the Depression drastically over-represented Republicans.
Rethinking the Other in AntiquityBy Erich S. Gruen (Princeton University Press, 415 pp., $39.50) MITT ROMNEY, along with other Republicans, has worked hard over the last few months to present Barack Obama as something other than a genuine native-born American. He has stopped short of the absurdities of the “birther movement,” but he has insisted that the president, in all the ways that really matter, is somehow less American, and more foreign, than he and the members of his party.
The Mauthausen Trial: American Military Justice in Germany By Tomaz Jardim (Harvard University Press, 276 pp., $29.95) Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin’s Ukraine, 1952–1953 By Hiroaki Kuromiya (University of Toronto Press, 212 pp., $60) All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals By David Scheffer (Princeton University Press, 533 pp., $35) Justice and the Enemy: Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed By William Shawcross (PublicAffairs, 257 pp., $26.99) IN 1952, FOURTEEN peasants, owning little more than a few religio
The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy By Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady (Princeton University Press, 693 pp., $35) Oligarchy By Jeffrey A. Winters (Cambridge University Press, 323 pp., $29.99) The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy By David Karpf (Oxford University Press, 237 pp., $27.95) THIS IS A SEASON of political anxiety, and the source of that unease is not only the election and looming economic uncertainties.
The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century HistoryBy Emma Rothschild (Princeton University Press, 483 pp., $35) BY A RURAL SCOTTISH river on an early summer’s day in 1771, someone makes a catch: a package wrapped in cloth, and inside the cloth, a baby boy, and on his tiny sodden body “the marks of violence” that may have caused his death. It does not take long to identify a suspect, the infant’s mother, who works in a nearby household. She is brought to the local sheriff’s court, interrogated, and charged with the murder of her son. Every suspect, by definition, invites doubt.
On Compromise and Rotten Compromises By Avishai Margalit (Princeton University Press, 221 pp., $26.95) The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It By Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson (Princeton University Press, 279 pp., $24.95) “Ideals may tell us something important about what we would like to be,” the political philosopher Avishai Margalit writes.
Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Rózewicz By Tadeusz Rozewicz Translated by Joanna Trzeciak (W.W. Norton, 364 pp., $32.95) New Poems By Tadeusz Rozewicz Translated by Bill Johnston (Archipelago Books, 259 pp., $16) They Came To See A Poet: Selected Poems By Tadeusz Rozewicz Translated by Adam Czerniawski (Anvil Press, 268 pp., $22.95) “The Survivor” And Other Poems By Tadeusz Rozewicz Translated by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert Maguire (Princeton University Press, 160 pp., $30.95) In retrospect, all revolutions seem inevitable.