Books for Understanding is a free, easy-to-use resource to help you find books on current events. New bibliographies are compiled when a major news story breaks or public debate heats up. For more information, click here.
Though the motive behind the Boston Marathon bombings is still unclear, public interest has focused on the suspects' Chechen heritage. These works of scholarship shed light on the history and conflicts of this Caucasian republic and its region.
A tragic string of mass shootings inspired our latest bibliography. Scholarship on gun policy, violence, the Second Amendment, recreational shooting, and cultural contexts scrutinizes this divisive and
The 99% and Economic Rights
On May Day, the Occupy movement plans a resurgence of protests against increasing economic disparity. The works of economists, historians, sociologists, journalists, and other scholars illuminate the roots of this movement.
This September, the debate over the use of the death penalty in the United States was reawakened. After 20 years on death row, several appeals, and numerous protests from Amnesty International, NAACP, Jimmy Carter, and others, Troy Davis was executed in the state of Georgia. The works included in this new scholarly guide consider the controversial history and current debate behind American capital punishment.
Immigration Bill Considered
US Congress debates a path to citizenship for immigrants.
Go to • Immigration Book List
SCOTUS Hears Same-Sex Marriage Cases
This spring, the Supreme Court is reconsidering the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, potentially opening the door for same-sex partners to receive federal recognition and benefits.
After the unprecedented retirement of Pope Benedict XVI this winter, Pope Francis was inaugurated in a Holy Mass this March. The first pope from Latin America has reportedly taken office with characteristic humbleness and stoicism; what remains to be seen is how he will address the Catholic Church's place in the changing world.
Go to: • The Pope Book List
Violence Continues in Syria
The violent crackdown on political opposition by Assad's regime continues in the face of international condemnation, and threatens to spill over the country's borders.
Go to: • Syria & Lebanon Book List
University of Nevada Press
On October 20, 2011, the militant Basque nationalist group ETA laid down arms, citing "an historical opportunity to reach a just and democratic resolution" to their long fight. The University of Nevada Press has a long and distinguished series of scholarly work in Basque Studies—from the language and culture of teh region, to studies of the often violent political struggles with Spanish governments, such as Andre Lecours 2006 Basque Nationalism and the Spanish State.
Joseph E. Slater
Essential background history on the fight in Wisconsin over public workers' rights. Slater reviews the long struggle for organization and labor protections in the public sector, including AFSCME's original 1959 victory in the Badger state.