Praeger Social and Political Issues

PRAEGER (ABC-CLIO/now part of Bloomsbury as of 2022) SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES, 2017-2020

Fighting for the Progressive Center in the Age of Trump 

Joseph M. Hoeffel

August 2017

A dedicated politician who has served as a congressman and state legislator defines the formidable challenge for progressives after the November 2016 election—and explains how to bring back leaders focused on working in the broad center of politics in order to get things done for the people.

How did Donald Trump become president? According to author Joseph M. Hoeffel, a former congressman, state legislator, and county commissioner, Trump’s unprecedented ascension to the highest seat in the country happened because of the American people’s frustration with the endless fighting within our dysfunctional government, and because Trump promised change. Now what? What is next for progressives?

Fighting for the Progressive Center in the Age of Trump offers a manifesto specifically for opposing the Trump agenda and presents a viable game plan for advocating progressive ideas while also demanding fiscal responsibility and clearly rejecting political extremes. Readers will understand how regaining ground for liberal and progressive thinkers will require winning public support, which will depend on fighting to reestablish the political center with policies that are socially liberal and fiscally responsible. The culmination of decades of political experience, this book offers progressive proposals for championing government reform, balancing the budget, investing in people, maintaining international alliances, standing up for progressive convictions, and promoting sweeping plans to benefit every American, including establishing Medicare for all. This is a rousing call to arms for progressives to fight for the progressive center as the best way to overcome the policies of Donald Trump.

Joseph M. Hoeffel, JD, is a former congressman, state legislator, and county commissioner from Pennsylvania. Hoeffel holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Boston University and a juris doctor degree from Temple University School of Law. He is author of The Iraq Lie: How the White House Sold the War. In his suburban Philadelphia, PA, community, Hoeffel was the first Democrat elected in 60 years to the State House, the first Democrat ever re-elected to Congress, and the first Democrat to chair the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.


“Clear and well within the mainstream, this book gives centrists disillusioned with the Trump phenomenon a ray of hope. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty.”—Choice, February 1, 2018

“Joe Hoeffel is the genuine article. He’s run for and held public office, at the county and country levels. He’s won and lost elections. He’s dealt with the real voters with real problems. He knows what matters to people. As someone who grew up and went to school near him, I know these challenges. People don’t have time for all the polarization and demonization out there today. The time has come for political parties to get serious. Joe Hoeffel’s book shows that he’s way ahead of them. If the Democrats are smart they’ll read this book.”—Chris Matthews, Anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball

“When I joined the Congress in 2001, Joe Hoeffel stood out as a thoughtful, insightful Democrat, with a rare gift for communicating smart, progressive policies, and the even rarer gift of knowing how to win in the toughest districts. His newest book, Fighting for the Progressive Center in the Age of Trump, finds him as politically astute as ever. As Democrats move forward from the disaster of the 2016 election, Joe makes a timely case for policies and a message that can rise above our broken politics and get down to the business of governing.”—Adam B. Schiff, U.S. Congressman from California

“To truly make America even greater, Joe has put forward an agenda that is progressive and prioritizes jobs, health care, and a better quality of life for our hard-working families. We miss Joe on Capitol Hill, but this book makes clear that his leadership to Pennsylvania and America is far from finished.”—Edward Markey, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts

Fighting for the Progressive Center speaks to what Americans want from government, and offers prescriptions for the pressing issues of the day— health care, economic development, Social Security, education reform.” —Tom Udall, U.S. Senator from New Mexico

“Hoeffel puts into words what so many of us wished for last election day—the requirements for a progressive candidate we could vote for. This book outlines how government has a valuable role to play in our society without dominating society, how our compassion toward each other, expressed through single-payer health care and a social safety net, is the answer America needs, not simple appeals to ideology and party memes.”—Peter Van Buren, Author, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99 Percent

“Joe Hoeffel’s book speaks to America’s character when ‘We the People’ are at our best: the individual pursuit of happiness properly aligned with the common good. Joe recognizes that we are in a fight for the very soul of America—where we are united despite our differences in facing our challenges—and therefore his policy ideas are principled compromises without compromising one’s principles. He eschews party or politics as ever being above the nation, recognizing that it is to the people leaders owe their first allegiance. It is the exact approach that our countrymen and women are demanding from today’s leaders, and his book shows the way.”—Joe Sestak, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.) and former U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania

“At a time when progressive and other reasonable Americans are desperately searching for ways to regain the upper hand in the face of the insanity of Donald Trump, Joe Heoffel offers a smart, sensible, and insightful roadmap for us to seize the initiative and lead towards the future. Joe’s experience in various levels of government shines through brightly. He’s been there, he’s done that, and he knows what it will take for us to do it again. You want to know how to appeal to a broader swath of voters? Read Joe’s book. It’s a great, fun read. And I truly believe we will look back on Fighting for the Progressive Center in the Age of Trump as one of the seminal books of our troubled times.”—Daylin Leach, Pennsylvania State Senator, President of Americans for Democratic Action

“How to fix America’s broken politics? This savvy guide from a progressive centrist, featuring socially liberal and fiscally responsible policies, points the way. It’s doable, people.”—Carla Seaquist, HuffPost


Hidden in Plain Sight (Mehlman-Orozco—Sturman)—2017 (human trafficking)

Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World

How Late-Night Comedians, Internet Trolls, and Savvy Reporters Are Transforming News
by Ed Madison and Ben DeJarnette
February 2018

Amidst “alternative facts” and “post-truth” politics, news journalism is more important and complex than ever. This book examines journalism’s evolution within digital media’s ecosystem where lies often spread faster than truth, and consumers expect conversations, not lectures.

The 2016 U.S. presidential election delivered a stunning result, but the news media’s breathless coverage of it was no surprise. News networks turned debates into primetime entertainment, reporters spent more time covering poll results than public policy issues, and the cozy relationship between journalists and political insiders helped ensure intrigue and ratings, even as it eroded journalism’s role as democracy’s “Fourth Estate.” Against this sobering backdrop, a broadcast news veteran and a millennial newshound consider how journalism can regain the public’s trust by learning from pioneers both within and beyond the profession. Connecting the dots between faux news, “fake news,” and real news, coauthors Madison and DeJarnette provide an unflinching analysis of where mainstream journalism went wrong—and what the next generation of reporters can do to make it right.

The significance of Donald Trump’s presidency is not lost on the authors, but Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World is not a post-mortem of the 2016 presidential election, nor is it a how-to guide for reporting on Trump’s White House. Instead, this accessible and engaging book offers a broader perspective on contemporary journalism, pairing lively anecdotes with insightful analysis of long-term trends and challenges. Drawing on their expertise in media innovation and entrepreneurship, the authors explore how comedians like John Oliver, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee are breaking (and reshaping) the rules of political journalism; how legacy media outlets like The Boston GlobeThe Washington Post, and The New York Times are retooling for the digital age; and how newcomers like Vice, Hearken, and De Correspondent are innovating new models for reporting and storytelling. Anyone seeking to make sense of modern journalism and its intersections with democracy will want to read this book.

Ed Madison, PhD, is assistant professor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in Eugene, OR. He began his media career at age 16, as an intern at the CBS affiliate television station in Washington, DC, during the Watergate scandal. Shortly after completing his undergraduate degree at Emerson College, he was recruited to join the team that launched CNN as executive producer. For 23 years, Madison produced programs for CBS, ABC, A&E, Paramount, Disney, and Discovery. He is the author of Newsworthy: Cultivating Critical Thinkers, Readers, and Writers in Language Arts Classrooms. His website is

Ben DeJarnette is an engagement strategist and freelance journalist living in Portland, OR. His writing has appeared in print and online with Pacific StandardMen’s Journal, InvestigateWest, High Country News, MediaShift, Oregon Quarterly, and others. In 2015, he earned his master’s degree in media studies from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. His website is


2018 IPPY Award Silver Medal in Current Events category—Independent Publisher, April 12, 2018


“That journalism in the United States and worldwide is in a deep and seemingly worsening crisis is becoming increasingly clear. The business model of commercial journalism is in its death throes, yet societies desperately need this grand public good if any semblance of democracy or freedom is to survive. Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World is a hearty attempt to take stock of the swirling changes, make the best of a very bad situation, and rethink journalism by reconfiguring the existing cast of characters, institutions, and options. It is a necessary contribution to a larger conversation our entire society, not just the journalism community, needs to have. The sooner, the better.”—Robert W. McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Professor, Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Coauthor, The Death and Life of American Journalism

“This refreshing look at journalism’s current quandaries is a concise chronicle of the anti-media, anti-fact world journalism must now navigate. More than bemoan how fake news and political propaganda are impersonating journalism, the authors offer solutions that need to be more seriously embraced than past journalism reform efforts.”—Jan Schaffer, J-Lab Executive Director, American University

“Amid the change that has become media’s only constant, Ed Madison and Ben DeJarnette offer journalism’s champions a chance to consider what’s been won and lost in the internet revolution—and what lessons mean most. Their take offers critical context on trends that blossomed and died, theories that dominated and receded and—beyond the flash—innovation with real promise. In considering fundamental purpose as well as financial reality, the authors amplify the central and urgent question of how journalism can succeed and thrive best: by connecting directly with the public it aims to serve.”—Melanie Sill, News Strategist and Former Content Chief at The Sacramento Bee, The News & Observer and KPCC-Southern California Public Radio

“Fake news, declining trust in institutions, eroding business models—journalism faces challenges from every quarter, but the need for accurate news and information to cut through the noise and enlighten the public is essential for our democracy. The deep research of Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World provides illuminating context for understanding the obstacles confronting the industry and assembles a foundation of useful ideas that may help lift journalism, and our society, into a better future.” —Michael D. Bolden, Managing Director, Editorial and Operations, JSK Journalism Fellowships, Stanford University

Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World is an impressively comprehensive overview of the news industry’s challenges and opportunities in a sharply divided America. The book compellingly argues that journalists must champion the truth and actively demonstrate their value to a skeptical public if the Fourth Estate hopes to fulfill its mission as a public good in the digital age.”—Jake Batsell, Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University, and Author, Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences

“This book is an extraordinary collection of critical commentary, careful documentation, and imaginative predictions about journalism. In an era when journalism as a profession is being challenged by political leaders, citizen reporters, comedians, and academics, the authors create a platform to step back and re-think its role in society.”—Diane Gayeski, PhD, Dean and Professor of Strategic Communications, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College

“We are at a critical time when it comes to trust in media—or lack thereof—and Reimagining Journalism comes along at the right time. It’s a tough look at our current predicament, with news media being attacked by the president, and with more power wielded by social networks like Facebook. The authors’ focus on solutions and people who stand out is the right way to tackle this massive issue, and they do a great job pointing us to a better future.”—Mark Glaser, Executive Director,


Reinventing Japan (Fackler and Funabashi, eds.)—2018

Life after Foster Care (Jones)—2018

They Took the Kids Last Night (Redleaf)—2018 (child protective services)

China’s Grand Strategy (Kashmeri)—2019


IF EINSTEIN RAN THE SCHOOLS: Revitalizing U.S. Education

October 2019

Thomas Armstrong, PhD

Many world-class thinkers and creators have been concerned about the state of education in the United States. Discover their thoughts on how children really learn and what teachers must do to optimally tap children’s latent abilities.

During the last three decades, education reformers have pushed standardized testing and policies like No Child Left Behind and Common Core to improve test scores and proficiency in basic skills. However, during this period that author Thomas Armstrong calls the “miseducation of America,” a number of troubling trends have surfaced, including a decrease in creative thinking scores among children in kindergarten through third grade.

Rather than focus on what’s wrong with the education system that has produced these outcomes, Armstrong lays out what creative thinkers know about how children should be educated. In an extended thought experiment, he asks what would happen if we turned the reins of educational policy over, not to the politicians and educational bureaucrats, but to eminent thinkers and creators like Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Martin Luther King Jr., Rachel Carson, Doris Lessing, Jane Goodall, and other seminal culture-builders. What might they say about the best way to educate a child? If Einstein Ran the Schools suggests that the answers to this intriguing question should guide future efforts to reform our nation’s schools.

Thomas Armstrong, PhD, is executive director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development and an award-winning author and speaker. He has been an educator for more than 45 years. Over 1.3 million copies of his books are in print in English on issues related to learning and human development. His 16 books include Multiple Intelligences in the ClassroomNeurodiversity in the Classroom, and The Power of the Adolescent Brain. His clients have included Sesame Street, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the European Council of International Schools, the Republic of Singapore, and several state departments of education.


2020 IPPY Award, Silver, Education II (Commentary/Theory) Category—Independent Publisher Association


“What a terrific book! Armstrong describes the kind of school that almost everyone wishes they had attended, the school that Einstein would have run, where creativity, imagination, and joy were the goals of education, not scores on a lifeless standardized test.”—’Diane Ravitch, Former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, Author of Reign of Error, and Historian of Education at New York University

‘’I love this book! It goes to the core of what is wrong with our test-obsessed standards-crazed system of education. More importantly, it provides living examples of classrooms and schools where imagination, curiosity, creativity, passion, and wonder are celebrated and viewed as an essential part of our students’ learning experience. If Armstrong is right (and I believe he is), then our schools need to radically change their direction from worshipping grades and test scores to creating individuals who can think for themselves, generate unique ideas, and use their gifts to make the world a better place.’’—Deborah Meier, MacArthur Fellow and author of The Power of Their Ideas and Beyond Testing


The American Way of Writing (Stark)—2019

Advancing the Common Good (Kotler)—2019

Beyond Liberalism (Briand)—2019

Crude Oil, Crude Money (Lippman)—2019

Saving the Electoral College (Hardaway)—2019

Police on a Pedestal (Carter)—2019

Ghost Guns (Tallman)—2020

Suffrage (Poulson)—2020