Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 320s

324: 1912 by James Chace


324.9730912: Chace, James. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs—The Election That Changed the Country. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. 284 pp. ISBN 0-7432-0394-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Science
  • 320: Political science, politics, and government
  • 324: The political process
  • 324.9: History and geographical treatment of elections
  • 324.973: Campaigns in the United States
  • 324.9730912: U.S. Presidential election of 1912

In 1912, the political landscape of the United States was fracturing at the party level. President William Taft, the conservative republican incumbent, had only ever wanted to be on the Supreme Court, but was hand-picked by his progressive predecessor Theodore Roosevelt for the nation’s top office. Two years before, a political disagreement between the two led to internal strife in the GOP. The split led Roosevelt to run from his own party, the Progressive (or Bull Moose) Party. Meanwhile, the Democratic Convention saw New Jersey governor Woodrow Wilson emerge as the candidate after 46 ballots. Lastly, the Socialist candidate Eugene Debs joined the fray. James Chace’s 1912 is a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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322: On Dissent by Ronald Collins and David Skover


322.40973: Collins, Ronald K.L. and David M. Skover. On Dissent: Its Meaning in America. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 134 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-76719-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 320: Political science
  • 322: Relation of state to organized groups and their members
  • 322.4: Political action groups
  • +0973: United States

Ronald Collins and David Skover want to get to the bottom of this thing we call dissent. Every day, thousands of people across the United States are actively showing their displeasure with some act of local or federal government or with a business they think is running counter to their beliefs. They dissent because they need to. On Dissent is a in-depth look at the fundamental basics of dissent, how it’s effective, and how exactly it fits into the social and legal landscape.

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328: The American Senate by Neil MacNeil and Richard Baker


328.73071: MacNeil, Neil and Richard A. Baker. The American Senate: An Insider’s History. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 318 pp. ISBN 978-0-1953-6761-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 320: Political science
  • 328: The legislative process
  • 328.73: Legislative process—United States
  • 328.7307: Specific topics of legislative bodies
  • 328.73071: Upper houses

Neil MacNeil and Richard Baker’s storied history of the Unites States Senate is thoroughly rich and interesting. From its inception upon the ratification of the Constitution to its current makeup, the Senate has been at the center of every major American political development. The authors detail the initial history of the legislative body, its complex interactions with both the House of Representatives and the office of the President, its investigative hearings, and how it serves as both a model of high legislative achievement and a bastion of corruption, collusion, and callousness. It does get a bit bogged down when recounting the recent history, but overall, this book contains a wealth of information. We get tidbits on Senate orientation, seniority  assignments, and some of the lengths senators will go to get both votes from their constituents and their fellow legislators. A dense but informative book.


323: We Shall Not Be Moved by M. J. O’Brien


323.1196073076251: O’Brien, M.J. We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement It Inspired. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2013. 286 pp. ISBN 978-1-6170-3743-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 320: Political science
  • 323: Civil and political rights
  • 323.1: Civil and political rights of nondominant groups
  • 323.11: Ethnic and national groups
  • +96073: African-Americans
  • +076251: Hinds County, Mississippi (City of Jackson)

On May 28, 1963, a group of young Americans walked up to a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi and sat down. Any other day, this would have been no big deal, but this was a whites-only counter and they were not all white. In Hinds County, Mississippi, this was seen as an affront to their way of life. The Jim Crow laws were deeply ensconced in the culture, and many people thought “separate but equal” was a legitimate system that allowed for all parties to thrive with dignity. But this was not the case. M.J. O’Brien’s We Shall Not Be Moved centers around this sit-in and chronicles the civil rights movement from the perspective of those on the ground.

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320: Thomas Paine by Craig Nelson

320.51092: Nelson, Craig. Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations. New York: Penguin, 2007. 339 pp. ISBN 978-0-14-311238-9.

Dewey Construction:

  • 300: Social Science
  • 320: Political science
  • 320.5: Political ideologies
  • 320.51: Liberalism
  • +092: Biography

There had to be someone who came first. Someone had to write it before anyone else. In the winter of 1776, a fellow known as “Poor Tom”, a “dirty little atheist” set down in print the phrase “the United States of America.” He couldn’t even sign his name to it. The colonies, gearing up for the fight of their lives against the might of the British Empire, were just now coalescing, just now learning how to work together as a new nation. But for Thomas Paine, a liberal rabble-rouser born in England, having just come to the colonies two years earlier, it was the beginning of a new age. And he would be its father.

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327: Her Majesty’s Spymaster by Stephen Budiansky

327.12420092: Budiansky, Stephen. Her Majesty’s Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage. New York: Plume, 2006. 215 pp. ISBN 0-452-28744-2.

Part of the dumping ground of the 300s is 327–International relations. Espionage gets its own subsection: 327.12. I can see how it fits, though, given that espionage, if done properly, is the use of social connections and information for security and intelligence purposes.

The cast of players in Stephen Budiansky’s Her Majesty’s Spymaster is immense. Not War and Peace immense, but lengthy just the same. In his slim, 215-page treatise on European espionage in Elizabethan England, there are 96 people to learn about and keep track of. They all had some part to play in palace intrigue of the 16th century.

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