Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Over recent months I’ve had a number of readers write in to ask if I’d put all my book reviews and recommendations in one place. So I’ve done that. After the jump are recommendations for just over 60 books – all what I’d call serious popular history, with a few examples stretching over into more academic books. The topics range from language and alphabets to Rome and Late Antiquity to Christianity, Islam, the Renaissance, pre-history and ancient civilizations, Israel, Eastern Europe and a number of other topics. Many of them I’ve recommended at some point over the last couple decades. A number are recommended for the first time. And I’m not done. I have at least 15 or 20 more I plan to add.

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TPM Reader EJ on what is to be done …

Regarding your response to TPM reader AB in the post “I8 Angry Democrats,” I respectfully think that you’re missing something that seems clear to me from TPM’s own coverage. But first we have to backtrack. I think there are a couple of key points we agree on: One is that even the redacted Mueller report presents evidence of impeachable acts. The other is that the biggest practical barrier to impeachment is the unification of Senate Republicans against it under McConnell’s control, regardless of that evidence. (I think we disagree on the conclusion the latter leads to, but I do agree about the significance of the fact itself.)

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TPM Reader LS reported last week from her Indivisible Book Club …

I’m off to attend my Indivisible book club today.. I’m close to dropping out. Last time, the eye rolls descended upon me for agreeing that there might be a right-wing conspiracy. But this club is Joe Biden territory, consisting of older voters, would-have-been Republicans, and naive observers.

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This note from TPM Reader DR from a few days ago got me thinking along the lines I mentioned in my post from over the weekend …

I think people are missing a basic point about Biden’s lead. It’s not so much a sign of his strength as of the other candidates’ weakness. Democrats are looking at the alternatives and aren’t all that impressed. Sure, Joe has flaws but they’re no worse than those of the other candidates, who are far less tested. How will they stand up against the onslaught? Joe isn’t very exciting but he’s a known quantity. I doubt the campaign will tell us anything we don’t already know about him.

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From Pete Buttigieg’s Fox News townhall last night, a couple clips …

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I’ve been in endless debate (as many of you likely are) about the Democratic presidential primary field and who is the best pick to defeat President Trump. (I have a backlog of TPM Reader emails about it I plan to share with you soon.) For me, much of this debate is driven by the fact that Joe Biden is clearly and consistently polling the best against President Trump even though I can see as well as anyone a number of potential liabilities to his candidacy. This was plausibly chalked up to Biden’s universal name recognition and association with President Obama. But that theory gets less tenable as his support grows even as the other candidates’ name recognition and exposure grows.

But I want to come at this from a different angle. Maybe we shouldn’t just be looking at Biden’s seeming strength so much as the other candidates’ relative weakness.

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This has just bubbled up in the last day. But this news about Mike Flynn and top House Trumper Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is something to watch closely. The gist is that twice after he became a cooperator with the Mueller probe, Flynn direct messaged Gaetz on Twitter, basically giving him a big thumbs up for his attacks on the Mueller probe. So he’s cooperating with the probe and also furtively encouraging public attacks on the probe. In April of 2018, for instance, just after Gaetz appeared on Lou Dobbs’ show with a standard anti-Mueller rant, Flynn DM’d him: “You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now. Keep the pressure on.”

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Please don’t miss this new Tierney Sneed piece on emails showing Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Thomas, directly involved in voter suppression efforts. Indeed, even one of the top kingpins of voter suppression in the country thought her plan was so over the top that it might boomerang and drive up turnout in targeted communities.