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How Obama should engage the Muslim World: University of Michigan historian JUAN COLE says the Muslim world is not a new Soviet-type Bloc but rather is full of close allies or potential allies; Iran is not an implacable enemy of the U.S.; Al-Qaeda is not a mass movement but rather a small political cult; American “energy independence” is impossible — we will need Islamic oil for the rest of the 21st century. Juan writes the indispensable blog “Informed Comment”; his new book is Engaging the Muslim World.
Also: How a new form of slavery was imposed on hundreds of thousands of African-Americans after the Civil War until World War II: DOUGLAS BLACKMON found that tens of thousands of southern blacks were arrested, often for “vagrancy;” unable to pay their fines, they were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries and farm plantations. Douglas Blackmon’s book Slavery by Another Name won 2009 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
Plus: Is Dick Cheney now the leader of the Republican Party? BART GELLMAN of the Washington Post talks about Cheney’s past — his hidden role in the Bush administration’s most fateful choices: shifting focus from al Qaeda to Iraq, unleashing the National Security Agency to spy at home, and promoting “cruel and inhuman” methods of interrogation. Bart Gellman’s book ANGLER won the L.A. Times Book Prize for Nonfiction for 2009.
WATCH Bart Gellman on The Daily Show HERE.