The Subtitle That Saved Civilization

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Books may not be more interesting these days (or even better written), but a quick spin through their dust jackets makes one thing clear: Their subjects are crucial—crucial—to the very bedrock upon which our civilization rests. Some recent titles:

Oak: The Frame of Civilization by William Bryant Logan

Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It by Arthur Herman

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

How the Hungarians Saved Western Civilization by Zoltán Deák

How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization: The True and Heroic
Story of How Gay Men Shaped the Modern World
by Cathy Crimmins

The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece–and Western Civilization by Barry Strauss

PugSpotting: A True History of How Pugs Saved Civilization by Susanne McCaffery-Saville


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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