Poor Us: The Great Depression 2.0

May 19, 2009

Beach Reading: 2008 Best Notable Government Documents

Filed under: Wise up — debacled @ 4:38 pm


Your interest in government documents may begin and end on April 15. Who but geeky reporters or  nerdy law professors would be seen on the sand flipping sunblock-smeared gov doc pages speckled with guacamole and margarita salt? Fair enough. However, there have been some real page turners in the genre. Remember the Pentagon Papers? And I’ll wager a few of you still have well-thumbed copies of Monica Lewinsky’s expert testimony re: cigars in the bottom drawer of your nightstand.

So, just imagine the eye-popping revelations that must be contained within the Best Notable Government Documents : Who doomed the economy? Who killed Kennedy?  Who piloted the Roswell UFO?  Is the answer to all of the above Dick Cheney?

Thanks to the Library Journal’s timely publication of their annual “Best Notable” list,  some sizzling reading matter like Turning Points in Wisconsin History can be downloaded before the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  And for those of you who have an attention span longer than a Twitter Tweet, you’ll find some of these BN gov docs might be…


The FBI: A Centennial History, 1908–2008. Federal Bureau of Investigation. It all started with a short memo, dated July 26, 1908, describing a “regular force of special agents” available to investigate certain cases of the Department of Justice. Includes overviews of more than 40 famous FBI cases and an extensive collection of never-before-seen photos.


Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World This first comprehensive report on global green job trends and prospects finds that efforts to control climate change are already generating new jobs, with more growth potential in both developed and developing countries. Data on renewable energy, energy efficiency, transit, and organic agriculture indicate that transitioning to a sustainable, low-carbon economy can provide an engine for growth. Though intended for a wide audience, this title is particularly relevant to policymakers, entrepreneurs, workers, and trade unions. Enhanced by many dynamic photographs

And yes, there’s even a few gems for those who prefer the scent of a smoking-gun over sunscreen:

Thanks to the man who brought us EDGAR, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) database of corporate filings, Carl Malamud is particularly noted for “ripping” information from clunky government servers, which either charge users for downloads or make the information so difficult to find as to be virtually unworkable. He then posts it freely on his web site. Government agencies accustomed to making money off taxpayer-funded data have naturally been displeased, but librarians have been delighted. Malamud has posted over 80 million pages of legal documents on the site Public.Resource.Org, including federal appeals court decisions, navy papers, and building codes from all 50 states (some states claim copyright over state legal material).

Wikileaks: Congressional Research Service (CRS)

Last February, WikiLeaks released a total of 6780 CRS reports going back to 1990. The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan research arm of Congress, has never systematically made its reports available to the public. This institute, funded annually by $100 million of taxpayer money, writes well-researched and informative studies for members of Congress to assist in the making of our laws…CRS reports have long been scattered and difficult to obtain—until now.

And don’t forget to have some fun under the sun, too!

Looking Back, Moving On: 2008 Best Notable Government Documents

h/t Resource Shelf

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