IOGP Book Clubs

Join IOGP notable alumni in our book club offerings each semester!


As part of our mission to increase civil engagement and academic rigor, the Institute of Government and Politics hosts several book clubs for students of any major and background. IOGP Book clubs are a great way to interact with your peers and network with professional alumni. The books are chosen and hosted by our distinguished alumni, who are accomplished individuals who take valuable time out of their week to sit down with students and speak aboout engaging topics. If you have any questions about book labs or would like to host one yourself, please reach out to Sara Jensen at

View Past Book Labs

book titled How Civil Wars Start: and How to Stop Them
How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them

Hosted by Neil Abercrombie, Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs and Policy to Governor Cox

Perhaps surprisingly, both autocracies and healthy democracies are largely immune from civil war; it’s the countries in the middle ground that are most vulnerable. And this is where more and more countries, including the United States, are finding themselves today. In this urgent and insightful book, Walter redefines civil war for a new age, providing the framework we need to confront the danger we now face—and the knowledge to stop it before it’s too late.

Book titled Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

Hosted by Brian Steed, Executive Director of USU's Institute of Land, Water, and Air

The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, 
Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden—an Eden that may only be a mirage.