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This collection of linked stories by internationally renowned evolutionist Lynn Margulis reveals science from the inside-its thrills, disappointments, and triumphs. A largely fictional account, it draws on her decades of experience to portray the poor judgment, exhaustion, and life-threatening dedication of real scientists--their emotional preoccupations, sexual distractions, and passions for research. The esoteric, demanding, sometimes exhilarating world of science emerges from the shadows of its passive narrative into the sunlight of the personal voice of those who attempt to wrench secrets directly from nature. All of us who struggle to balance family, professional, and social commitments with intellectual quest will be intrigued by the humanity of these tales.
Nearly 40 of the world's most esteemed scientists discuss the big questions that drive their illustrious careers. Frank and often irreverent, the men and women assembled here reveal a hidden world of intellectual interests, verve, and humor.
The rate of depression in the U. S. has increased more than tenfold in the last fifty years. By not seriously confronting societal sources of despair, American mental health institutions have become part of the problem rather than the solution. The good news is that age-old wisdom and legitimate science--uncorrupted by the profit-margin pressures of pharmaceutical and insurance corporations--have much to inform us about revitalizing depressed people and a depressing culture. "Surviving America's Depression Epidemic" provides an alternate approach that encompasses the whole of our humanity, society, and culture, and which redefines depression in a way that makes enduring transformation more likely.
In the mid-1990s Linda and Larry Faillace had a dream: they wanted to breed sheep and make cheese on their Vermont farm. They did the research, worked hard, followed the rules, and, after years of preparation and patience, built a successful, entrepreneurial business. But just like that, their dream turned into a nightmare. The U. S. Department of Agriculture told them that the sheep they imported from Europe (with the USDA's seal of approval) carried a disease similar to the dreaded BSE or "mad cow disease. " After months of surveillance-which included USDA agents spying from nearby mountaintops and comically hiding behind bushes-armed federal agents seized their flock. The animals were destroyed, the Faillace's lives turned upside down, all so that the USDA could show the U. S. meat industries that they were protecting America from mad cow disease-and by extension, easing fears among an increasingly wary population of meat-eaters. "Mad Sheep" is the account of one family's struggle against a bullying and corrupt government agency that long ago abandoned the family farmer to serve the needs of corporate agriculture and the industrialization of our food supply. Similar to the national best-selling book, "A Civil Action," readers will cheer on this courageous family in its fight for justice in the face of politics as usual and the implacable bureaucracy of the farm industry in Washington, DC.
Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. Derrick Jensen brings us into his classroom-whether college or maximum security prison-where he teaches writing. He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers. As a writing teacher Jensen guides his students out of the confines of traditional education to find their own voices, freedom, and creativity. This is a hard-hitting and sometimes scathing critique of our current educational system that not only gives a hands-on method for learning how to write, but also a lesson on how to connect to the core of our creative selves.
To Bruce Goldstein-an edgy, twenty-something New Yorker trying to make his mark in advertising-just waking up in the morning was an ordeal. Underemployed and recently dumped, he was well into the downward spiral of bipolar disorder. Even with therapy, lithium, Paxil, Wellbutrin, and Prozac, he could not shake his rapid mood swings, his fear of dying, or the voice of Satan, who first visited him one sunny day in Central Park. Then came Ozzy, a black Labrador pup (named after metal's "Prince of Darkness") who leads Bruce toward recovery through complete, canine dependence. From the depths of his despair to a life remade, Bruce shows how learning to care for, train, and love the hilariously loyal Ozzy provided him with the structure and focus he needed to heal.
While European intellectual, cultural, and commercial life stagnated during the early medieval period, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of religious, commercial, and intellectual connections, the different regions of Asia's vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with commerce, international diplomacy, and the brisk exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a fascinating and unique look at Asia from A. D. 700 to 1500, a time when Asia was the world, by describing the personal journeys of Asia's many travelers-the merchants who traded spices along the Silk Road, the apothecaries who exchanged medicine and knowledge from China to the Middle East, and the philosophers and holy men who crossed continents to explore and exchange ideas, books, science, and culture.
In the time between the death of Mohammed in 632 and the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate in 750, Arab armies conquered most of the old roman and Persian Empires. Kennedy (medieval history, University of St. Andrews) explains how this happened. Told in a lively, interesting style, he uses Arabic primary sources and those of the peoples they overwhelmed to give a clear, unbiased account. Kennedy discusses the way in which a few Arabs managed to impose their religion and, with the exception of Persia, their language on established civilizations. This is an excellent book for the general reader. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Ah, the sweet memories of Christmas. Gifts under the tree. Cookies for Santa. And, of course, the annual fruitcake. For young David Valdes Greenwood, the indomitable "little fruitcake" at the center of these tales, nothing is sweeter than the promise of the holidays. A modern-day Tiny Tim, he holds fast to his ideal of what Christmas should be, despite the huge odds against him: Sub-zero Maine winters. A host of eccentric relatives. And his constant foil: a frugal, God-fearing Grammy who seems determined to bring an end to all his fun. A book that's "fa-la-la-licious" (Louisville Courier Journal) and filled with funny, charming Yuletide memories (from building a Lego® manger to hunting for the perfect Christmas tree), A Little Fruitcake will inspire even the biggest Grinches around.
Iris Chang's mysterious suicide in 2004, at age thirty-six, didn't seem to make any sense. She had so much to live for, including fame, fortune, beauty, and a husband and child. Some even wondered if the controversial author of The Rape of Nanking had been murdered. Longtime friend Paula Kamen was among those left wondering what had gone so wrong. Seeking to reconcile the suicide with the image of Chang's "perfect" life, Kamen searched her memory and scoured Chang's letters and diaries to fill in the gaps of Chang's personal transformation-from "ex-shy person" to world-class speaker and international rights pioneer-and her later decline into mental illness. The result is a "riveting narrative that is part detective story, part psychological drama, part homage to a friend" (Helen Zia).
From the #1New York Timesbest-selling author ofGod Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages--with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first-ever gathering of the influential voices--past and present--that have shaped his side of the current (and raging) God/no-god debate. With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide, you'll be led through a wealth of philosophy, literature, and scientific inquiry, including generous portions of the words of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and many others well-known and lesser known. And they're all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens--"political and literary journalist extraordinaire" (Los Angeles Times)--can. Atheist? Believer? Uncertain? No matter:The Portable Atheistwill speak to you and engage you every step of the way.
One of the most dramatic battles of the Indian Wars is described in a revised edition with new material including official army reports and recent archaeological evidence.
In this accomplished autobiography, Jackson describes his early days, long before he became a household name. In describing his childhood in Portsmouth and the early classical training in music that changed his life, he manages to convey both the excitement and liberation he felt as a youth when he realised he was musically gifted and the take he has on it with the benefit of hindsight, now that he is older and wiser. 'Jackson, who separates himself from other rock star writers by virtue of having written this book himself, ends his account just as stardom beckons. He is far more interested in where he came from rather than where he got to . . . Jackson can write. he has almost as acute a sense of how to shape a simple but emotive sentence as he does a pungent melody line. Out of a miserable childhood of soul-destroying assumptions and parental beatings which seemed guaranteed only to block any possibility of a creative life, he manages to create something beautiful. He describes a monochrome existence cut through by sudden bursts of Technicolor, forever provided by music . . . Putting the power of music into words has always been difficult and Jackson manages it better than most. He is one of those people without whom life would be duller and greyer. He's written some great pop songs and recorded some great albums. Now he's come up with a great rock memoir' Jay Rayner, Observer 'Honest, funny, wise and inspiring; tells you more about music and the love of music than a shelf-full of textbooks ever could' Ian Banks 'Wise, funny and honest, A Cure for Gravity charts his life to the point where his career takes off . . . hugely informative on music and the ways of working with it, as well as how to stay true to your beliefs' Glyn Brown, Sunday Telegraph
India is now enmeshed in the deterrence game--actively with its traditional adversary Pakistan, and potentially with China. At the same time it is finding easier access to fissile materials and strategic technologies. In order to deal with these developments safely and wisely, the nation needs a much more sophisticated and multidisciplinary understanding of the strategic, technological, operational, and cost issues involved in nuclear matters.In this important book, Indian strategic analyst Verghese Koithara explains and evaluates India's nuclear force management, encouraging a broad public conversation that may act as a catalyst for positive change before the subcontinent experiences unthinkable carnage. The defense management system of a nuclear power absolutely needs to be sound and thorough. In addition to the considerable demands of managing its nuclear forces, it also must control conventional forces in a manner that forestalls nuclear escalation of a conflict by either side. Expanding and upgrading nuclear forces without enhancing deterrence is dangerous and should be avoided. India's nuclear force management system is grafted onto a woefully inadequate overall system of defense management.Koithara dissects all of these issues and suggests a way forward, drawing on recent developments in deterrence theory around the world.
In a relatively short time, the EU has become one of the most important actors on the world stage. This updated second edition of The Foreign Policy of the European Union explores the goals and effectiveness of the EU's external actions after adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. The book brings together prominent scholars and policymakers who provide an up-to-date view of the EU's foreign policy merits and challenges."The role and place of the European Union in the world has been a constant question for all of the actors involved.... This book reminds us well of the importance of this question and offers a particularly welcome general overview during these times of doubt and pessimism."--Pierre Vimont, from the foreword
Nearly a century ago, famed educator John Dewey said that "if we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." That wisdom resonates more strongly than ever today, and that maxim underlies this insightful look at the present and future of education in the digital age.As Darrell West makes clear, today's educational institutions must reinvent themselves to engage students successfully and provide them with the skills needed to compete in an increasingly global, technological, and online world. Otherwise the American education system will continue to fall woefully short in its mission to prepare the population to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing world.West examines new models of education made possible by enhanced information technology, new approaches that will make public education in the post-industrial age more relevant, efficient, and ultimately more productive. Innovative pilot programs are popping up all over the nation, experimenting with different forms of organization and delivery systems. Digital Schools surveys this promising new landscape, examining in particular personalized learning; realtime student assessment; ways to enhance teacher evaluation; the untapped potential of distance learning; and the ways in which technology can improve the effectiveness of special education and foreign language instruction. West illustrates the potential contributions of blogs, wikis, social media, and video games and augmented reality in K-12 and higher education.Technology by itself will not remake education. But if today's schools combine increased digitization with needed improvements in organization, operations, and culture, we can overcome current barriers, produce better results, and improve the manner in which schools function. And we can get back to teaching for tomorrow, rather than for yesterday.
"Future presidents will need to find the right balance in China policy, so as to maintain America's strength and watchfulness but not fall into the classic security dilemma, wherein each side believes that growing capabilities reflect hostile intent and responds by producing that reality. I believe that President Obama struck that balance." --From Obama and China's RiseIn 2005, veteran diplomat and Asia analyst Jeffrey Bader met for the first time with the then-junior U.S. senator from Illinois. When Barack Obama entered the White House a few years later, Bader was named the senior director for East Asian affairs on the National Security Council, becoming one of a handful of advisers responsible for formulating and implementing the administration's policy regarding that key region. For obvious reasons--a booming economy, expanding military power, and increasing influence over the region--the looming impact of a rising China dominated their efforts.Obama's original intent was to extend U.S. influence and presence in East Asia, which he felt had been neglected by a Bush administration fixated on the Middle East, particularly Iraq, and the war on terror. China's rise, particularly its military buildup, was heightening anxiety among its neighbors, including key U.S. allies Japan and South Korea. Bader explains the administration's efforts to develop stable relations with China while improving relationships with key partners worried about Beijing's new assertiveness.In Obama and China's Rise, Bader reveals what he did, discusses what he saw, and interprets what it meant--first during the Obama campaign, and then for the administration. The result is an illuminating backstage view of the formulation and execution of American foreign policy as well as a candid assessment of both. Bader combines insightful and authoritative foreign policy analysis with a revealing and humanizing narrative of his own personal journey.
In Ports in a Storm a team of Harvard Kennedy School scholars focus diverse conceptual lenses on a single high-stakes management task--enhancing port security across the United States. Their aims are two: to understand how a public manager might confront that complex undertaking, and to explore the similarities, differences, and complementarities of their alternative approaches to public management.The book takes as its pivot point the singular case of U.S. Coast Guard Captain Suzanne Englebert and her leadership of efforts to secure America's ports after the September 11 attacks. The Coast Guard had always been responsible for securing America's ports and coastline. But now it was tasked with safeguarding these critical, complex, and vulnerable assets during a time of war, a job it clearly could not handle alone. Ports in a Storm considers the monumental challenge of driving rapid change in a complex system involving hundreds of private organizations and scores of government agencies with their operations intricately intertwined. The book examines Englebert's actions from varied conceptual vantage points, sometimes critiquing questionable calls but more often celebrating her initiative, creativity, persistence, and skill.The authors use the Coast Guard episode as a testing ground for the eclectic intellectual constructs they have been developing to guide public managers. Instead of starting with theory and searching for examples that fit, they begin with the concrete and then harness scholarship to the service of better practice. And rather than mimic management principles from the business world, they tailor their approach to the very different challenges of managing in a public sector context. The volume allows readers in both the scholarly and practical worlds to see how the theories measure up.Contributors, including the two volume editors, are Robert D. Behn, John D. Donahue, Archon Fung, Stephen Goldsmith, Elaine Kamarck, Herman B. Leonard, Mark H. Moore, Malcolm K. Sparrow, Pamela Varley, and Richard Zeckhauser.
The financial crisis exposed the potentially unsavory results of the interaction between low- and moderate income households and alternative and mainstream financial institutions. Many households were overleveraged or paid high costs for financial services, while others lacked access to useful financial products that can cushion against economic instability. The financial services system is not well designed to serve low- and moderate-income households, leaving them without financial slack: they did not have adequate breathing room for making the financial adjustments that would permit them to better meet their own needs. No Slack shows us why these families were the least prepared to handle the shock of the deep recession.This pivotal analysis focuses on the Detroit metropolitan area's low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, which are similar to those of other Rust Belt communities. The Detroit Area Household Financial Services study--conducted at the height of the subprime lending boom--examines these households' decisionmaking processes, behaviors, and attitudes toward a full range of financial transactions. No Slack reveals widespread problems in home mortgage lending, the common threads among people who file for bankruptcy, the reasons so many households are unbanked, and how behaviorally informed financial regulation can make the market work better. Drawing on his deep policy experience, Michael Barr advocates helping families seek financial stability in three primary ways: enhancing individuals' financial capability, using technology to promote access to financial products and services that meet their needs, and establishing strong protections for consumers.
Fast Forward is equal parts science primer, history lesson, policy prescription, and ethical treatise. This pithy and compelling book makes clear what we know and don't know about global warming; why the threat demands prudent and urgent action; why the transition to a low-carbon economy will be the most difficult political and economic transaction in history; and how it requires nothing less than a revolution in our sense of civic responsibility.William Antholis and Strobe Talbott guide the reader through two decades of climate change politics and diplomacy, explaining the national and international factors that have influenced and often impeded domestic climate legislation and global negotiations. Recent United Nations-sponsored summits have demonstrated that the world cannot wait for a binding global treaty. Instead, the authors believe that the "Big Four" of America, the European Union, China, and India must lead the way forward. They recommend a new international mechanism modeled on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that would monitor national commitments and create incentives for other countries to coordinate their efforts to cut emissions.Antholis and Talbott put their recommendations for legislative and diplomatic action into the larger context of our obligation to future generations, echoing a theme stressed by a diverse coalition of religious leaders calling for ambitious action on climate change. The world we leave to our children and grandchildren is not an abstraction, or even just a legacy; we must think about what kind of world that will be in deciding how we live--and act--today.Praise for Fast Forward"William Antholis and Strobe Talbott brilliantly explode the economic and scientific myths about climate change while elevating the political debate to a transgenerational moral crisis. Their synthesis of science, economics, religion, and philosophy is a clarion call to action for anyone interested in the future of the planet--which means all of us."--Andrea Mitchell, NBC News"In their very timely and fast-paced account of where we are today on the politics of global warming, the authors see Copenhagen as having pointed up the futility of relying on the United Nations as the only vehicle through which to tackle climate change."--Ed Luce, Financial Times "Strobe Talbott and Bill Antholis have made an admirable and important effort to move beyond the recent political rancor in Washington. They have a plan for leaders who want to be serious about energy and climate."--Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Ill.)
Even the most seasoned Middle East observers were taken aback by the events of early 2011. Protests born of oppression and socioeconomic frustration erupted throughout the streets; public unrest provoked violent police backlash; long-established dictatorships fell. How did this all happen? What might the future look like, and what are the likely ramifications for the United States and the rest of the world? In The Arab Awakening, experts from the Brookings Institution tackle such questions to make sense of this tumultuous region that remains at the heart of U.S. national interests.The first portion of The Arab Awakening offers broad lessons by analyzing key aspects of the Mideast turmoil, such as public opinion trends within the "Arab Street"; the role of social media and technology; socioeconomic and demographic conditions; the influence of Islamists; and the impact of the new political order on the Arab-Israeli peace process.The next section looks at the countries themselves, finding commonalties and grouping them according to the political evolutions that have (or have not) occurred in each country. The section offers insight into the current situation, and possible trajectory of each group of countries, followed by individual nation studies. The Arab Awakening brings the full resources of Brookings to bear on making sense of what may turn out to be the most significant geopolitical movement of this generation. It is essential reading for anyone looking to understand these developments and their consequences.
This biography of an unconventional woman in late 19th-century America is a study of a search for individual autonomy and spiritual growth. Laura Holloway-Langford, a "rebel girl" from Tennessee, moved to New York City, where she supported her family as a journalist. She soon became famous as the author of Ladies of the White House, which secured her financial independence. Promoted to associate editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, she gave readings and lectures and became involved in progressive women's causes, the temperance movement, and theosophy--even traveling to Europe to meet Madame Blavatsky, the movement's leader, and writing for the theosophist newspaper The Word. In the early 1870s, she began a correspondence with Eldress Anna White of the Mount Lebanon, New York, Shaker community, with whom she shared belief in pacifism, feminism, vegetarianism, and cremation. Attracted by the simplicity of Shaker life, she eventually bought a farm from the Canaan Shakers, where she lived and continued to write until her death in 1930. In tracing the life of this spiritual seeker, Diane Sasson underscores the significant role played by cultural mediators like Holloway-Langford in bringing new religious ideas to the American public and contributing to a growing interest in eastern religions and alternative approaches to health and spirituality that would alter the cultural landscape of the nation.
William O'Rourke's singular view of American life over the past 40 years shines forth in these short essays on subjects personal, political, and literary, which reveal a man of keen intellect and wide-ranging interests. They embrace everything from the state of the nation after 9/11 to the author's encounter with rap, from the masterminds of political makeovers to the rich variety of contemporary American writing. His reviews illuminate both the books themselves and the times in which we live, and his personal reflections engage even the most fearful events with a special humor and gentle pathos. Readers will find this richly rewarding volume difficult to put down.
A fundamental dimension of the Russian historical experience has been the diversity of its people and cultures, religions and languages, landscapes and economies. For six centuries this diversity was contained within the sprawling territories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and it persists today in the entwined states and societies of the former USSR. Russia's People of Empire explores this enduring multicultural world through life stories of 31 individuals--famous and obscure, high born and low, men and women--that illuminate the cross-cultural exchanges at work from the late 1500s to post-Soviet Russia. Working on the scale of a single life, these microhistories shed new light on the multicultural character of the Russian Empire, which both shaped individuals' lives and in turn was shaped by them.
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