In 2015, an unprecedented number of people from Africa and the Near East took flight and sought refuge in Europe. By the end of that year, some 1.8 million migrants had arrived in the EU, the vast majority having come across the Mediterranean. Since then, despite measures to host some of the people fleeing the Syrian war in Turkey and concurrent attempts to physically seal off some borders in Eastern Europe, the numbers of refugees traveling to Europe has continued to top half a million annually. A mass migration on a scale not witnessed in modern times is underway, and it has presented Europe with its greatest challenge of the twenty-first century.
Asfa-Wossen Asserate argues here that building higher fences or finding more effective methods of integration will only, in the long term, perpetuate rather than solve the problems associated with these large numbers of displaced refugees. We need to realize that we are only treating the symptoms of an oncoming catastrophe and that, if we are to respond to mass migration, we will ultimately have to understand its causes. African Exodus places its emphasis firmly on the causes of the refugee crisis, which are to be found not least in Europe itself, and charts ways in which we might deal with it effectively in the long term.
In the course of this analysis, Asserate asks why our view of Africa—a troubled continent, but rich in so many ways—is so distorted. How can we combat the corrupt, authoritarian regimes that stymie progress and development? Why are millions fleeing to Europe? How is the EU complicit in the migration crisis? And finally, in practical terms: what can be done, and what prospects does the future hold?
On a business trip to Tunisia, Preising, a leading Swiss industrialist, is invited to spend the week with the daughter of a local gangster. He accompanies her to the wedding of two London city traders at a desert luxury resort that was once the site of an old Berber oasis. With the wedding party in full swing and the bride riding up the aisle on a camel, no one is aware that the global financial system stands on the brink of collapse. As the wedding guests nurse their hangovers, they learn that the British pound has depreciated tenfold, and their world begins to crumble around them.
So begins Barbarian Spring, the debut novel from Jonas Lüscher, a major emerging voice in European fiction. The timely and unusual novel centers on a culture clash between high finance and the value system of the Maghreb. Provocative and entertaining, Barbarian Spring is a refreshingly original and all-too-believable satire for our times.
The Fertile Crescent region—the swath of land comprising a vast portion of today’s Middle East—has long been regarded as pivotal to the rise of civilization. Alongside the story of human development, innovation, and progress, there is a culinary tradition of equal richness and importance.
In The Culinary Crescent: A History of Middle Eastern Cuisine, Peter Heine combines years of scholarship with a personal passion: his knowledge of the cookery traditions of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal courts is matched only by his love for the tastes and smells produced by the contemporary cooking of these areas today. In addition to offering a fascinating history, Heine presents more than one hundred recipes—from the modest to the extravagant—with dishes ranging from those created by the “celebrity chefs” of the bygone Mughal era, up to gastronomically complex presentations of modern times.
Beautifully produced, designed for both reading and cooking, and lavishly illustrated in color throughout, The Culinary Crescent is sure to provide a delectable window in the history of food in the Middle East.
Peter Clark Haus Publishing, 2019 Library of Congress PR4584.C58 2012
Marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s death, Dickens’s London leads us in the footsteps of the author through this beloved city. Few novelists have written so intimately about a place as Dickens wrote about London, and, from a young age, his near-photographic memory rendered his experiences there both significant and in constant focus. Virginia Woolf maintained that “we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens,” as he produces “characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks.” The most enduring “character” Dickens was drawn back to throughout his novels was London itself, in all its aspects, from the coaching inns of his early years to the taverns and watermen of the Thames. These were the constant cityscapes of his life and work.
In five walks through central London, Peter Clark explores “The First Suburbs”—Camden Town, Chelsea, Greenwich, Hampstead, Highgate and Limehouse—as they feature in Dickens’s writing and illuminates the settings of Dickens’s life and his greatest works of journalism and fiction. Describing these storied spaces of today’s central London in intimate detail, Clark invites us to experience the city as it was known to Dickens and his characters. These walks take us through the locations and buildings that he interacted with and wrote about, creating an imaginative reconstruction of the Dickensian world that has been lost to time.
An author, foreign correspondent, academic, and television personality, Roger Willemsen is a familiar figure in Germany, and The Ends of the Earth offers English-language readers a chance to engage with his uniquely astute take on the world. Consisting of twenty-two essays recounting and reflecting on a lifetime of travel to the far and forgotten corners of our planet, the book offers remarkable encounters and mysterious entanglements in locations as diverse as a Kamchatkan volcano, a Burmese railway station, an Arctic icebreaker, and a Minsk hospital ward. Willemsen is the perfect companion, reveling in the strange and unlovely, and tracing unexpected connections among places, times, and peoples.
"Growing Apart is an important and distinguished contribution to the literature on the political economy of development. Indonesia and Nigeria have long presented one of the most natural opportunities for comparative study. Peter Lewis, one of America's best scholars of Nigeria, has produced the definitive treatment of their divergent development paths. In the process, he tells us much theoretically about when, why, and how political institutions shape economic growth."
—Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
"Growing Apart is a careful and sophisticated analysis of the political factors that have shaped the economic fortunes of Indonesia and Nigeria. Both scholars and policymakers will benefit from this book's valuable insights."
—Michael L. Ross, Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of International Development Studies, UCLA
"Lewis presents an extraordinarily well-documented comparative case study of two countries with a great deal in common, and yet with remarkably different postcolonial histories. His approach is a welcome departure from currently fashionable attempts to explain development using large, multi-country databases packed with often dubious measures of various aspects of 'governance.'"
—Ross H. McLeod, Editor, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies
"This is a highly readable and important book. Peter Lewis provides us with both a compelling institutionalist analysis of economic development performance and a very insightful comparative account of the political economies of two highly complex developing countries, Nigeria and Indonesia. His well-informed account generates interesting findings by focusing on the ability of leaders in both countries to make credible commitments to the private sector and assemble pro-growth coalitions. This kind of cross-regional political economy is often advocated in the profession but actually quite rare because it is so hard to do well. Lewis's book will set the standard for a long time."
—Nicolas van de Walle, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Cornell University
Peter M. Lewis is Associate Professor and Director of the African Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
Named “Man of the Millennium” in 1999, Johannes Gutenberg was the creator of one of the most influential and revolutionary inventions in Europe’s history: a printing press with mechanical movable type. This development sparked the printing revolution, which is regarded as the milestone of the second millennium and represents one of the central contributions in the turn to modernity. His printing press came to play a key role in the development of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Age of Enlightenment, providing the material foundation for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. His invention revolutionized the way that information is shared and broadened the boundaries of who has access to written knowledge. Paving the way for bibliophiles of today, the Gutenberg Bible of 1454 remains one of the most famous books in history.
Gutenberg’s technical innovations remained unrivalled for almost 350 years, until industrialization of the printing industry and the digital revolution built on the advances that he began, increasing the rate at which information is spread. Despite his significance in forming the world as we know it, there has not yet been a rigorous and accessible biography of Gutenberg published in English. Written by the leading expert on Gutenberg, Füssel’s biography brings together high academic standards and thorough historical details in a highly readable text that conveys everything you need to know about the man who changed printing forever.
Klaus Wagenbach Haus Publishing, 2019 Library of Congress PT2621.A26Z98213 2011
Nearly one hundred years after Franz Kafka’s death, his works continue to intrigue and haunt us. Kafka is regarded as one of the most significant intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and even for those who are only barely acquainted with his novels, stories, diaries, or letters, “Kafkaesque” has become a term synonymous with the menacing, unfathomable absurdity of modern existence and bureaucracy. While the significance of his fiction is wide-reaching, Kafka’s writing remains inextricably bound up with his life and work in a particular place: Prague. It is here that the author spent every one of his forty years.
Drawing from a range of documents and historical materials, this is the first book specifically dedicated to the relationship between Kafka and Prague. Klaus Wagenbach’s account of Kafka’s life in the city is a meticulously researched insight into the author’s family background, his education and employment, his attitude toward the town of his birth, his literary influences, and his relationships with women. The result is a fascinating portrait of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic writer and the city that provided him with so much inspiration. W. G. Sebald recognized that “literary and life experience overlap” in Kafka’s works, and the same is true of this book.
Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. An early proponent of African unity and independence who claimed to be a descendant of King Solomon, he fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. But the final years of his empire saw turmoil and revolution, and he was ultimately overthrown and assassinated in a communist coup.
Written by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Haile Selassie’s grandnephew, this is the first major biography of this final “king of kings.” Asserate, who spent his childhood and adolescence in Ethiopia before fleeing the revolution of 1974, knew Selassie personally and gained intimate insights into life at the imperial court. Introducing him as a reformer and an autocrat whose personal history—with all of its upheavals, promises, and horrors—reflects in many ways the history of the twentieth century itself, Asserate uses his own experiences and painstaking research in family and public archives to achieve a colorful and even-handed portrait of the emperor.
A sensitive consideration of Mary, mother of Jesus, in the Qur’an.
An entire chapter (surah) is dedicated to her, and she is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an—indeed, her name appears more frequently than that of either Muhammad or Jesus. From the earliest times to the present day, Mary, the mother of Jesus, continues to be held in high regard by Christians and Muslims alike, yet she has also been the cause of much tension between these two religions.
In this groundbreaking study, Muna Tatari and Klaus von Stosch painstakingly reconstruct the picture of Mary that is presented in the Qur’an and show how veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church intersects and interacts with the testimony of the Qur’an. This sensitive and scholarly treatise offers a significant contribution to contemporary interfaith dialogue.
From the famed Atlantis to the remote Rupes Nigra, islands have long held our fascination: they are locales isolated from ordinary life, lurking in unexplored corners of the globe and thus full of undisclosed mysteries. At times, however, our fascination with islands has bled into reality, as real maps bear the coordinates of fictional lands and travelogues tell tall tales of their inhabitants, their natural wonders, or their treasures. In Phantom Islands, Dirk Liesemer tells the stories of thirty of these fantastical islands. Beginning with their supposed discovery, he recreates their fabled landscapes, the voyages that attempted to verify their existence, and, ultimately, the moment when their existence was finally disproven. Spanning oceans and centuries, these curious tales are a chronicle of human lust for discovery and wealth.
Beautifully illustrated with colored maps and charts, Phantom Islands shows the cunning of imposters and frauds, the earnestness of explorers searching for knowledge, and the pleasure that can be found in our willingness to deceive and to be deceived.
It is 2009: writer Clara Burger arrives in Rome to sort out the affairs and clear the flat of her school friend Ines, prematurely dead from cancer. Sorting through Ines's belongings, Clara finds a manuscript containing not only an autobiographical account of Ines's strange experiences while working as a chambermaid in Rome in the summer of 1978, but also the life story of her former employer, the hotelier Emma Manente. Originally from Italy's German-speaking enclave South Tyrol (like Clara and Ines), Emma first comes to Rome in the late 1930s and becomes an eyewitness to the capital's turbulent past and present: Mussolini's fascist regime, the Nazi occupation and an uneasy postwar democracy threatened by corruption and extremism. In a sweeping tale of remembrance and reconciliation, of lives unfulfilled and loves unrequited, Roman Elegy interweaves the personal stories of three resilient women with a fascinating historical narrative of the Eternal City, in all its contrasting squalor and beauty, compassion and savagery.
Now in paperback, Nowak reveals the lesser-known side of Salzburg through stories of those who have lived there over the centuries.
Situated in the shadow of the Eastern Alps, Salzburg is known for its majestic baroque architecture, music, cathedrals, and gardens. The city grew in power and wealth as the seat of prince-bishops, found international fame as the birthplace of the beloved composer Mozart, and expanded to become a global destination for travel as a festival city. With all its stunning sights and rich history, Salzburg has become Austria’s second most visited city, drawing visitors from around the world.
Hubert Nowak sets out to reveal the lesser-known side of Salzburg, a small town with international renown. Leaving the famed festival district, he plunges into the narrow façade-lined streets of the old quarter, creating one of the most extensive accounts of the city published in English. Through the stories of those who visited and lived in the city over the centuries, he gives the reader a fresh perspective and gives the old city new life.