Humanity’s best hope for confronting the looming climate crisis rests with the new science of complexity.The sheer complexity of climate change stops most solutions in their tracks. How do we give up fossil fuels when energy is connected to everything, from great-power contests to the value of your pension? Global economic growth depends on consumption, but that also produces the garbage now choking the oceans. To give up cars, coal, or meat would upend industries and entire ways of life. Faced with seemingly impossible tradeoffs, politicians dither and economists offer solutions at the margins, all while we flirt with the sixth extinction.That’s why humanity’s last best hope is the young science of complex systems. Quitting coal, making autonomous cars ubiquitous, ending the middle-class addiction to consumption: all necessary to head off climate catastrophe, all deemed fantasies by pundits and policymakers, and all plausible in a complex systems view.Roland Kupers shows how we have already broken the interwoven path dependencies that make fundamental change so daunting. Consider the mid-2000s, when, against all predictions, the United States rapidly switched from a reliance on coal primarily to natural gas. The change required targeted regulations, a few lone investors, independent researchers, and generous technology subsidies. But in a stunningly short period of time, shale oil nudged out coal, and carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 10 percent. Kupers shows how to replicate such patterns in order to improve transit, reduce plastics consumption, and temper the environmental impact of middle-class diets. Whether dissecting China’s Ecological Civilization or the United States’ Green New Deal, Kupers describes what’s folly, what’s possible, and which solutions just might work.
We all know what “WTF” usually means: it’s an exclamation of frustration, anger, and an understandable reaction to the brutal new economic realities that have hit young adults harder than any other group. WTF happened to promises of a bright future? What happened to the jobs? And what do we do now that the rules have changed?
Recent college grads were raised in a time of affluence and entitlement, lulled into thinking that a golden future would happen. Young adults with few role models to teach values like thrift, perseverance, and self-control are ill-equipped to cope with sacrifice and failure. Their dismal employment prospects are merely the most visible symptom of more significant challenges. Fortunately, it’s not too late to change course. This optimistic, reflective, and technologically savvy generation already possesses the tools to thrive—if only they learn to harness the necessary skills for success.
In Generation WTF, Christine Whelan does just that. Dr. Whelan, one of the foremost authorities on the history of the self-help genre, worked with more than one hundred young people to test and tweak the best old-school advice and personalize it for the modern twenty-something. After a decade of researching the industry—and years advising “WTFers” as they struggle to make their way in the “real world”—Dr. Whelan knows firsthand what advice works and what Generation WTF has to offer.
Rather than focusing on the frustration that “WTF” usually stands for, Dr. Whelan leads the charge to reclaim the acronym as a battle cry for a positive future: Generation WTF will be a wise, tenacious, and fearless generation, strengthened by purpose and hope. This practical new guide will show these WTFers the way to success and instill lasting habits that will serve them well in both good times and bad.
My Lord, What a Morning is a gentle and engrossing memoir, abounding with the tender and inspiring stories of Marian Anderson's life in her own modest words. From her humble but proud beginnings in south Philadelphia to international vocal renown, the legendary contralto writes of triumph and adversity, of being grounded in faith and surrounded by family, and of the music that shaped her career.
Anderson published My Lord, What a Morning in 1956 on the heels of her groundbreaking role as the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. In it are bittersweet reminiscences of a working-class childhood, from her first job scrubbing the neighbors' steps to the sorrow and upheaval of her father's untimely death. Here are the stories of a young girl with prodigious talent and her warm remembrances of the teachers, managers, friends, accompanists, and fans who worked to foster it. In addition, she provides a veritable travelogue of her concerts across the globe and rare glimpses at the personal life of a woman more concerned with family than celebrity.
With eleven photographs and a touching new foreword by Anderson's nephew, famed conductor and poet James DePreist, this edition of My Lord, What a Morning revives the classic portrait of a musical legend who was resilient in the bullying face of bigotry and gracious in the unfaltering glow of fame.
This thorough volume offers up-to-date information and practical guidelines for board members and executives of nonprofit organizations large and small. Among the topics addressed are the historical roots of the voluntary sector in America, a complete discussion of the key responsibilities of nonprofit boards, suggestions for board organization, appropriate protocol for meetings, legal issues affecting nonprofit groups, and useful tools for self-assessment. This guide will be indispensable to the almost two million nonprofit organizations existing in the United States today.
Emily's moving letters to her husband, startling in their immediacy and detail, chronicle such difficulties as a desperate lack of food and clothing for her family, the frustration of depending on others in the community, and her growing terror at facing childbirth without her husband, at the mercy of a doctor with questionable skills. Major Moxley's letters to his wife reveal a decidedly unromantic side of the war, describing his frequent encounters with starvation, disease, and bloody slaughter.
Why and how systems of political financing and representation in Europe and North America give outsized influence to the wealthy and undermine democracy, and what we can do about it.One person, one vote. In theory, everyone in a democracy has equal power to decide elections. But it’s hardly news that, in reality, political outcomes are heavily determined by the logic of one dollar, one vote. We take the political power of money for granted. But does it have to be this way? In The Price of Democracy, Julia Cagé combines economic and historical analysis with political theory to show how profoundly our systems in North America and Europe, from think tanks and the media to election campaigns, are shaped by money. She proposes fundamental reforms to bring democracy back into line with its egalitarian promise.Cagé shows how different countries have tried to develop legislation to curb the power of private money and to develop public systems to fund campaigns and parties. But these attempts have been incoherent and unsystematic. She demonstrates that it is possible to learn from these experiments in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere to design a better system that would increase political participation and trust. This would involve setting a strict cap on private donations and creating a public voucher system to give each voter an equal amount to spend in support of political parties. More radically, Cagé argues that a significant fraction of seats in parliamentary assemblies should be set aside for representatives from disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.At a time of widespread political disenchantment, The Price of Democracy is a bracing reminder of the problems we face and an inspirational guide to the potential for reform.
2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Thousands of religious traditions have appeared over the course of human history but only a relative few have survived. Some speak of a myriad of gods, others of only one, and some recognize no gods at all. Volumes have been written attempting to prove the existence or nonexistence of supernatural being(s). So, if religion is not about God, then what is it about?
In this provocative book, Loyal Rue contends that religion, very basically, is about us. Successful religions are narrative (myth) traditions that influence human nature so that we might think, feel, and act in ways that are good for us, both individually and collectively. Through the use of images, symbols, and rituals, religion promotes reproductive fitness and survival through the facilitation of harmonious social relations. Drawing on examples from the major traditions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—Rue shows how each religion, in its own way, has guided human behavior to advance the twin goals of personal fulfillment and social coherence.
As all faiths are increasingly faced with a crisis of intellectual plausibility and moral relevance, this book presents a compelling and positive view of the centrality and meaning of religion.
Runner-up, Bronze Medal, Independent Publishers Book Awards: Memoir/Autobiography Category, 2009
Unclear about his future career path, Steve Reifenberg found himself in the early 1980s working at a small orphanage in a poor neighborhood in Santiago, Chile, where a determined single woman was trying to create a stable home for a dozen or so children who had been abandoned or abused. With little more than good intentions and very limited Spanish, the 23-year-old Reifenberg plunged into the life of the Hogar Domingo Savio, becoming a foster father to kids who stretched his capacities for compassion and understanding in ways he never could have imagined back in the United States.
In this beautifully written memoir, Reifenberg recalls his two years at the Hogar Domingo Savio. His vivid descriptions create indelible portraits of a dozen remarkable kids—mature-beyond-her-years Verónica; sullen, unresponsive Marcelo; and irrepressible toddler Andrés, among them. As Reifenberg learns more about the children's circumstances, he begins to see the bigger picture of life in Chile at a crucial moment in its history.
The early 1980s were a time of economic crisis and political uprising against the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Reifenberg skillfully interweaves the story of the orphanage with the broader national and international forces that dramatically impact the lives of the kids. By the end of Santiago's Children, Reifenberg has told an engrossing story not only of his own coming-of-age, but also of the courage and resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Latin America.
An NRC Handelsblad Book of the Year“Offers rich discussions of olfactory perception, the conscious and subconscious impacts of smell on behavior and emotion.”—ScienceDecades of cognition research have shown that external stimuli “spark” neural patterns in particular regions of the brain. We think of the brain as a space we can map: here it responds to faces, there it perceives a sensation. But the sense of smell—only recently attracting broader attention in neuroscience—doesn’t work this way. So what does the nose tell the brain, and how does the brain understand it?A. S. Barwich turned to experts in neuroscience, psychology, chemistry, and perfumery in an effort to understand the mechanics and meaning of odors. She discovered that scents are often fickle, and do not line up with well-defined neural regions. Upending existing theories of perception, Smellosophy offers a new model for understanding how the brain senses and processes odors.“A beguiling analysis of olfactory experience that is fast becoming a core reference work in the field.”—Irish Times“Lively, authoritative…Aims to rehabilitate smell’s neglected and marginalized status.”—Wall Street Journal“This is a special book…It teaches readers a lot about olfaction. It teaches us even more about what philosophy can be.”—Times Literary Supplement
Lost in the raging debate over the validity of social construction is the question of what, precisely, is being constructed. Facts, gender, quarks, reality? Is it a person? An object? An idea? A theory? Each entails a different notion of social construction, Ian Hacking reminds us. His book explores an array of examples to reveal the deep issues underlying contentious accounts of reality.Especially troublesome in this dispute is the status of the natural sciences, and this is where Hacking finds some of his most telling cases, from the conflict between biological and social approaches to mental illness to vying accounts of current research in sedimentary geology. He looks at the issue of child abuse—very much a reality, though the idea of child abuse is a social product. He also cautiously examines the ways in which advanced research on new weapons influences not the content but the form of science. In conclusion, Hacking comments on the “culture wars” in anthropology, in particular a spat between leading ethnographers over Hawaii and Captain Cook. Written with generosity and gentle wit by one of our most distinguished philosophers of science, this wise book brings a much needed measure of clarity to current arguments about the nature of knowledge.
This book is intended as a guide for practicing physicians, medical students, and residents to help identify and address the spiritual needs of patients. Those who will benefit most will be physicians who wish to know how to integrate spirituality into clinical practice in an effective and sensitive manner. Other professionals, such as nurses and chaplains, may use this book as they interact with doctors, other health professionals, and hospital administrators.
The moment is right for critical reflection on what has been assumed to be a core part of schooling. In Ungrading, fifteen educators write about their diverse experiences going gradeless. Some contributors are new to the practice and some have been engaging in it for decades. Some are in humanities and social sciences, some in STEM fields. Some are in higher education, but some are the K–12 pioneers who led the way. Based on rigorous and replicated research, this is the first book to show why and how faculty who wish to focus on learning, rather than sorting or judging, might proceed. It includes honest reflection on what makes ungrading challenging, and testimonials about what makes it transformative.
Susan D. Blum
Cathy N. Davidson
Examining the personal library and the making of self
When writer Edith Wharton died in 1937, without any children, her library of more than five thousand volumes was divided and subsequently sold. Decades later, it was reassembled and returned to The Mount, her historic Massachusetts estate. What a Library Means to a Woman examines personal libraries as technologies of self-creation in modern America, focusing on Wharton and her remarkable collection of books.
Sheila Liming explores the connection between libraries and self-making in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American culture, from the 1860s to the 1930s. She tells the story of Wharton’s library in concert with Wharton scholarship and treatises from this era concerning the wider fields of book history, material and print culture, and the histories (and pathologies) of collecting. Liming’s study blends literary and historical analysis while engaging with modern discussions about gender, inheritance, and hoarding. It offers a review of the many meanings of a library collection, while reading one specific collection in light of its owner’s literary celebrity.
What a Library Means to a Woman was born from Liming’s ongoing work digitizing the Wharton library collection. It ultimately argues for a multifaceted understanding of authorship by linking Wharton’s literary persona to her library, which was, as she saw it, the site of her self-making.
The author of the best-selling What the Best College Teachers Do is back with more humane, doable, and inspiring help, this time for students who want to get the most out of college—and every other educational enterprise, too.The first thing they should do? Think beyond the transcript. The creative, successful people profiled in this book—college graduates who went on to change the world we live in—aimed higher than straight A’s. They used their four years to cultivate habits of thought that would enable them to grow and adapt throughout their lives.Combining academic research on learning and motivation with insights drawn from interviews with people who have won Nobel Prizes, Emmys, fame, or the admiration of people in their field, Ken Bain identifies the key attitudes that distinguished the best college students from their peers. These individuals started out with the belief that intelligence and ability are expandable, not fixed. This led them to make connections across disciplines, to develop a “meta-cognitive” understanding of their own ways of thinking, and to find ways to negotiate ill-structured problems rather than simply looking for right answers. Intrinsically motivated by their own sense of purpose, they were not demoralized by failure nor overly impressed with conventional notions of success. These movers and shakers didn’t achieve success by making success their goal. For them, it was a byproduct of following their intellectual curiosity, solving useful problems, and taking risks in order to learn and grow.
“The ‘best’ students are curious risk-takers who make connections across disciplines. By following those instincts—rather than simply chasing ‘success’—the best students achieved it…A wonderful exploration of excellence.”—Fortune“Skillfully weaves together some of the best research about effective learning strategies with moving stories about remarkable life-long learners. Some of them had great teachers. But most of them succeed because of what they did for themselves.”—Thomas Luxon, Dartmouth College“We are always telling students to ‘find their passion.’ Now we have a book that looks at how that happens…Ken Bain can really tell a story…it is very rare for a book based upon research to be such a compelling read.”—José Antonio Bowen, Southern Methodist UniversityCombining academic research on learning and motivation with insights drawn from interviews with people who have won Nobel Prizes, Emmys, or otherwise led lives of meaning and accomplishment, Ken Bain identifies the key attitudes that distinguish the best college students from their peers. Most start out with a belief that intelligence and ability are expandable, not fixed. This leads them to make connections across disciplines and to find ways of reconceiving problems rather than simply looking for the right answer. Intrinsically motivated by their own sense of purpose, they are not overly impressed with conventional notions of success. The best students study in small bites, focus more on concept than procedure, and work collaboratively, getting friends to test them on their knowledge. They don’t achieve success by making success their goal—when it comes, it is a byproduct of following their intellectual curiosity, solving useful problems, and taking risks to learn and grow.
What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.The short answer is--it's not what teachers do, it's what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out--but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.In stories both humorous and touching, Bain describes examples of ingenuity and compassion, of students' discoveries of new ideas and the depth of their own potential. What the Best College Teachers Do is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration for first-year teachers and seasoned educators.
What makes a great law professor? The first study of its kind, What the Best Law Teachers Do identifies the methods, strategies, and personal traits of professors whose students achieve exceptional learning. This pioneering book will be of interest to any instructor seeking concrete, proven techniques for helping students succeed.What the Best Law Teachers Do introduces readers to twenty-six professors from law schools across the United States. These instructors are renowned for their exacting standards: they set expectations high, while also making course requirements--and their belief that their students can meet them--clear from the outset. They demonstrate professional behavior and tell students to approach class as they would their future professional life: by being as prepared, polished, and gracious as possible. And they prepare themselves for class in depth, even when they have taught the course for years.The best law professors understand that the little things matter. They start class on time and stay afterward to answer questions. They learn their students' names and respond promptly to emails. These instructors are all tough--but they are also committed, creative, and compassionate mentors. With its close-to-the-ground accounts of exceptional educators in action, What the Best Law Teachers Do offers insights into effective pedagogy that transcend the boundaries of legal education.
Lost in the Hospital It’s not that I don’t like the hospital.Those small bouquets of flowers, pert and brave.The smell of antiseptic cleansers.The ill, so wistful in their rooms, so true.My friend, the one who’s dying, took me outTo where the patients go to smoke, IV’sAnd oxygen tanks attached to them—A tiny patio for skeletons. We sharedA cigaratte, which was delicious butToo brief. I held his hand; it feltLike someone’s keys. How beautiful it was,The sunlight pointing down at us, as ifWe were important, full of life, unbound.I wandered for a moment where his ribsHad made a space for me, and there, besideThe thundering waterfall of is heart,I rubbed my eyes and thought “I’m lost.”
A Memoir of the Real Downton Abbey Experience
Eric Horne served as a butler in some of the great English country manors from the 1860s until just after World War I, when many of the families whose heirs died in battle were forced to sell off their homes. Born in Southampton, Horne came from a humble family who valued education. Horne excelled in school and wished to go to sea, but lacking his parents’ permission, he instead ended up as a footboy for a local household. Over the years, Horne moved up in the service of the aristocracy: his goal was to become butler to the king of England, a position he very nearly secured. He did end up in the service of several distinguished households for many decades, and upon his retirement in 1922, he decided to write his memoir. Horne is a unique voice; not only did he have intimate contact with his employers and the household staff, he also possessed literary talent, so that his account provides authentic detail as well as shrewd—and often witty—views of the aristocracy, the servants, and their activities. Horne is not sentimental though; he does not think that he used his life wisely, having never learned a true trade. He reveals the plight of the servant class, where once a butler lost his employment—particularly following the devastation of World War I—he was likely to end up in a poorhouse, because employers did not usually provide pensions and servants were rarely able to save enough money to survive on their own. What the Butler Winked At is a fascinating and essential account of life in a country house during the height of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
The power and status of the press in America reached new heights after spectacular reporting triumphs in the segregated South, in Vietnam, and in Washington during the Watergate years. Then new technologies created instantaneous global reporting which left the government unable to control the flow of information to the nation. The press thus became a formidable rival in critical struggles to control what the people know and when they know it. But that was more power than the press could handle--and journalism crashed toward new lows in public esteem and public purpose.The dazzling new technologies, profit-driven owners, and celebrated editors, reporters, and broadcasters made it possible to bypass older values and standards of journalism. Journalists reveled in lusty pursuit after the power of politics, the profits of entertainment and trespass into privacy. Richard Reeves was there at the rise and at the fall, beginning as a small-town editor, becoming the chief political correspondent of the New York Times and then a best-selling author and award-winning documentary filmmaker. He tells the story of a tribe that lost its way. From the Pony Express to the Internet, he chronicles what happened to the press as America accelerated into uncertainty, arguing that to survive, the press must go back to doing what it was hired to do long ago: stand as outsiders watching government and politics on behalf of a free people busy with their own affairs.
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