Posts filed under ‘cultural studies’

“Genius” Grant Winner Matthew Desmond on Eviction, Poverty and Profit in the American City

9780553447439By Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown, March 2016)

Request an advanced reader’s copy: email with your name, college and course information.

I began this project because I wanted to write a different kind of book about poverty in America. Instead of focusing exclusively on poor people or poor places, I began searching for a process that involved poor and well-off people alike. Eviction—the forced removal of families from their homes—was such a process. Little did I know, at the outset, how immense this problem was, or how devastating its consequences. (more…)

November 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

How to “Create Value in the World” with Zero to One

9780804139298By Blake Masters, co-author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Crown Business, September 2014)

What important truth do very few people agree with you on? It sounds like an easy question. It isn’t. Wrestle with it for a few moments and you may be tempted to give up, but don’t. Every great business—indeed, every way in which the future will be different and better than the present—is rooted in a good answer to this question. Contrarian truths may be hard to find, but in a world in which so much of what we do is to simply repeat what’s been done before, creating new value means thinking from first principles, not following the crowd. (more…)

December 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Measuring the Progress of Women with The XX Factor

978-0-307-59040-4This semester, students taking “Social Scientific Perspectives on the Family and the Market”, a History course at the Catholic University of America, read Alison Wolf’s The XX Factor as a core text for the class.  In the book, English economist and journalist Alison Wolf examines why  educated women are now working longer hours and how feminism has actually created a less equal world.  Professor Jerry Z. Muller, who incorporated the book into his curriculum, remarked that the book “not only draws together research from a wide range of social sciences, but combines it with well-grounded speculation and sound judgment.”  To read an excerpt from the book, click here.

Alison Wolf is an academic and writer living in London. She is currently the Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King’s College, London. She also advises the UK government on education policy.


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May 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment

Philosophy Department Uncovers the Source Of Spontaneity With Trying Not To Try

9780770437619This spring, more than 35 students in North Central College’s introduction to philosophy course will use Edward Slingerland’s Trying Not to Try.  The book, which blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to explain why we find spontaneity so elusive, will support students as they learn the tenants of philosophy.  Although the text goes on-sale in March, complimentary advanced reader copies (ARCs) are available by request here.

Author Edward Slingerland was educated at Princeton, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.  He currently is a Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia.


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February 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

The Broken Spears: UC Irvine Anthropology Course Tackles The Conquest of Mexico

9780807055007The Origins of Global Interdependence, an anthropology class at the University of California at Irvine, will be using Michuel Leon-Portilla’s The Broken Spears during the fall 2013 semester.  Examining the Aztec perspective of the Conquest of Mexico, Leon-Portilla’s book expands the Conquests history to include the voices of the indigenous peoples, and includes accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries.   All 300 students enrolled will be required to read the book.

The Broken Spears, called “[a] moving and powerful account” by the Los Angeles Times, will allow UC Irvine students to bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of oral tradition.


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September 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment

Educators: Free Advanced Reader Copies of Five Days at Memorial by Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Sheri Fink Now Available

FIVE DAYS- FINAL JACKETFollowing Hurricane Katrina, physician and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws students into the lives of those who struggled to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos.  Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, investigates the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing students into a conversation about the consequences and ethics of health care rationing.  Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared Americans are for the impact of large-scale disasters.

Five Days at Memorial is scheduled for to be released on September 10th, 2013.  Please email with your name, college and course information to request a complimentary advanced reader copy.


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June 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Charles Murray, Author of Coming Apart, Examines Demographic Shifts In This New Decade

Coming Apart TRRandom House is currently giving away free versions of Charles Murray’s Coming Apart (Crown Forum, January 2013), which has been adopted for Common Reading at Stonehill College, Georgetown University and Florida State University.  Additionally, it has recently been adopted by Western Washington State’s Politics of Inequality course.  Please email to request a complimentary copy.  Coming Apart offers a thought-provoking commentary on class in contemporary America. Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, the book demonstrates that a new upper class, who live in hyper-wealthy zip codes called SuperZIPS, and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.  In the below essay, Murray discusses trends that have occurred since 2010.

I began the discussion of the SuperZips with a promise to update the results in later editions of Coming Apart when the 2010 census results became available.  Those results were published from December 2011 through the spring of 2012.  This is the story they tell: (more…)

May 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

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