Posts filed under ‘Political Science’

University of Texas at San Antonio Students Release Inner Animal with The Age of Empathy

The Age of Empathy TPRoughly seventy-five students in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s anthropology department will soon be using Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy to investigate shifting human behavior.  The book, which examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of creatures, including humans, studies social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution.  The author uses these findings to assert that, contrary to popular belief, human beings are not inherently selfish and can work together toward a more just society.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read previous posts about the book.

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Order a desk or examination copy here.

More about this book.

June 7, 2013 at 6:24 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 rhacademic@randomhouse.com 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

Fredrik Logevall’s Embers of War, Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in History, Chronicles US and French Intervention in Vietnam

Embers of War HCby Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War (Random House, August 2012), winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in history.

Embers of War studies the conflict that drew in all the world’s powers and saw two of them—first France, then the United States—attempt to subdue the revolutionary Vietnamese forces. For France, the defeat marked the effective end of her colonial empire, while for America the war left a gaping wound in the body politic that remains open to this day.  In the below essay, Logevall distills key points from his book. (more…)

May 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: The Top Common Reading Book of 2011 and 2012

Winner of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine’s Communication Award for Best Book
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the Wellcome Trust Book Prize

Named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of 2010, including: Best Book of the Year at: O, The Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bookmarks Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly, East Bay Express, and Kansas City Star, A Discover Magazine 2010 Must Read, National Public Radio, Best of the Bestsellers

In 1951, an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks, stricken with cervical cancer, became an involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumor, which were propagated by scientist George Otto Gey to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These cells are now known worldwide as HeLa. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, award-winning science writer Rebecca Skloot brilliantly weaves together the Lacks’s story–past and present–with the story of the birth of bioethics, the story of HeLa cells, and the dark history of experimentation on African Americans. Important, powerful, and compassionate, this is a remarkable work of science and social journalism.  (more…)

March 12, 2013 at 1:03 am 4 comments

Two Colleges Choose Behind the Beautiful Forevers for Fall courses

Behind the Beautiful ForeversThe University of Arkansas’s Department of Journalism and Vassar College’s Sociology Department have chosen Behind the Beautiful Forevers for their fall courses.
From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.” (more…)

July 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

Nothing to Envy Selected for History Course at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

nothing to envy

This is a real place – the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea or North Korea. The Communist regime that has controlled the northern  half of the Korean peninsula since 1945 might be the most totalitarian of modern world  history.

The winner of the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Barbara Demick’s Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea offers a never-before-seen view of a country and society largely unknown to the rest of the world.

The book is on the course syllabus at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (course name: History: The US and The Far East).  (more…)

October 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Free Copy Offer to Educators: Be the First to Adopt The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes by John Prendergast with Don Cheadle

In their New York Times bestseller, Not On Our Watch, human rights activist John Prendergast and Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle focused the world’s attention on genocide in Sudan by offering readers strategies on how to take action to end the tragedies. Here now is their continued call to action: The Enough Moment : Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes, an empowering look at how people’s movements and inspired policies can stop genocide, child soldier recruitment, and rape as a war weapon in Africa.

In The Enough Moment , Prendergast and Cheadle explain how hope, anger, citizen activism, social networking, compassion, celebrities, faith in action, and globalization are all coming together to produce the beginnings of a mass movement against human rights crimes.

As Prendergast and Cheadle describe, an “Enough Moment” is defined as that time when outrage triggers action and bystanders become “Upstanders,” or people who take action on behalf of others. But can ordinary citizens turn their Enough Moments into instruments of meaningful change? Prendergast and Cheadle say “yes,” illustrating with such examples: (more…)

August 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

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