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We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

Current Issue: April 2017, Issue #216

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Guide to Contents this Page 

Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places by Kathryn H. Anthony, with a foreword by Eric Schmidt (Prometheus Books)

The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure, 1st edition edited by Roger Mantie & Gareth Dylan Smith (Oxford Handbooks Series: Oxford University Press)

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission Audio CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged, running time: 14 hours by Barry Friedman, with audio read by Sean Pratt (Tantor Audio)

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission – Hardcover by Barry Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen (St. Martin’s Press)

Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined by Scott Sonenshein (HarperBusiness)

macOS Support Essentials 10.12: Supporting and Troubleshooting macOS Sierra, 1st edition by Kevin White & Gordon Davisson (Apple Pro Training Series: Peachpit Press)

Eat More Greens: The Most Inventive Recipes to Help You Eat More Greens by Zita Steyn, with photography by Nassima Röthacker (Quadrille Publishing)

Once There Were Giants: The Golden Age of Heavyweight Boxing by Jerry Izenberg (Skyhorse Publishing)

Civil Wars: A History in Ideas – Deckle Edge by David Armitage (Alfred A. Knopf)

One Jump Ring: Endless Possibilities for Chain Mail Jewelry by Lauren Andersen (Kalmbach Books)

Making Pottery You Can Use: Plates that stack – Lids that fit – Spouts that pour – Handles that stay on by Jacqui Atkin (Barron’s Educational Series)

World Report 2017: Events of 2016 by Human Rights Watch, with an introduction by Kenneth Roth (World Report Series: Seven Stories Press)

The News from the End of the World: A Novel by Emily Jeanne Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East by Rachel Aspden (Other Press)

Reformation Anglicanism: A Vision for Today's Global Communion edited by Ashley Null & John W. Yates III (The Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library Series, Volume 1: Crossway

The Shepherd as Theologian: Accurately Interpreting and Applying God's Word by general editor John MacArthur (The Shepherd's Library Series: Harvest House Publishers)

Reimagining Exodus: A Story of Freedom by Rabbi David Zaslow (Paraclete Press)

The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease by Meredith Wadman (Viking)

Roadside Geology of Nevada by Frank DeCourten & Norma Biggar (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

school books  

Reviews

 

Reviews

Architecture / Design / Women’s Studies / Gender Studies

Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places by Kathryn H. Anthony, with a foreword by Eric Schmidt (Prometheus Books)

From the schools our children attend and the buildings we work in to ill-fitting clothes and one-size-fits-all seating in public transportation, restaurants, and movie theaters, we are surrounded by an artificial environment that can affect our comfort, our self-image, and even our health. The design of the products we use, the neighborhoods we inhabit, the schools our children attend, and the buildings we work in every day are only the back-drop to our lives, yet they play an integral role in our health and well-being.

This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. Kathryn H. Anthony, a leading expert in social and psychological issues in design, in Defined by Design uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use.
Anthony is professor and past chair of the Design Program Faculty at the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also serves on the faculty of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Defined by Design examines the countless ways in which the design of clothing, products, and buildings affect people's daily lives. Over a period of ten years, Anthony says she recorded the comments of hundreds of ordinary people: men and women, young and old, short and tall, thin and plus-size. She heard many great stories about personal struggles with everyday spaces, places, products, and things. Petite people couldn't reach the top shelf in the grocery store or climb on a barstool without fear of falling off. Short men couldn't find a tie that didn't hang in the wrong place. Tall people banged their heads on overhead compartments in airplanes. Large people couldn't find a car that fit them. Young children couldn't reach the bathroom sink. New mothers couldn't find a place to nurse their babies or change their diapers.

Many of us are plagued by the biases – intentional or not – that went into the conception, development, or production of certain fashions, products, or buildings. Insensitive designs can widen psychological, social, cultural, and generational divides that privilege one gender, age, or body type over another. At one end of the spectrum, poorly designed products, fashions, and spaces can cause minor annoyance and frustration. At the other end, they can cause serious injury – or death.

Defined by Design explores the mysteries behind gender, age, and body biases in fashion, product, and building design. Some gender biases in design, such as toy preferences for babies, may reflect innate differences between the sexes. Other designs, such as the layouts of department stores and shopping malls, are architectural and design responses to culturally determined gender roles. And others, such as the planning and design of public restrooms, impose inequality by treating genuine differences as if they didn't exist.

Some age biases in design reflect the fact that young children and senior citizens aren't the ones designing the products they use and the spaces and places they inhabit. Some body biases reflect an outmoded physical environment that hasn't kept pace with the proliferation of oversized people and the increasing diversity of body types, both large and small.

Anthony says in Defined by Design that not all biases in design disadvantage people of one gender or the other. But when they do, the burden tends to fall disproportionately on women. Not all biases in design disadvantage people of a certain age group. But when they do, the burden falls disproportionately on children or the elderly. Not all biases in design disadvantage people of a certain body type. But when they do, the burden falls dispropor­tionately on the petite or oversized, in addition to those with physical disabilities, both visible and invisible – anyone who is ‘not average.’

An eye-opening, comprehensive account of how the design of everyday objects impacts our lives and our health – from cell phones to car seats, from shoes to restrooms, from homes to healthcare. Kathryn H. Anthony has written an immensely readable book that will cause you to look more closely at what you use, buy, and encounter each day, and to become more informed and critical consumers. – Clare Cooper Marcus, Professor Emerita, Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
In this original and provocative work, Kathryn H. Anthony questions dozens of products used regularly in the course of work and leisure.… Anthony demonstrates how the design of many objects promotes rather than inhibits human inequality – and, remarkably, she also proposes some solutions. Her message to readers: Take power back into the hands of consumers and demand changes! – Diane Ghirardo, Distinguished Professor, University of Southern California School of Architecture
Defined by Design analyzes how and where Americans struggle with bad design every day. Whether you are tall or short, young or old, male or female, able or disabled, Anthony advocates smarter, healthier, user-friendly design at every scale – from the body to the room, the building, and the city. Her book is recommended reading for industrial designers, architects, planners, and public officials. – Dolores Hayden, professor of architecture and urbanism, Yale University, and author of Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life
Finally, someone other than me, a small woman, understands that one size doesn’t fit all. Anthony gives a comprehensive look at gender, body, and age biases built into all types of consumer products and buildings, describing the harm that they cause. She goes even further by challenging us with a call to action, supporting products and legislation that are gender, body, and age neutral. A thoughtful read for those pursuing product and architecture development.
– Beth Brykman, author of The Best of Both Worlds: How Mothers Can Find Full-Time Satisfaction in Part-Time Work
Based on keen insight and concrete evidence, Defined by Design opens our eyes to the fit/misfit design of things and spaces that we encounter in our daily lives. With many illustrative examples, it is so lucid and clear that every reader will be able to understand the concept of ‘affordance’ – a fundamental linkage between human behavior and the environment – which is important both for experts to design better and for laymen to use better. – Ryuzo Ohno, DEng/Arch, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Lethal cribs, painful shoes, lecture podiums that eclipse wheelchair users – we are surrounded by things that just don’t work for us. This book exhorts us to wake up and push back on thoughtless, ineffectual, and dangerous design. Read it and take action! – Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of the Attention and the Coming Dark Age

Defined by Design spotlights how design shapes our lives, revealing how gender, age, and body biases affect everything we feel, think, and do. It offers valuable insights, guidelines, and tools for taking charge of everyday encounters with designs of all kinds so that readers can make smarter decisions about what they wear, where they live, where they work, how they commute, and what they buy for their children. It empowers readers to become more critical consumers and shows them stellar designs that work exceptionally well for the people who use them. No matter whether readers are parents, teachers, students, employers, or employees – and no matter where they are – in bed, on a plane, or even in their bathroom – Defined by Design will forever change how they experience the world.

Arts / Music / Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure, 1st edition edited by Roger Mantie & Gareth Dylan Smith (Oxford Handbooks Series: Oxford University Press)

Music has been a vital part of leisure activity across time and cultures. Contemporary commodification, commercialization, and consumerism, however, have created a chasm between concepts of music making and numerous realities in our world.

From a broad range of perspectives and approaches, this handbook explores avocational involvement with music as an integral part of the human condition. The chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure present many ways for reconsidering and refocusing attention back on the rich, exciting, and emotionally charged ways in which people of all ages make time for making music. The contexts discussed are broadly Western, including an eclectic variety of voices from scholars across fields and disciplines, framing complex and multifaceted phenomena that may be framed as music making and leisure.

The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure may be viewed as an attempt to reclaim music making and leisure as a serious concern for, among others, policy makers, scholars, and educators who perhaps risk eliding some or even most of the ways in which music – a vital part of human existence – is integrated into the everyday lives of people. As such, this handbook looks beyond the obvious, asking readers to consider anew, "What might we see when we think of music making as leisure?"

The editors are Roger Mantie, Assistant Professor of Music Education at Arizona State University and Gareth Dylan Smith, Facilitator of Online Learning in Music Education at Boston University. The book has 44 contributors.

The Oxford Handbooks series is a major initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and state-of-the-art survey of current thinking and research in a particular area. Specially commissioned essays from leading international figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with new perspectives on a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

Other Oxford Handbooks include:

  • The Oxford Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology edited by Svanibor Pettan and Jeff Todd Titon
  • The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics edited by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis
  • The Oxford Handbook of the New Cultural History of Music edited by Jane E Fulcher

Mantie and Smith say they are proud of how this first attempt at theorizing music making and leisure has come together in The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure and the potential significance it holds for informing the efforts of all those who care about avocational involvement with music as an integral part of the human condition. From inception through completion of the project, their aim has been to reveal interdisciplinary intersections, commonalities, differences, and disjunctures in scholarship related to what might be termed, nonpejoratively, ‘recreational music making’; the aim has never been to ‘speak’ on behalf of all people who include music among their many life interests.

The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure reminds readers that, while music has had and continues to fulfill many functions in human experience, leisure is, oddly, often the most conspicuous and the most overlooked – at least among formally trained musicians! While music has unquestionably played a major role in people's leisure for as long as we as a species have made musical sounds, academic interest in music making and leisure has been remarkably scant. Although leisure and recreation used to play a small part in American music education discourses in the first half of the twentieth century, such interest has long since vanished.

Threads interweave through the chapters and sections of the book, bonding an eclectic collection of contributions around the subject of music making and leisure.

Sections of The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure and their chapters include:

Part I. The chapters in Part I: Relationships to and with Music serve to illuminate various ways in which people relate to music. For others, music is a roughly equal part of the complex pattern of activities and relationships that comprise a life.

In the first three chapters, authors explore ways of construing and conceptualizing the contexts and characteristics of people's relationships with and to music. Marie McCarthy's retrospective (chapter 2) on Max Kaplan's scholarship sets the stage, demonstrating how this noted musician, sociologist, and leisure theorist, in many ways ahead of his time, construed intersections and interactions of music, education, and leisure in people's lives. The discussion then ranges from psychology, identity, selfhood, technology, music listening, and well-being (Hallam, Creech, and Varvarigou, chapter 3) to the international Musical Futures education initiative (D'Amore and Smith, chapter 4) that aims to harness the love that young people have for making music collaboratively and apply this effectively in schools.

Adam Patrick Bell (chapter 5) presents a furtive, first-hand account of compulsive musical collaboration in spaces typical of many popular music makers uncelebrated in mainstream literature and media. Pate and Kumm (chapter 6) present work on another kind of creativity – the construction and development of ‘mix tapes’ and the mediation of relationships through them, even as media continue to evolve. The final three chapters in this section explore emotional and challenging personal connections to music making. David Lines (chapter 7) presents the first of two autoethnographic contributions revolving around relationships with the guitar; Lines moves from autoethnographic meditations as an instrumentalist through a Foucaultian analysis of power relations in contemporary music education contexts. Kevin Rathunde and Russ Isabella (chapter 8) then deliver a highly personal account of a return to music making after a long hiatus; their story is a journey of reconnection with music performance and ensuing negotia­tions of family, work, and identity. Gareth Dylan Smith (chapter 9) concludes the section with a conceptualization of music making through the Aristotelian and inherently Western concept of ‘eudemonism.’

Part II. Interactions with music always mean something. Authors in Part II: Involvement and Meaning of The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure explore meaning in two broad contexts: in the first instance related more or less directly to education and enculturation, in the second from diverse cultural and theoretical angles. The first four chapters look, from a range of perspectives, at music making's connections with music learning. Stephanie Pitts (chapter 10) explores life histories of lapsed music makers, asking people about their discontinuation with music and what might have encouraged them to maintain or reignite their involvement. At the other end of a spectrum of musical involvement, Zack Moir (chapter 13) describes an out-of-school music education initiative in Scotland that addresses youth music making at the intersection of industry, leisure, identity, and learning. Between them are two personal accounts of meaning in making music. Sidsel Karlsen (chapter 11) considers building repertoires of musical agency, combining literature from sociology (of music education) and personal responses to experiences in music throughout life. Jennie Henley (chapter 12) examines learning, identities, and ‘possible selves’ among adult musicians and self-proclaimed ‘nonmusicians’ via several examples of collaborative, participatory ensemble music making, including an autoethnographic perspective.

The next five chapters help to remind us that learning and education, though important, represent but one dimension of music making and leisure. Andrew Krikun (chapter 14), for example, pans out to examine policy initiatives and dominant rationalities in the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s, and the extent to which these currents encouraged music making as leisure and recreation. Two chapters, employing contrasting methodological approaches, explore motivation in music making. Valerie Vaccaro (chapter 15) presents a comparative literature review across music education, psychology, and consumer behavior in order to propose a new theory of motivation. Serena Weren and colleagues (chapter 18) use social network analysis and self-determination theory to examine motivation in a U.S. collegiate marching band. The setting of two chapters shifts to the city of Leeds and the phenomenon of ‘black’ and/or ‘extreme’ metal music: Karl Spracklen (chapter 16) and Gabby Riches (chapter 17) seek to uncover depths of meaning in leisure, exploring, respectively, agency and myth making through Baudrillardian and Habermasian lenses, and the formation and negotiation of spaces and identities from a feminist poststructural narrative perspective. The breadth of approaches in this section opens the door to a rich ethnographic and autoethnographic buffet in Part III.

Part III. Location is central to every music making experience or activity. Often of equal or greater importance to music makers is the community within which music making is enabled, nurtured, challenged, and sustained. The chapters in Part III: Scenes, Spaces, and Places of The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure focus on physical, social, geographical, and virtual scenes, spaces, and places as sites and subjects of practice and research.

Robert Stebbins (chapter 19), whose ‘serious leisure perspective’ has become a landmark in the study of music making as leisure, offers a framework for viewing and understanding scenes, spaces, and places, including individual and collective manners of making music as leisure. In this section authors invoke and evoke the visceral, tangible sense of being there. Coauthors Hermione Ruck Keene and Lucy Green (chapter 20) examine eclectic accounts of the special amateur and professional music making community that has existed for decades at the Dartington Summer School in the U.K., while Ronnie Richards's remembered and fictional narratives (chapter 21) recall the vibrant, sometimes illegal Acid House party scene in the north of England in the late 1980s. Joseph Michael Pignato (chapter 22) evokes, through structured reminiscence, the poietic New Jersey basement space that was the backdrop to adolescence and the ontogeny of two lives in music. Brett Lashua (chapter 23) then takes drumming ‘to the city;’ as a participant musician-observer with various ensembles, exploring popular music rehearsal spaces and performance places in and around Liverpool.

The next three chapters visit collective and community spaces, beginning with Jenna Ward and Allan Watson's discussion (chapter 24) of the emotional labor of producers and sound engineers in the complex professional and leisure environments of recording studios. Chris Cayari (chapter 25) surveys music making practices and the user-generated content phenomenon on YouTube, exploring this online environment as a platform for individual and collaborative performance, learning, and other professional and non-professional practices. Also in the virtual domain, sociologists Alberto Trobia and Fabio M. Lo Verde (chapter 26) present an analysis from mixed-methods research into social networks in music making and music learning communities among Italian amateur rock musicians.

Part IV. The contributions in Part IV: On the Diversity of Music Making and Leisure of The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure are diverse in style, content, and approach, and share a sense of aliveness and contemporary relevance that, collectively, close a book that is keen to look to the future while it studies the present. First, Karen Fox (chapter 27) invites readers to consider holistic, embodied Indigenous music-dance making practices from Canadian Aboriginal hip-hop artists, and to embrace the ways that these and other hybridized practices play with space-time. Next, Jared O'Leary and Evan Tobias (chapter 28) delve into the highly specialized ‘sonic participatory culture’ of music composition and performance within games and gaming communities. The focus then shifts to the acoustic realm. Thomas Malone (chapter 29) transports readers to the dynamic, embodied, somewhat timeless community phenomenon of Sacred Harp singing, which, while deeply meaningful in the lives of participants, is practiced but never performed.

The last three chapters in the section seek to problematize music as leisure. Shara Rambarran (chapter 30) examines the contested notion of performance in laptop music making, arguing for a consideration of the computer as a uniquely capable musical instrument. Next, Gillian Howell and colleagues (chapter 31), drawing on the UK tradition of ‘community music;’ present examples of music leadership as intervention and the facilitation of nonexpert participatory music making pursued for social and political ends. Finally, coeditor Roger Mantie (chapter 32) closes the section and The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure with a critical homage to the work of sociomusicologist, activist, and ‘groovologist’ Charles Keil, inviting readers to consider ‘all education as leisure education.’

The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure contrib­utes to interdisciplinary, global conversations about music making as an intrinsic part of human existence. Throughout the chapters, one is reminded of the nuances and complexity of leisure and the variegated roles and meanings that music plays within it. The frame of ‘music making and leisure’ presents and permits possibilities, provocation, and other potentialities, both explicit and implied. The book may inspire readers to think differently and to encourage the same in others and perhaps help to effect positive change in the world.

Audio / Law / Criminology / Policing

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission Audio CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged, running time: 14 hours by Barry Friedman, with audio read by Sean Pratt (Tantor Audio)

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission – Hardcover by Barry Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Police play an indispensable role in our society. But our failure to supervise them has left us all in peril.

In June 2013, documents leaked by Edward Snowden sparked widespread debate about secret government surveillance of Americans. Just over a year later, the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, set off protests and triggered concern about militarization and discriminatory policing. In Unwarranted Barry Friedman argues that these two seemingly disparate events are connected – and that the problem is not so much the policing agencies as it is the rest of us. We allow these agencies to operate in secret and to decide how to police us, rather than calling the shots ourselves. The courts, which we depended upon to supervise policing, have let us down entirely.

Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the director of the Policing Project. For thirty years, he has taught, written about, and litigated issues of constitutional law and criminal procedure. The audio version is read by Sean Pratt, a working actor for over twenty-five years, who has performed at numerous regional theaters around the country. He has recorded over seven hundred books in just about every genre, earning eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and four Audie Award nominations.

Unwarranted is filled with stories of ordinary people whose lives were sundered by policing gone awry. Driven by technology, policing has changed dramatically from cops seeking out bad guys, to mass surveillance of all of society – backed by an increasingly militarized capability. Unwarranted tells the stories of those whose lives were torn apart by the methods of cops on the beat and those of the FBI and NSA. Policing falls particularly heavily on minority communities and the poor, but as Unwarranted makes clear, the effects of policing are much broader still. Policing is everyone’s problem.

At a time when policing in America is at a crossroads, Barry Friedman provides much-needed insight, analysis, and direction in his thoughtful new book. Unwarranted illuminates many of the often ignored issues surrounding how we police in America and highlights why reform is so urgently needed. This revealing book comes at a critically important time and has much to offer all who care about fair treatment and public safety. – Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

An important book about the 21st-century rules of engagement for counter-terrorism, police work, surveillance and crime prevention ... Unwarranted shakes us from what we've allowed ourselves to accept. – Matt Welch, The Wall Street Journal

Friedman's lively writing and clarity of expression enable him to make the thicket of applicable Fourth Amendment law readily understandable for general readers, helpfully illuminated by the personal stories behind the case law. At once creative and conservative, Friedman offers a timely blueprint for recovering democratic control of local and national law enforcement. – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Drawing on landmark court cases, extensive history, and incisive analysis, Friedman takes a hard look at current problems and proposes astute and well-researched solutions in favor of more 'democratic and constitutional' policing ... [Unwarranted] is the definitive guide to contemporary policing and its necessary reforms. – Publishers Weekly

A powerful manifesto against unbalanced policing methodologies and an illuminating and sobering critique of political and legal forces in the U.S. – Booklist

This important, accessible book diagnoses the many pathologies of modern policing in contexts ranging from inner-city crime to terrorism. Barry Friedman lays the responsibility for our policing ills somewhat on courts but primarily on us, the policed. He provides fresh, concrete guidance for how judges and the American people can make modern policing democratically accountable, lawful, and effective. – Jack Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of law at Harvard University

In Unwarranted, Barry Friedman takes us on a journey through America’s problems with policing and surveillance to confront a hard but necessary truth. Our nation’s problem with policing reflects a failure of democratic engagement. This book makes a necessary and, until now, missing contribution to our national conversation about policing reform. – Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The notoriously broad discretion that police routinely exercise in enforcing the law has long been accepted as a necessary element of the job. Unwarranted calls into question that received wisdom, and makes a stirring case for holding accountable the most powerful public servants in most people’s daily lives. – David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU and author of No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System

In this remarkably lucid and persuasive book, Barry Friedman forces us to confront the most difficult, uncomfortable question about policing: not what should the police do, but what do we want the police to do? With insight and passion, Unwarranted lays out a vision for truly democratic policing. A must-read. – Chris Hayes, host of All In with Chris Hayes and author of Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy

Unwarranted is a critical, timely intervention into debates about policing, a call to take responsibility for governing those who govern us. Friedman captures the new eerie environment in which CCTV, location tracking, and predictive policing have made us all suspects, while proliferating SWAT teams and increased use of force puts everyone at risk. His argument for real democratic accountability in policing is fresh and offers hope.

Business & Economics

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen (St. Martin’s Press)

Americans are in fact working much harder than before to postpone change, or to avoid it altogether, and that is true whether we’re talking about corporate competition, changing residences or jobs, or building things. In an age when it is easier than ever before to dig in, the psychological resistance to change has become progressively stronger. – from the book

Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change has produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs.

The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen in The Complacent Class, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition – we’re working harder than ever to avoid change. We're moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else.

Cowen holds the Holbert L. Harris chair in economics at George Mason University.

Of course, this ‘matching culture’ brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create.
 Cowen in The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our nearsightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their slumber – to embrace their restless tradition again.

Tyler Cowen's blog, Marginal Revolution, is the first thing I read every morning. And his brilliant new book, The Complacent Class, has been on my nightstand after I devoured it in one sitting. I am at round-the-clock Cowen saturation right now. – Malcolm Gladwell

Tyler Cowen is an international treasure. Endlessly inventive and uniquely wide-ranging, he has produced a novel account of what ails us: undue complacency. No one but Cowen would ask, 'Why Americans stopped rioting and instead legalized marijuana.' He admires risk-taking, and he likes restlessness, and he thinks the United States needs lots more of both. Don't be complacent: Read this book! – Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard University

A book that will undoubtedly stir discussion – Kirkus

Brilliantly stimulating, The Complacent Class may make a few of us get up off the couch and perhaps, turn off the television for a few minutes.

Business & Economics / Psychology

Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined by Scott Sonenshein (HarperBusiness)

We often think the key to success and satisfaction is to get more: more money, time, and possessions; bigger budgets, job titles, and teams; and additional resources for our professional and personal goals. According to Stretch, it turns out we’re wrong.

Using stories to illustrate research in psychology and management, Rice University professor Scott Sonenshein examines why some people and organizations succeed with so little, while others fail with so much.

Sonenshein, who has worked at a Silicon Valley start-up and as a strategy consultant for companies such as AT&T and Microsoft, is the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University.

As he explains in Stretch, people and organizations approach resources in two different ways: ‘chasing’ and ‘stretching.’ When chasing, we exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of more. When stretching, we embrace the resources we already have. This frees us to find creative and productive ways to solve problems, innovate, and engage our work and lives more fully.

Stretch shows why everyone – from executives to entrepreneurs, professionals to parents, athletes to artists – performs better with constraints; why seeking too many resources undermines work and well-being; and why even those with a lot benefit from making the most out of a little. Drawing from examples in business, education, sports, medicine, and history, Sonenshein advocates a powerful framework of resourcefulness that allows anybody to work and live better.

In Stretch, Sonenshein uses the latest social science findings, his own research, and dozens of stories from business and culture to show readers how to reach their goals through the science of resourcefulness – a distinct skill set and approach that lets people accomplish more without having more.

Although people rarely have all they think they need, Sonenshein writes, they have far more than they realize. Stretch is a practical, inspiring book.

We rarely have as much of anything as we want, but we can learn to do more with it. Scott Sonenshein is a gifted thinker whose insights have sharpened my work for over a decade, and his fascinating debut book reveals how resourcefulness is a skill that’s waiting to be learned. Get ready to unleash your inner MacGyver. – Adam Grant, bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take
I always appreciate a book that challenges me, forces me to think, and creates constructive discomfort. And I especially value such a book when its key conclusions have a base of research. Dr. Sonenshein has accomplished all this with
Stretch, and I am thankful for the chance to grow from reading his work. – Jim Collins, bestselling author of Good to Great and Great by Choice
It’s easy to feel like we never have enough time, resources, or money. Scott Sonenshein’s surprising and entertaining book inspires and instructs us to make the most out of what we already have. The result is more – more creativity, more engagement, and more satisfaction
. – Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of To Sell is Human and Drive
Stretch is a masterpiece. Whether you want to build a better life or a better business, Scott Sonenshein reveals how the power of constraints sets you free and why the lust for more is bad for your mental health and – ironically – your personal success and the success of your business. I love the stories, rigorous research, and especially, how Sonenshein’s warmth and wisdom fill every page and make Stretch a joy to read. – Robert Sutton, Stanford professor and author of The No Asshole Rule
Well-informed and frequently enlightening…Sonenshein is an amiable guide to attaining the benefits of stretching. A convincing argument within a compelling narrative – recommended for business managers and resourceful individuals alike. – Kirkus

In Silicon Valley successful entrepreneurs value constraints to help define both the problem and solution. In Stretch, Scott Sonenshein explains how to turn limitations into valuable assets, helping us achieve our goals both at work and at home. – Ann Doerr, Chairman, Kahn Academy
A smart yet accessible book that will appeal to readers interested in simplifying their careers and lives. – Library Journal

Captivating and thought provoking, Stretch is a groundbreaking approach to succeeding in business and life, using the science of resourcefulness. We have all been taught that in order to get more out of our love lives, our families, and even our homes, we need to invest more, more, more. But this new book shows us the error of our ways.

Computers & Internet / Programming / Mac

macOS Support Essentials 10.12: Supporting and Troubleshooting macOS Sierra, 1st edition by Kevin White & Gordon Davisson (Apple Pro Training Series: Peachpit Press)

This is the official curriculum of the macOS Support Essentials 10.12 course and preparation for Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) 10.12 certification – as well as a top-notch primer for anyone who needs to support, troubleshoot, or optimize macOS Sierra. The only Apple-certified book on the market, macOS Support Essentials 10.12 is designed for support technicians, help desk specialists, and ardent Mac users and takes readers deep inside the macOS Sierra operating system. Students will find in-depth, step-by-step instruction on everything from installing and configuring macOS Sierra to managing networks and system administration – all on their way to preparing for the industry-standard ACSP certification.

macOS Support Essentials 10.12:

  • Covers updated system utilities and new features of macOS Sierra, including Siri and Optimized Storage.
  • Features authoritative explanations of underlying technologies, troubleshooting, and system administration.
  • Takes readers step by step through practical, real-world tasks.
  • Includes lesson files and bonus material available for download – including lesson review questions to help prepare them for the Apple certification exam.
  • Provides full text through the Web Edition of the book available online as part of the Content Update Program with revised content for significant software updates.

Authors are Kevin M. White and Gordon Davisson. White serves the Apple community through his company, Macjutsu Inc., which is dedicated to sharing knowledge of the ‘Apple way.’ He is a trainer and a regular presenter at Apple industry events. Davisson has spent over 20 years working with Apple hardware and software and designing and implementing networking solutions. An Apple Certified System Administrator, Davisson has also been an Apple Certified Trainer since 2002 and is a consultant and instructor teaching macOS and other courses.

The Apple Pro Training Series is both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum of the Apple Training and Certification program. Upon completing the course material in macOS Support Essentials 10.12, readers can become Apple Certified Support Professionals by passing the macOS Support Essentials 10.12 Exam. Students work through this book as self-study material or attend a class at an Apple Authorized Training Provider.

Whether readers are experienced system administrators or they just want to dig deeper into macOS, they will learn the technical information and processes that ACSP IT professionals use to install, configure, maintain, diagnose, and troubleshoot Mac computers that run macOS Sierra. This guide gives readers an in-depth tour of macOS. It also teaches them how to best support macOS users and troubleshoot their systems. After completing this guide, they should be able to:

  • Explain how macOS works.
  • Explain best practices for configuring and using macOS.
  • Explain macOS troubleshooting and repair procedures.
  • Demonstrate macOS diagnostic and repair tools.

For the most part, the exercises in this guide work in the classroom or at home.

Students use macOS Support Essentials 10.12 in the macOS Support Essentials 10.12 course, a three-day, hands-on course that provides in-depth training on macOS Sierra. Apple Certified Trainers teach each course and give presentations and demonstrations. Students practice macOS support with hands-on student exercises.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Eat More Greens: The Most Inventive Recipes to Help You Eat More Greens by Zita Steyn, with photography by Nassima Röthacker (Quadrille Publishing)

We know we should eat more greens, but we so easily get stuck in a rut and just steam some broccoli or green beans, time and time again. The recipes in Eat More Greens demonstrate how to incorporate leafy greens, green vegetables, and herbs in new and exciting ways in any meal. Soups, sauces, dips, sides, mains, salads, juices, and bakes – there are so many ways with greens, whether they're the star of the meal or concealed in a dish to make them kid-friendly.
Forget boring healthy eating says Zita Steyn: the key to eating well is to have the inspiration to make interesting and varied dishes that pack a nutritional punch while still being delicious. Alongside inventive recipes, Eat More Greens also has an at-a-glance guide to cooking all sorts of greens to accompany a meal.

Steyn, originally from South Africa, completed the Chef's Training Program at the National Gourmet Institute in New York in 2013, moved to London and now hosts workshops, consults for businesses (including schools and catering companies), hosts supper clubs and teaches individuals – all on the subject of nutrition and how to incorporate healthy food into everyday life.

It can be hard to know how to cook greens in interesting ways. This beautiful book celebrates greens and herbs in more than 90 recipes that include soups, mains, dips, salads, and even cakes.

The book includes:

  • Fresh new guide to incorporating greens in the everyday diet.
  • Creative ways to encourage children to eat more greens.
  • Information on the nutritional benefits of all different types of green vegetables.

Eat More Greens is the perfect for people interested in Meatless Mondays or wanting to try veganism.

Anyone can put something on a plate and call it dinner, but only those who know the art of combining flavors and how to use all the varied aromatics nature has to offer can serve up a meal that is not only medicine for the body, but food for the soul. Let Eat More Greens show cooks the way!

Entertainment & Sports / Journalism / History

Once There Were Giants: The Golden Age of Heavyweight Boxing by Jerry Izenberg (Skyhorse Publishing)

Once upon a time, of all the memories made in ballparks and arenas from California to New York, there was nothing to rival that magic moment that could grab a heavyweight fight crowd by its collective jugular vein and trigger a tsunami of raw emotion before a single punch had even been thrown.
A new book from legendary sportswriter Jerry Isenberg, as witnessed throughout his illustrious sixty-year career, Once There Were Giants is a celebration and memorial of the greatest era of heavyweight fighters from 1962 to 1997.
Izenberg has been a sportswriter and columnist at the Star-Ledger for fifty-four of his sixty-five years in the business. He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, and the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey, and he is the only sportswriter to be inducted into the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame.

By the ringside, Izenberg watched history as it was being made during those legendary days, witnessing fights like the Thrilla in Manila and the Rumble in the Jungle and preserving them in punchy yet tremendous prose. Delivering both his eyewitness accounts and revelatory back stories of this greatest era of heavyweight boxing, Izenberg invites readers to a place of recollection.
Included in Once There Were Giants are Izenberg's observations and reflections on legendary fights such as Ali-Frazier III in Manila, Ali-Forman in Zaire, and the championship fights of Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, and many others. There will never again be a heavyweight cycle like the one that began when Sonny Liston stopped Floyd Patterson and ended when Mike Tyson bit a slice out of Evander Holyfield's ear; when no ersatz drama, smoke, mirrors, and noise followed a fighter's entry into the ring; when the crowds knew that these men were not actors on a stage but rather giants in a ring with a single purpose – to fight other giants.

I was there. So was Jerry Izenberg. This is the way it was. – Larry Holmes, former heavyweight champion
I have yet to find someone with as much knowledge of boxing as Jerry Izenberg. – Joe Cortez, referee and International Boxing Hall of Famer
Once There Were Giants is a history lesson that dances the way Ali did and packs the wallop of Frazier’s left hook. Only Jerry Izenberg, with sixty-plus years of no-BS reporting and bristling prose behind him, could have brought back to life the greatest era boxing’s heavyweights ever saw. He knew the fighters from Liston and Foreman to Holmes and Tyson, and he had a pipeline to the mob guys, corner men, TV executives, and flimflamming promoters. There isn’t another sports writer in America who’s been at ringside so long or tells the stories he found there so memorably. – John Schulian, coeditor, At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing
Jerry Izenberg has written the most accurate and entertaining boxing book I have ever read.
– Freddie Roach, seven-time Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year
The way it was from the most prolific boxing writer I know. – Marc Ratner, former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission
The facts are a revelation.... the emotions of the characters involved were a great insight. – Bill Parcells, former head coach of the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys
Most useful as an introduction to the era between 1962 and 1997 for the uninitiated, or a trip down memory lane for hard-core fans. – Library Journal
A vivid tribute to the heavyweight division, from Floyd Patterson’s time through Mike Tyson’s.... a requiem for the days when everybody knew the name of the champ. – LA Daily News

Telling it like it was, Once There Were Giants is Izenberg’s memorial to an extraordinary time, the likes of which we shall never see again.

History / Intellectual

Civil Wars: A History in Ideas – Deckle Edge by David Armitage (Alfred A. Knopf)

The age of civil war in the West may be over, but elsewhere in the last two decades it has exploded – from the Balkans to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Sri Lanka, and most recently Syria.

Civil Wars traces the least understood and most intractable form of organized human aggression from Ancient Rome through the centuries to the present day.
We think we know civil war when we see it. Yet ideas of what it is, and what it isn't, have a long and contested history, from its fraught origins in republican Rome to debates in early modern Europe to our present day.

In a highly original study, Civil Wars: A History in Ideas, historian and Harvard professor David Armitage traces the long and contested history of this least understood and most intractable form of organized aggression. He offers a wide-angle perspective, allowing readers to see just what has been at stake, and what still remains at issue, in civil wars over the past two thousand years. Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University, where he teaches intellectual history and international history, and former Chair of Harvard's History Department.

Armitage begins Civil Wars with the Romans, who invented civil war (war between citizens) as we know it, and traces the legacies of their conceptions of civil war across the following centuries. He focuses on turning points in the meaning of the term – the first, in the late eighteenth century, when civil war had to be distinguished from revolution; the second, in the mid-nineteenth century, during the American civil war; and the third during the late phases of the Cold War, when social scientists used the term to analyze conflicts during an era of proxy wars and decolonization. Defining the term remains acutely political, for ideas about what makes a war `civil' often depend on whether one is a ruler or a rebel, and it can influence whether or not other nations choose to get involved – from the American revolution to the war in Iraq.

As he turns to the present day, Armitage explores how civil wars have become increasingly globalized, often spilling across borders and activating forces from neighboring countries or intervention by outside powers. And these civil wars, coupled with the rise of international terrorism, raise the specter of a ‘global civil war’ emerging to encompass the whole world.

"The attendant challenges to security and stability make it appear that ours is not a world at peace," Armitage writes, "it is a world of civil war."

In Civil Wars Armitage traces the evolution of an explosive concept, not to pin down a proper meaning but to show why it remains so slippery... In an era of transnational populism and anti-globalist revolt, this [book] is resonant. The meaning of civil war, as Mr. Armitage shows, is as messy and multifaceted as the conflict it describes. His book offers an illuminating guide through the 2,000-year muddle and does a good job of filling a conspicuous void in the literature of conflict. – The Economist
Learned… Indispensable
… [Armitage’s] book is a model of its kind: concise, winningly written, clearly laid out, trenchantly argued…His conclusion is sobering: human societies may never be without this kind of conflict, and we’re better off trying to understand it than ignoring its problematic nature. It’s hard to imagine a more timely work for today. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
A profound contribution to political philosophy. – Booklist, starred review
A probing examination of the history of civil war and why it matters to define it precisely… an erudite work by a top-shelf scholar. – Kirkus Reviews
In this dazzling book, David Armitage illuminates this ancient scourge with fresh insight. Ranging from Rome to the American Civil War to Rwanda, powerfully using thinkers from Cicero to Rawls to make sense of centuries of revolutionary and nationalist turmoil,
Civil Wars fully achieves the promise of a genuinely international history. Packed with wisdom and learning, elegantly written and vigorously argued, this is a magnificent field guide to our current crises in Syria and elsewhere. – Gary Bass, author of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide
Civil Wars, once confined to individual states have now become ‘global.’ We all live increasingly with the consequences. David Armitage’s book – learned, powerful and elegant – is, however, the first to chart how our understanding of what a civil war is has changed over time, from ancient Rome, where the concept was first invented, to modern Syria. Armitage has written a ‘history in ideas’ which circulated among many different social groups – not least of all the military – at many different intellectual levels and in many different idioms. These are ideas that mattered; and they continue to matter. Civil Wars succeeds brilliantly in its ambition to ‘uncover the origins of our present discontents. – Anthony Pagden, author of The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters
Today, as we contemplate how to respond to an unsettled world, every citizen can profit from Armitage’s learned and pathbreaking examination of this unique, and uniquely terrible, form of human aggression
. – Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History

A highly original history, Civil Wars is a guide for our troubled times. Its unique perspective on the roots and dynamics of civil war, and on its shaping force in our conflict-ridden world, is essential to the ongoing effort to grapple with this seemingly interminable problem.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Jewelry

One Jump Ring: Endless Possibilities for Chain Mail Jewelry by Lauren Andersen (Kalmbach Books)

Welcome to the world of chain mail. One Jump Ring uses only one size jump ring to complete all the projects in the book.

Included are twenty-five everyday chain mail projects using only one size ring: 3/16", 18 gauge (or 4.75mm). One Jump Ring features tips throughout to help readers master chain mail. Crafters build confidence as they move from simple to more complex designs while learning several common weaves such as Box Chain, Byzantine, Mobius, Barrel Weave, Double Spiral, European 4-in-1, and Shaggy Loops.

Lauren Andersen, ‘the ChainMaille Lady’, has been creating chain mail jewelry for more than 10 years. She teaches at bead shops and at shows across the country, is a longtime member of the Beadalon Design Team, and has been a frequent guest on the national TV show Beads, Baubles and Jewels, and Television’s Jewel School.

If readers are interested in working with chain mail but are wary about the investment of time and supplies, One Jump Ring is the book they need. They will only need one size jump ring to make any project in this book, but by learning many weaves, they will get many looks. Just one size to buy and just one size to learn means a simpler, streamlined road to success.

Features of One Jump Ring include:

  • No need to count different ring sizes.
  • 25 projects: bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.
  • Clear, step-by-step instructions from an expert.
  • Learn multiple weaves for a variety of looks.

Andersen chooses enamel-coated copper jump rings because she feels they are the easiest to manipulate. Readers will not have to use brute strength to open and close their jump rings. And they come in brilliant colors.

Each project has an introduction, a list of materials needed for the project, and the tools needed to complete the piece. Some of the projects also include tips that readers may find helpful.

Andersen explains how to set up a basic workspace, how to open and close jump rings so they are flush, and the importance of the orientation of clasps and earring wires. She also teaches readers how to make their own earring wires and clasps and how to make double-loop bead connectors. She uses enamel-coated jump rings in her projects, but readers can use sterling silver, silver-filled, copper, brass, or any other metal as well.

Making fabulous chain mail jewelry just got easier with One Jump Ring. Andersen teaches a simplified approach that doesn't sacrifice style. And the book’s instructions are easy to follow, resulting in quality-looking finished pieces.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Making Pottery You Can Use: Plates that stack – Lids that fit – Spouts that pour – Handles that stay on by Jacqui Atkin (Barron’s Educational Series)

Everyone who owns a beloved mug that has just the right handle, an agreeably deep cereal bowl, or a plate that fits perfectly in the dishwasher knows that once they have found these pieces, they wish they had more of them. In Making Pottery You Can Use, readers will learn how to create the pieces that work best for them. Each element of the creative process is explained, including:

  • Deciding the function of the item.
  • Working out proportions and making basic drawings.
  • Choosing the right clay and tools.
  • Design decisions, techniques to consider, variations to contemplate.
  • Picking the best method: throwing, slabbing, or coiling.
  • Choosing food-safe glazes.

Successful teacher, designer, and author Jacqui Atkin in Making Pottery You Can Use explains how to throw and hand-build pieces that are beautiful and practical, from plates, cups, and saucers to casserole dishes, pitchers, and tureens. Atkin is a professional studio ceramicist whose work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the UK and is currently in public collections at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the City Museum, Stoke on Trent.

In Making Pottery You Can Use readers learn how to create hand-built pieces that are beautiful and practical, from plates, cups, and saucers to casserole dishes, pitchers, and tureens. Each element of the creative process is explained, including choosing the right clay and tools; picking the best method, whether it's throwing, slabbing, or coiling; and choosing food-safe glazes.

Making Pottery You Can Use is about making functional ceramics and the focus is predominantly on the ‘making.’ The practical considerations are the main topic – the things that make something fit for a purpose and the details that make it pleasing to use or even store in the cupboard. The content has been pared back, concentrating on the basic methods of throwing, coiling, and slabbing, using molds sometimes and other props to aid construction.

All the projects in Making Pottery You Can Use have been devised for the maker in a small studio environment, with minimal equipment and tools, and basic making skills. All the information needed to make individual and unique ceramics is included, but the book is by no means a definitive guide – simply a place to start from.

At the beginning, readers will find an overview of clay and kilns (Chapter 1: Before You Begin) and, toward the end, a refresher course in the main making methods (Chapter 7: Making Methods). The final part is a resource section containing a glossary of tools and one of terms, and some useful templates for making pots. Chapters 3 through 6 are organized by vessel. Each vessel is explored via the three different making methods: throwing, coiling, and slabbing. The page looks at the ‘architecture’ for a sample vessel.

Readers can create cups, mugs, bowls, and more pieces that are perfect for them using Making Pottery You Can Use. This inspiring instructional title lets crafters and hobbyists share their personality and creativity through gorgeous handmade gifts – for themselves or for family and friends – that marry beauty, form, and function.

Human Rights / Policy / International

World Report 2017: Events of 2016 by Human Rights Watch, with an introduction by Kenneth Roth (World Report Series: Seven Stories Press)

Rights by their nature do not admit an a la carte approach. You may not like your neighbors, but if you sacrifice their rights today, you weaken your own tomorrow, because ultimately rights are grounded on the reciprocal duty to treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. – from the book

The human rights records of more than ninety countries and territories are put into perspective in Human Rights Watch's signature yearly report, World Report 2017.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, and operates in more than eighty countries. Its annual World Report is the most probing review of human rights developments available anywhere.

More than 200 Human Rights Watch staff contributed to World Report 2017; Danielle Haas, Senior Editor, oversaw the editing; Aditi Shetty, Program Office Associate, managed the logistics. Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, the largest US-based international human rights organization. He has conducted numerous human rights investigations and missions around the world. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 1987, Roth served as a federal prosecutor in New York and for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington, DC.

The 687-page World Report 2017, its 27th edition, is the Human Rights Watch's annual flagship publication – reviewing human rights practices and serving as a key resource for thousands of journalists, academics and human rights activists worldwide. Released January 13, 2017, the report surveys several of the most daunting security challenges of the last year – including the rise of demagogues and authoritarian leaders, the refugee crisis and the growing conflict in the Middle East – stressing the important role that human rights violations played in those crises, as well as offering strategies for elevating human rights standards on the ground.

In his introductory essay, Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power but as an impediment to the majority will.

World Report 2017 is divided into two main parts: an essay section, and country-specific chapters.

In his keynote essay, "The Dangerous Rise of Populism: Global Attacks on Human Rights Values," Roth examines the rise of leaders who, claiming to speak for ‘the people’ amid rising public discontent over the status quo, reject rights as an impediment to their perception of the majority will. Roth sees such unrestrained majoritarianism and assaults on government checks and balances as "perhaps the greatest danger today to the future of democracy in the West." Rather than taking on this surge of populist attacks on human rights, he says, too many Western leaders are lying low, "hoping the winds of populism will blow over." Some seem to think that echoing populists' positions will mitigate their rise rather than reinforcing their message. Others, such as Russia's Vladimir Putin, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Abdet Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, and Syria's Bashar al-Assad, appear emboldened in their repressive path by the rise of Western populism, and by the West's muted response.

This global assault on human rights, Roth says, requires "a vigorous reaffirmation and defense" of its basic values, with media, civil society, and government all having important parts to play. But the real responsibility, he says, lies with the public, who via nongovernmental organizations, political parties, and traditional and social media, offer the best antidote to demagogues' lies by demanding "a politics based on truth and the values on which rights-respecting democracy has been built."

In the second essay, "When Exposing Abusers Is Not Enough: Strategies to Confront the Shameless," Akshaya Kumar examines the traditional human rights strategy of ‘naming and shaming’ those who violate human rights. Increasingly, she notes, that approach is being undermined by human rights abusers who revel in their atrocities, rather than hide them, and even use them to entice new followers. Human rights activists, Kumar argues, need to adapt their own tactics accordingly, by taking on those who enable abusers – financial backers, arms suppliers, and other networks that make their rights violations possible – and drawing on the expertise of those who map such systems. Fears of extremist armed attacks continue to drive legal and policy change in much of the world. Suicide bombers and gunmen have killed hundreds of people and injured thousands more outside of traditional conflict areas in recent years. Governments are responsible for protecting their populations from such attacks, but, as Letta Tayler writes in "Overreach: How New Global Counterterrorism Measures Jeopardize Rights," many attempt to do so by adopting laws and policies that are dangerously overbroad or intrusive, and thus counterproductive. Tayler focuses on two recent trends: a proliferation of counterterrorism laws, many aimed at so-called Foreign Terrorist Fighters (‘FTFs’); and declarations of states of emergency. The solutions, she says, include reforming counterterrorism laws – for example, narrow­ing the definition of terrorism and mandating rigorous oversight of potential abuses – and limiting the scope and duration of emergency powers to the minimum that is genuinely necessary.

In "The Internet is Not the Enemy: As Rights Move Online, Human Rights Standards Move with Them," Dinah PoKempner identifies a troubling dichotomy between the principles of internet freedom that governments publicly support, and the practical steps they take back home that run counter to them, particularly intrusive surveillance. She presents three features of online speech that make it particularly powerful, and hard to regulate – its lack of inhibition, its longevity, and its cross-border reach – challenges that she says demand a "doubling down on privacy and freedom of speech, rather than giving up on them." Noting that some rights-limiting steps are sometimes warranted, indeed necessary, she stresses the evaluation of ‘necessity and proportionality’ in regulation, as well as the requirements of transparency, independent oversight, and avenues of appeal and redress.

Education is often a casualty for children caught up in conflict and persecution. For older children, particularly, it has become an ‘impossible dream.’ Today, less than a quarter of the world's nearly 2 million secondary school-aged refugee adolescents attend school. Girls are often most affected. In the final essay, "The Lost Years: Secondary Education for Children in Emergencies," Bassam Khawaja, Elfin Martinez, and Bill Van Esveld identify the causes of these ‘lost years’ as primary-school focused funding, and restrictive refugee policies that limit the ability of displaced children to attend and stay in school. To address them, they say, humanitarian actors and donors need to place more emphasis on secondary education, and address the physical, social, economic, policy, and linguistic barriers that make it hard for older children to get an education.

The rest of World Report 2017 consists of individual country entries, each of which identifies significant human rights abuses, examines the freedom of local human rights defenders to conduct their work, and surveys the response of key international actors, such as the United Nations, European Union, African Union, United States, China, and various regional and international organizations and institutions.

World Report 2017 reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2016, usually in close partnership with human rights activists and groups in the country in question. It also reflects the work of their advocacy team, which monitors policy developments and strives to persuade governments and international institutions to curb abuses and promote human rights.

The factors the staff considered in determining the focus of their work in 2016 (and hence the content of this volume) include the number of people affected and the severity of abuse, access to the country and the availability of information about it, the susceptibility of abusive forces to influence, and the importance of addressing certain thematic concerns and of reinforcing the work of local rights organizations.

Reflecting extensive investigative work undertaken in 2016 by Human Rights Watch staff, partnering with domestic activists, World Report 2017 is an invaluable resource for journalists, diplomats, and citizens, and is a must-read for anyone interested in the fight to protect human rights in every corner of the globe.

Literature & Fiction / Novels

The News from the End of the World: A Novel by Emily Jeanne Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Betrayal. Lies. Resentment. Relationships that survive on these things are never easy to deal with, let alone represent. Emily Jeanne Miller's second novel, The News from the End of the World, graciously portrays the spectrum of values any modern, American family can hold, and the difficulties in maintaining a committed family when dealing with them.

So in The News from the End of the World readers meet the lovable but dysfunctional Lake family over the four days that will make or break them.
When Vance Lake – broke, jobless, and recently dumped – takes refuge with twin brother Craig back home on Cape Cod, he unwittingly finds himself smack in the middle of a crisis that will test the bonds of even the most cohesive family, let alone the Lakes. Craig is strangely mournful and angry at equal turns. His exasperated wife, Gina, is on the brink of an affair. At the center of it all is seventeen-year-old Amanda: adored niece, rebellious daughter, and stubborn stepdaughter. She’s also pregnant.
What transpires in the next four days tests the patience of all involved, and prompts readers to question what they would do, in this all-too-real scenario. Told in alternating points of view by each member of this New England clan, and infused with the charm of the Cape in the off-season, The News from the End of the World follows one family into a crucible of pent-up resentments, old and new secrets, and memories long buried.

Miller worked as a journalist for several western newspapers before going back to school. Her short stories have appeared in the Portland Review and the North American Review, and she has been a resident at Yaddo and at the Vermont Studio Center.

Is home the answer or the end of the road? A beautifully crafted, emotional portrait of a Cape Cod family whose teenage daughter may not be the only one out of options. The austere beauty of the off-season landscape seems to bring out hard truths and scour away secrets. I loved it. – Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War
The News from the End of the World is my favorite kind of book, bighearted and full of complicated flawed characters stumbling through love and life, making hard choices, making mistakes, and making the reader fall in love with every one of them. I loved this novel! – Ann Hood, author of The Book that Matters Most
With wonderfully crafted characters and expert pacing, Miller has written the kind of narrative that readers crave: a beautifully written, hard-to put-down story that will stay with readers long after the book has been closed. – Booklist
Immersive… The unique landscape of Cape Cod in the off season sets the stage for Miller’s poignant, fast-paced family drama. Told in alternating points of view, this gripping novel gets to the heart of the familial trust, independence, and the struggle to overcome the past in order to forge a happier future. – Publishers Weekly
In
The News from the End of the World, Emily Jeanne Miller deftly shows how lifetimes can be contained in four days, how memories inhabit a place, and how returning home is always to confront oneself. The characters in this novel consistently surprised me; they find grace in quiet moments, forgiveness when least expected. And it’s all so beautifully written that by the end I felt as if I had lived in this town my whole life, and could walk its haunted streets. – Peter Rock, author of My Abandonment 
Emily Jeanne Miller’s
The News from the End of the World recalls Tolstoy’s line that 'every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,' an idea less tragic than simply true; shared pain is what solders us. This is a book about the soldering of one family, about the love between brothers and sisters and fathers and daughters all written in heartbreaking, true and gorgeous prose. – Lea Carpenter, author of Eleven Days
Emily Jeanne Miller is a master storyteller. In her brilliant
The News from the End of the World, she summons a way of seeing reminiscent of Virginia Woolf: the male characters are as vivid as the female, and as their stories unfold, you cannot look away. This moving and deeply satisfying novel weaves several stories over a New England weekend, without one false note. I will be thinking about the Lake family for a long time. – Robert Bausch, author of Far as the Eye Can See and A Hole in the Earth

The News from the End of the World will keep readers captivated and entertained. With intelligence, and authority, Miller writes of a young woman's personal decision, and the family consequences that come from it.

Politics / Activism / Middle East

Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East by Rachel Aspden (Other Press)

Generation Revolution unravels the complex forces shaping the lives of four young Egyptians on the eve and in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and what their stories mean for the future of the Middle East.
In 2003 Rachel Aspden arrived in Egypt as a 23-year-old journalist. She found a country on the brink of change. Aspden became literary editor of the New Statesman in 2006, at the age of 26. She now reports for The Guardian and writes freelance for the New Statesman, Observer, Prospect, and Think magazine (Qatar). She lived in Cairo from 2003 to 2004 and worked as an editor and reporter for the English-language Cairo Times. In 2010 she was awarded a yearlong traveling fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research activists working to fight extremism within Islam. She is currently based in London.

According to Aspden in Generation Revolution, each year, the United States government gives the Egyptian government about $1.3 billion in military aid and $250 million in economic aid. Egypt and United States have, historically, been allies throughout the twenty and twenty-first centuries. The United States government has backed the leading presidents of the Middle Eastern country and maintained relations with their government in a friendly, albeit tense, capacity. In 2011 during the Arab Spring, the government of Egypt transformed from a dictatorship to a democratic presidency. The chaos that resulted during this time erupted from a decade of social and political unrest among the Egyptian people.

Generation Revolution is the story of the millennial generation in Egypt during the Arab Spring, from the perspective of several different young men and women whose different views explore the way Egypt has been shaped before, during, and after the 2011 end of Hosni Mubarak's presidency.

As the 21st century began, of the 70 million Egyptians, almost two-thirds were under 30 years old. In a country consistently ruled by men in their sixties and seventies, the younger generation was finding a hard time relating to their older government; they had no political voice, limited job opportunities, and little hope for the future. Economically, it was a country in despair: half the population existed on or below the poverty line, and all but the wealthiest class struggled with inflated food prices, unemployment, corruption, and poor public services. With an influx of Western companies and technology, young Egyptians had growing access to the internet and it became harder for the regime to isolate the public from new ideas. Torn, many wanted to feel a part of the 21st century but also to defend themselves against Western values that criticized their faith and their culture. At the start of 2011, anti-regime protests began to take place in large cities throughout Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Ismailia, and Suez. By the end of the year, Mubarak had stepped down, military rule had taken over, and free parliamentary elections had begun.

In Generation Revolution, Aspden offers a window into the world of the Middle East, before, during, and after Egypt's chaotic overthrow of Mubarak and his successor, the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Through Aspden's curious and unbiased gaze, readers hear the Egyptian voices of Amr, an atheist university-educated software engineer, Amal, a fiercely independent young woman who lives on her own in Cairo which is practically unheard of, Ayman, a devout Muslim teenager who chooses to follow ultraconservative Salafi Islam to the surprise of his middle-class parents, and Mazen, a fan of TV preacher Amr Khaled who finds himself on the front lines during the revolution. With these perspectives along with others, readers learn that from atheists to ultra-religious, from conservative young men to liberal young women, the growing generation of Egypt is vastly different, struggling to find a place for various voices during chaotic government upheaval. Aspden writes from the front lines of this new generation, sharing their stories and harboring their own doubts, resentments, and hope for what is to come.

Six years after the Arab Spring began, Generation Revolution shares the important stories of Egyptian youth with a compassionate and empathetic look at life in Egypt over the past decade and a half. As fear about the Middle East and refugee numbers from Syria rise in America, Generation Revolution explores the ways the United States can connect with the younger Middle Eastern generations.

Generation Revolution is an excellent social history of Egypt’s persistent pathologies, as well as a universal story about the difficulties of changing deeply ingrained societal attitudes. – New York Times Book Review
A sobering but necessary education. – Publishers Weekly
An earnest eyewitness account of a nation in tumult. – Kirkus Review

The Arab Spring has yielded a bumper crop of books about youth across the region and Generation Revolution is among its more fruitful reads. The story of a wheel come full circle, and a sobering tale for anyone with an interest in Egypt's future. – The Guardian (UK)

What makes Generation Revolution so interesting is its weaving together of national political unrest with the microlevel dramas of daily life... at a time when social and cultural mores have been undergoing rapid shifts. – The Standard (UK)

Generation Revolution is an excellent social history weaving together the story of a generational revolution. It exposes the failures of the Arab Spring and shines new light on those left in the wake of its lost promise.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Anglican

Reformation Anglicanism: A Vision for Today's Global Communion edited by Ashley Null & John W. Yates III (The Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library Series, Volume 1: Crossway)

Around the world today more than 80 million people in 165 countries identify themselves as Anglican Christians. The nature of that shared identity, however, is a subject of earnest discussion and often vigorous debate. Recent fissures within the Anglican Communion have left those who are part of it asking questions of foundational import: What does it mean to be Anglican? What is the nature of our global communion? To what extent are we bound to one another by shared doctrine, history, and culture? These critical questions lead to even deeper questions: What is the gospel? What is the nature of God's grace, our faith, and eternal life? What author­ity does Scripture possess, and how are we to apply it?

According to Reformation Anglicanism, the future of the Anglican Communion hinges on our ability to answer these deeper questions. Thankfully, Anglicans have within their shared past a vast wealth of resources on which to draw in this conversation.

Reformation Anglicanism is a multiauthored volume, representative of the geographic and ethnic diversity of the Anglican Communion. The editors are Ashley Null, an Episcopal priest, speaker, and scholar who serves as the canon theologian to the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas and the canon theologian to the Anglican Diocese of Egypt and John W. Yates III, who serves as rector of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, NC. With contributions from Michael Jensen, Ben Kwashi, Michael Nazir-Ali, as well as the editors, Reformation Anglicanism, the first volume in the Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library, examines the rich heritage of the Anglican Communion, introducing its foundational doctrines rooted in the solas of the Reformation and drawing out the implications of this tradition for life and ministry in the twenty-first century.

Conceived under the conviction that the future of the global Anglican Communion hinges on a clear, well defined, and theologically rich vision, the Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library was created to serve as a go-to resource aimed at helping clergy and educated laity grasp the coherence of the Reformation Anglican tradition.

During the last 500 years one of the clarion calls of the Reformers was ad fontes, which can be loosely translated as ‘to the sources.’ It was a cry that reflected the Reformers' intent to delve deeply into the text of Scripture and the interpretive traditions of the early church fathers in an effort to answer many of the same basic questions that confront the church today. Reformation Anglicanism responds to the call ad fontes in a particularly twenty-first-century way, by returning to the founding documents of the English Reformation and considering the ways in which Anglicans answered these basic questions at the dawn of their now global communion.

Reformation Anglicanism is divided into three parts. Chapter 1 opens with a sweeping historic narrative of the missionary birth of the church in England, the maturing of English Christianity during the Reformation, and the expansion of this renewed apostolic faith through overseas missions in the five centuries that have followed. From this vantage point Reformation Anglicanism descends in chapter 2 to a grassroots perspective to examine the age of the Reformation and the chief personality at the center of the English Reformation: Thomas Cranmer. Here the authors introduce the Anglican Formularies and the theological convictions that lie at their core. These core beliefs, captured in four Latin slogans of the Reformation, provide the structure for the second half of the book. Chapters 3 through 6 examine Anglicanism's bedrock theological principles: sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, and soli Deo gloria. Finally, Reformation Anglicanism concludes with a manifesto for Reformation Anglicanism as the way forward for the global communion.

In light of the current crises of the Anglican Communion, this study of the origins of Reformation Anglicanism is particularly timely. The authors remind us why the Church of England adopted the confessional formularies that have characterized it since the sixteenth century and examine the relevance of these to the modern situation at home and abroad. Everyone with an interest in Anglicanism will benefit from looking afresh at its core principles, and the authors of this volume have done their best to demonstrate how those principles are still meaningful and relevant today. – Gerald Bray, Research Professor of Divinity, History, and Doctrine, Beeson Divinity School; author, God Is Love and God Has Spoken

This book sketches some of the Church of England’s complex history from early beginnings to the shape of the present worldwide denomination, now about eighty million strong. More importantly, it calls contemporary Anglicans, often awash in doctrinal and moral confusion, to return to the primary sources and evangelical and Reformed doctrines of the English Reformation, if that Reformation is to fulfill its promise. – D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition

This wonderful book reminds me of what the former archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey said: ‘To belittle the witness of the Reformers is to miss something of the meaning of the church of God.’ I am so grateful to the authors for producing this book, which will help us to know what it means to be a church of God. – Mouneer Hanna Anis, Anglican Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East; Chairman, The Anglican Global South

In a time when many churches are doctrinally confused or morally compromised, readers will be encouraged to hold fast to the gospel and to fight against false teaching. I commend this book most highly and look forward to subsequent volumes in the library. – Nicholas D. Okoh, Anglican Primate of All Nigeria; Chairman, The Global Anglican Future Conference

All the opportunities are in the future, but all the lessons are in the past. That’s why every Christian leader, not just Anglicans, should read this fascinating book. – Rick Warren, number one New York Times bestselling author, The Purpose Driven Life; Pastor, Saddleback Church

Reformation Anglicanism is a go-to resource for clergy and educated laity to clarify the coherence of the Reformation Anglican tradition. It should help reinvigorate and provide clarity in global communion. The chapters retain the unique voices of their authors, but the content is based on extensive conversation and represents their attempt to speak with a single voice, one that makes Reformation Anglicanism accessible and relevant today.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

The Shepherd as Theologian: Accurately Interpreting and Applying God's Word by general editor John MacArthur (The Shepherd's Library Series: Harvest House Publishers)

According to John MacArthur, how one interprets and teaches the doctrines of the faith truly matters. This requires diligent study and ‘accurately handling the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15). MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, president of The Master’s University & Seminary, and featured teacher for the Grace to You media ministry, which reaches millions worldwide.

The Shepherd as Theologian presents a collection of messages from the internationally recognized Shepherds' Conference held at Grace Community Church. For nearly four decades, the Shepherds' Conference has been committed to what the Reformers began 500 years ago. MacArthur and 7 other respected teachers, including R.C. Sproul and Ligon Duncan, delve into key theological issues on...

  • Justification by faith alone.
  • The great commission.
  • A literal six-day creation.
  • The inerrancy of Scripture.
  • Premillennialism.

Chapters in The Shepherd as Theologian and their authors include:

  1. The Lord’s Greatest Prayer, Part 1 (2016) –MacArthur
  2. The Lord’s Greatest Prayer, Part 2 (2016) –MacArthur
  3. Adam, Where Art Thou? Rediscovering the Historical Adam in the Pages of Scripture (2013) – William Barrick
  4. Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist Must Be a Six-Day Creationist (2009) –MacArthur
  5. Faith of Our Fathers: Do We Have the Same Gospel as the Early Church? (2012) – Nathan Busenitz
  6. Mastering the Doctrine of Justification (2005) – R. C. Sproul
  7. The Extent of the Atonement (2003) – Phil Johnson
  8. A Biblical Case for Elder Rule (2003) – Tom Pennington
  9. The Great Commission as a Theological Endeavor (2014) – Paul Washer
  10. Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist Must Be a Premillennialist (2007) –MacArthur
  11. Heaven on Earth: Exploring the Glories of the Eternal State (2013) – Michael Vlach

According to MacArthur, the Shepherds' Conference has participated in encouraging and equipping pastors to declare the truth. What started as a small gathering of 159 individuals has blossomed into an international movement with thousands in attendance each spring. Over the years, pastors from every state and nearly 100 countries have come to the conference to be challenged and encouraged in the areas of preaching, theology, leadership, discipleship, and counseling.

Since its inception, the Shepherds' Conference has featured hundreds of sermons specifically directed at pastors and church leaders. Because God's Word is timeless, those messages are still as rich and powerful today as when they were first preached. MacArthur says he was happy to be involved in creating The Shepherd as Theologian, the third volume in the Shepherd’s Library Series – a collection of the most memorable Shepherds' Conference messages on various theological topics.

MacArthur says the Shepherds' Conference participates in the multiplication of pastor-theologians. The Shepherd as Theologian may help all spiritual leaders, whether they have been to the Shepherds' Conference or not, think deeply about the things of God.

Religion & Spirituality / Judaism / Christianity / Bible Study

Reimagining Exodus: A Story of Freedom by Rabbi David Zaslow (Paraclete Press)

The biblical Exodus is the most influential freedom story ever told. It has served as both an inspiration for Puritans, American revolutionaries, abolitionists, Mormons, the modern civil rights movement, and revolutionaries the world over. In Jewish tradition, the Exodus is also applied to every person’s life journey with its struggles, liberations, and revelations. Reimagining Exodus is a groundbreaking interfaith book exploring the Exodus as the foundational story that links Judaism and Christianity together, and looking at ways that each person can free themselves from the ‘Egypts’ and ‘pharaohs’ in their own lives. 

The author, Rabbi David Zaslow, M.S., is the spiritual leader of Havurah Shir Hadash, a synagogue in Ashland, Oregon.

According to Zaslow in Reimagining Exodus, the Exodus from Egypt, occurring over 3,300 years ago during the reign of Pharaoh Rameses II, is the master story of Judaism. More than a quarter of the world's population holds the story of the Exodus as sacred. Most of the Five Books of Moses (also known as the Pentateuch and Torah) directly relate to the liberation of the children of Israel from slavery. Many of the specific stories are well known: the ten plagues, the burning bush, the crossing of the Red Sea, the revelation at Mount Sinai, the forty years in the wilderness, and so on. The Exodus is, of course, prominent during Passover when Jews relive the journey of their ancestors at seders all over the world and allegorically liberate themselves from personal difficulties. Generation after generation, Jews have reclaimed the Exodus theme in their quests to return from various exiles, including when the nation of Israel was reborn in 1948.

This master story has been appropriated as a template for liberation movements throughout the ages, and, unfortunately, has also been misappropriated by colonial and imperial regimes seeking the conquest of indigenous peoples. The secular world has used the saga to inspire freedom movements around the world, and Christians have used the story to explain Jesus as the Paschal Lamb of a new Passover. The Puritans saw themselves on an exodus from the Egypt of England in their quest for religious freedom. The American revolutionaries used the story in their quest for independence, as did the Mormons in the search for their own promised land in Utah.

The Exodus story served as an inspirational road map for African slaves struggling for freedom from the ‘pharaohs’ of the ‘American Egypt.’ Decades later, the Exodus saga was used by the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. One does not need much imagination to identify the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as the Moses of his generation. He too had a vision of justice, freedom, and equal rights as he told the world, "I've been to the mountaintop.... And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land."

A primary goal of Reimagining Exodus is to bring Jews and Christians closer together to celebrate what they have in common. Judaism and Christianity share the same moral imperative to make the world a better place. The biblical term yakhdav describes two people when they are one in purpose, not one in form. The Abrahamic faiths are yakhdav, one in purpose with each other – equally vibrant covenantal paths in service to one God. As a religious Jew, Zaslow says that he has witnessed the devastation brought about by triumphalism, when missionaries see themselves as spokespeople for the ‘one true’ religion to which all others must convert. No religion should yield its unique, God-given covenant to the beliefs of a more dominant religion. Whether the theologians of the three Abrahamic faiths acknowledge it or not, our faith traditions provide a harmonious balance to each other – when they are shared in a spirit of mutual respect.

In Reimagining Exodus, to the dismay of some and the delight of others, Jewish and Christianity theology are afforded mutual respect. The two religions do not espouse the same theology, but neither are their theologies in competition with each other. The book demonstrates how both religions continue to be mutually nourished and sustained by resting on the theological foundation of the Exodus stories.

Deftly and brilliantly, Rabbi David Zaslow shows us how the ancient biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt dances and echoes through the centuries as the paradigm of the quest for equality and independence for people of all faiths and communities. His cogent and compelling vision of our yearning as children of God who strive for equality, autonomy, and self-determination enflames our souls and gives hope to all humankind. Redemption! Liberation! Freedom! Then and Now! – Rabbi Wayne Dosick, Ph.D., author, Living Judaism and The Real Name of God
This book offers excellent scholarship and personal insights that will inspire us to dig deeper into the richness of the Exodus event by applying its historical, cultural, personal and religious significance to ourselves. Thank you for this invitation to share in your journey of faith.
– Fr. Mike Walker, Pastor, St. James Catholic Church, McMinnville, Oregon

A deeply thoughtful yet accessible treatment of a theme that binds Judaism and Christianity together, though it has too often been used to divide them. A crucial read for understanding the legacy of the Exodus story throughout the history of the Western world. Bravo! – Rabbi Arthur Green, Rector, Rabbinical School, Hebrew College, Newton, MA

Rabbi David Zaslow’s Reimagining Exodus is a most perfect representation of Vatican 2. He has captured the text and context of how both Jews and Christians read and interpret Exodus and in doing so adds to our joint understanding of each other’s religious vision. This is an important text for Christian-Jewish dialogue. – Dr. Sam Edelman, emeritus professor, CSU Chico and adjunct professor and Academic Fellow of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami

With his trademark accessibility, sensitivity and good humor, Rabbi David offers Jews and Christians a deeper understanding of their own faith’s foundational story as well that of the other. This book a perfect choice for a Lenten group or – God willing! – for a shared study group between Jewish and Christian congregations. – Rev. Anne K. Bartlett, Rector Emerita, Trinity Episcopal Church, Ashland, OR

In an age where politics and ideologies divide us, Rabbi Zaslow is a voice in the wilderness calling people of faith to come together. Reimagining Exodus, a groundbreaking interfaith book, helps readers look up from their singular perspectives to gain awareness of the unique but interwoven stories with which their theologies create a unified sense of the divine.

Science / Biomedical / Research

The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease by Meredith Wadman (Viking)

As governments and scientists aggressively race to fund and discover a Zika vaccine, The Vaccine Race tells the timely and controversial story of the development of the first widely-used normal human cell line and, through it, some of the world's most important vaccines.

Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of American children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, , popularly known as German measles, while pregnant; there was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated fetuses. In June 1962, a young biologist at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Leonard Hayflick, using tissue extracted from an aborted fetus from Sweden, produced safe, clean cells that allowed the creation of vaccines against rubella and other common childhood diseases. Two years later, in the midst of a devastating German measles epidemic, his colleague, Stanley Plotkin, developed the vaccine that would one day wipe out homegrown rubella. The rubella vaccine and others made with those fetal cells have protected more than 150 million people in the United States, the vast majority of them preschoolers. The new cells and the method of making them also led to vaccines that have protected billions of people around the world from polio, rabies, chicken pox, measles, hepatitis A, shingles and adenovirus.
Meredith Wadman’s masterful account in The Vaccine Race recovers not only the science of this urgent race, but also the political roadblocks that nearly stopped the scientists. She describes the terrible dilemmas of pregnant women exposed to German measles and recounts testing on infants, prisoners, orphans, and the intellectually disabled, which was common in the era. Wadman, who has a medical degree, has covered biomedical research politics from Washington for twenty years. She is a reporter at Science and has written for Nature, Fortune, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

These events take place at the dawn of the battle over using human fetal tissue in research, during the arrival of big commerce in campus labs, and as huge changes take place in the laws and practices governing who ‘owns’ research cells and the profits made from biological inventions. The Vaccine Race is also the story of yet one more unrecognized woman whose cells have been used to save countless lives.

A gripping story with strong resonance in the age of Zika and Ebola – and a powerful reminder of the ways in which researchers approached the ethics of medical testing only fifty years ago. – Henry T. Greely, Director of Stanford's Center for Law and the Biosciences and author of The End of Sex
Riveting ..
. [The Vaccine Race] invites comparison with Rebecca Skloot's 2007 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. – Nature
This is a story about the war against disease – a war without end – and the development of enormously important vaccines, but in telling that story, in showing how science works, Meredith Wadman reveals much more. I loved this book. – John M. Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Influenza
Meticulously researched and carefully crafted ... The Vaccine Race, is an enlightening telling of the development of vaccines in the mid-20th century.... an intelligent and entertaining tome ... [and] a comprehensive portrait of the many issues faced in the race to develop vaccines. – Science
A riveting tale of scientific infighting, clashing personalities, sketchy ethics, and the transformation of cell biology from a sleepy scientific backwater to a high-stakes arena where vast fortunes are made. – The Wall Street Journal
Wadman’s research is extensive, and her book is packed with anecdotes and details of the science, the times, and the people. – The Boston Globe
The Vaccine Race is an important read – for scientists, politicians, physicians, parents and everyone interested in how the world of medical research works.... A very compelling read. – The Huffington Post 
Meredith Wadman rolls up her sleeves and takes an uncompromising look at the sometimes unethical, often crude, and always rough-and-tumble world of one of the greatest success stories in public health: vaccines. What she finds will no doubt surprise you.
– Paul A. Offit, MD, author of Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong and Autism’s False Prophets
The fascinating story of the scientific battle over – among other important matters – whether human vaccines should be grown in human or animal cells. The hero of this story is Leonard Hayflick, who favored human cells. Fortunately for all of us, he won out.
– Stanley M. Gartler, Prof. Emeritus, Medical Genetics, University of Washington
An exemplary piece of medical journalism. – Publisher's Weekly, starred review
An important story well told, featuring the drama and characters needed to make this a candidate for film adaptation. – Kirkus Reviews
It is a story of human tragedy and greatness, of curiosity and ambition, of turf battles and ethical lapses, and of what we would call today ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ about the use of cells from an aborted fetus. – Dallas Morning News

With another frightening virus imperiling pregnant women on the rise today, no medical story could have more human drama, impact, or urgency today than The Vaccine Race.

Science / Geology / Travel / Guides

Roadside Geology of Nevada by Frank DeCourten & Norma Biggar (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

The spaces in Nevada are wide and open, and rock is everywhere, illuminated by the brilliant desert sunshine and largely undraped by vegetation.

Driving through Nevada, travelers may be miles from nowhere, but they are never far from an interesting rock, the shoreline of an ice-age lake, or an active or historic mine. According to Frank DeCourten and Norma Biggar in Roadside Geology of Nevada, the Silver State has some of the most diverse geology in the United States, and much of it lies in plain sight thanks to the arid climate of the Great Basin. Geologic forces continue to shape Nevada, stretching it apart and bringing magma near the surface. Earthquakes periodically rock its lonely outposts, creating some of the biggest fault scarps in the world.

Frank DeCourten is Professor of Earth Sciences at Sierra College in Grass Valley, California. Norma Biggar, now deceased, worked for a consulting company, first evaluating the seismic hazards along the Alyeska pipeline and later evaluating seismic hazards in such far-flung places as Iran, Colombia, and Israel.
Some of Nevada’s geologic highlights described and pictured in Roadside Geology of Nevada include:

  • Great Basin National Park’s limestone caverns.
  • Virginia City and the Comstock Lode.
  • Tule Springs Fossil Beds.
  • Valley of Fire’s bright red rock.
  • Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park’s fossil reptiles.
  • Lake Tahoe’s granitic eastern shore.
  • Pyramid Lake’s tufa towers.
  • Ruby Mountain’s glacially carved Lamoille Canyon.
  • Red Rock Canyon’s Jurassic sandstone.
  • Alamo’s extraterrestrial impact.
  • Virgin Valley’s fossils and opal.
  • Cathedral Gorge’s lakebed badlands.
  • Frenchman Mountain’s Great Unconformity.
  • Hoover Dam’s tough tuff.

As told in Roadside Geology of Nevada, armies of scientists have swarmed the bold rock exposures, seeking to understand the deep history of one of North America's most magnificent natural regions. Their collective efforts have resulted in a literal mountain of research reports and geological maps that provide the foundation for the current understanding of Nevada geology. In addition, new imaging and analytical techniques are allowing people to explore the rock record and geologic structures of the state in ways that were unimaginable only a few decades ago. Unraveling the tangled geological history of Nevada is a continuing quest, an on-going adventure in reconstructing a tale of landscape evolution encompassing billions of years.

With the help of Roadside Geology of Nevada, readers can appreciate geologic features along more than thirty of Nevada’s highways. 

 

 Contents to this Page 

Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places by Kathryn H. Anthony, with a foreword by Eric Schmidt (Prometheus Books)

The Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure, 1st edition edited by Roger Mantie & Gareth Dylan Smith (Oxford Handbooks Series: Oxford University Press)

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission Audio CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged, running time: 14 hours by Barry Friedman, with audio read by Sean Pratt (Tantor Audio)

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission – Hardcover by Barry Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen (St. Martin’s Press)

Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined by Scott Sonenshein (HarperBusiness)

macOS Support Essentials 10.12: Supporting and Troubleshooting macOS Sierra, 1st edition by Kevin White & Gordon Davisson (Apple Pro Training Series: Peachpit Press)

Eat More Greens: The Most Inventive Recipes to Help You Eat More Greens by Zita Steyn, with photography by Nassima Röthacker (Quadrille Publishing)

Once There Were Giants: The Golden Age of Heavyweight Boxing by Jerry Izenberg (Skyhorse Publishing)

Civil Wars: A History in Ideas – Deckle Edge by David Armitage (Alfred A. Knopf)

One Jump Ring: Endless Possibilities for Chain Mail Jewelry by Lauren Andersen (Kalmbach Books)

Making Pottery You Can Use: Plates that stack – Lids that fit – Spouts that pour – Handles that stay on by Jacqui Atkin (Barron’s Educational Series)

World Report 2017: Events of 2016 by Human Rights Watch, with an introduction by Kenneth Roth (World Report Series: Seven Stories Press)

The News from the End of the World: A Novel by Emily Jeanne Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East by Rachel Aspden (Other Press)

Reformation Anglicanism: A Vision for Today's Global Communion edited by Ashley Null & John W. Yates III (The Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library Series, Volume 1: Crossway

The Shepherd as Theologian: Accurately Interpreting and Applying God's Word by general editor John MacArthur (The Shepherd's Library Series: Harvest House Publishers)

Reimagining Exodus: A Story of Freedom by Rabbi David Zaslow (Paraclete Press)

The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease by Meredith Wadman (Viking)

Roadside Geology of Nevada by Frank DeCourten & Norma Biggar (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)