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Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises.Diamond compares how six countries have survived recent upheavals -- ranging from the forced opening of Japan by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet, to the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War Two. Because Diamond has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries, he can present gut-wrenching histories experienced firsthand. These nations coped, to varying degrees, through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of responsibility, painfully honest self-appraisal, and learning from models of other nations. Looking to the future, Diamond examines whether the United States, Japan, and the whole world are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face. Can we learn from lessons of the past?Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals factors influencing how both whole nations and individual people can respond to big challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal book yet.
The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, From the Freemasons to Facebook
Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn't mean they are not real. From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of networks, and shows how network theory--concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions--can transform our understanding of both the past and the present.
The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook
A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we're living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks.Throughout history, hierarchies - the leaders, governments, and corporations presiding from on high - have claimed to rule. But often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. From the Illuminati to the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of networks' rise, fall, and rise again, and in doing so transforms our understanding of both the past and the present. Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption - and which will be toppled.
Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto
This is a manifesto for the 99 percent.Unaffordable housing, poverty wages, inadequate healthcare, border policing, climate change - these are not what you ordinarily hear feminists talking about. But aren’t they the biggest issues for the vast majority of women around the globe?Taking as its inspiration the new wave of feminist militancy that has erupted globally, this manifesto makes a simple but powerful case: feminism shouldn’t start - or stop - with the drive to have women represented at the top of their professions. It must focus on those at the bottom, and fight for the world they deserve. And that means targeting capitalism. Feminism must be anticapitalist, eco-socialist and antiracist.
State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious (Futures)
Years of remodelling the welfare state, the rise of technology, and the growing power of neoliberal government apparatuses have established a society of the precarious. In this new reality, productivity is no longer just a matter of labour, but affects the formation of the self, blurring the division between personal and professional lives. Encouraged to believe ourselves flexible and autonomous, we experience a creeping isolation that has both social and political impacts, and serves the purposes of capital accumulation and social control. In State of Insecurity, Isabell Lorey explores the possibilities for organization and resistance under the contemporary status quo, and anticipates the emergence of a new and disobedient self-government of the precarious.
Burn It Down!: Feminist Manifestos for the Revolution
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1968: Radical Protest and Its Enemies
A major history of one of the seminal years in the postwar world, when rebellion and disaffection broke out on an extraordinary scale.The year 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary—around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications—terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968.1968 is a striking and original attempt half a century later to show how these events, which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies which are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. 1968 pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968 and the brutal reaction that brought the era to an end.
1968: Radical Protest and Its Enemies
A major new history of one of the seminal years in the postwar world, when rebellion and disaffection broke out on an extraordinary scale.The year 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications - terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968.1968 is a striking and original attempt half a century later to show how these events, which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies which are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. 1968 pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968 and the brutal reaction that brought the era to an end.
Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness
We are entering, we are told, a post-liberal age. So-called illiberal democracy and authoritarian populism are in the political ascendant; the shelves of our bookshops groan with the work of attention-grabbing thinkers insisting that permissiveness, multiculturalism and "identity politics" have failed us and that we must now fall back on some notion of tradition. We have had our fun, and now it’s time to get serious, to shore our fragments against the ruin of postmodernist meaninglessness.It’s not only the usual, conservative suspects who have got on board with this argument. Authentocrats critiques the manner in which post-liberal ideas have been mobilised underhandedly by centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP. It examines the forms this populism of the centre has taken in the United Kingdom and situates the moderate withdrawal from liberalism within a story which begins in the early 1990s. Blairism promised socially liberal politics as the pay-off for relinquishing commitments to public ownership and redistributive policies: many current centrists insist New Labour’s error was not its capitulation to the market, but its unwillingness to heed the allegedly natural conservatism of England’s provincial working classes. In this book, we see how this spurious concern for "real people" is part of a broader turn within British culture by which the mainstream withdraws from the openness of the Nineties under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards. The self-anointing political realism which declares that the left can save itself only by becoming less liberal is matched culturally by an interest in time-worn traditional identities: the brute masculinity of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the allegedly "progressive" patriotism of nature writing, a televisual obsession with the World Wars. Authentocrats charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.
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