New popular Non-fiction in March features a book about Magna Carta as “2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta’s creation – an event which will be marked with exhibitions, commemorations and debates in all the countries over whose constitutions and legal assumptions the shadow of Magna Carta hangs”.
Eyes wide open : going behind the environmental headlines / Paul Fleischman.
“Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them. We’re living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never before seen. The downsides weren’t visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking – suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It’s a changed world. This book explains it. Not with isolated facts, but the principles driving attitudes and events, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Because money is as important as molecules in the environment, science is joined with politics, history, and psychology to provide the briefing needed to comprehend the 21st century…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The beauty myth : how images of beauty are used against women / Naomi Wolf.
“In today’s world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women’s movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It’s the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of “the flawless beauty.”” (Syndetics summary)
Walls : travels along the barricades / Marcello Di Cintio.
“What does it mean to live against a wall? In this ambitious first person narrative, Marcello Di Cintio travels to the world’s most disputed edges to meet the people who live alongside the razor wire, concrete, and steel and how the structure of the walls has influenced their lives. He visits fenced-in villages in northeast India, walks Arizona’s migrant trails, and travels to Palestinian villages to witness the protests against Israel’s security barrier. From Native American reservations on the U.S.-Mexico border and the “Great Wall of Montreal” to Cyprus’s divided capital and the Peace Lines of Belfast, Di Cintio seeks to understand what these structures say about those who build them and how they influence the cultures that they pen in.” (Syndetics summary)
Magna Carta / with a new commentary by David Carpenter.
““No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”
Magna Carta is probably the most famous declaration in western legal history. Wrested by rebellious barons from a very reluctant King John, it set out a series of rights and duties which have been appealed to, ignored, suppressed and argued about ever since. 2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta’s creation – an event which will be marked with exhibitions, commemorations and debates in all the countries over whose constitutions and legal assumptions the shadow of Magna Carta hangs.” (Syndetics summary)
The child that books built / Francis Spufford.
“What would you find if you went back and reread your favourite books from childhood? Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness in this beautifully written memoir of a boy who, faced with a tragedy in his family, retreats into books.” (Book jacket)
How to rob a train : the man behind Britain’s most notorious robbery, among other things / Gordon Goody ; with Maurice O’Connor.
“Gordon Goody is the mystery man of the Great Train Robbery, the most notorious theft in British history. Regarded by his partners as tough and fearless, he has kept his silence for five decades. Until now. Raised in rural Northern Ireland, Goody served as an army sergeant but chose a life of crime and became one of the most professional and prolific robbers in London. He and his gang were offered the job of a lifetime: details of a Glasgow to London mail train laden with cash, provided by The Ulsterman, whose identity Goody reveals for the first time.” (Syndetics summary)
MOOCs / Jonathan Haber.
“Haber explains the origins of MOOCs, what they consist of, the controversies surrounding them, and their possible future role in education. He proposes a new definition of MOOCs based on the culture of experimentation from which they emerged, and adds a student perspective missing in most MOOC discussion.” (Book jacket)
Our daily poison : from pesticides to packaging, how chemicals have contaminated the food chain and are making us sick / Marie-Monique Robin ; translated by Allison Schein and Lara Vergnaud.
“French journalist and documentary filmmaker Robin… delivers another fiercely activist account of how chemicals that are supposed to improve our lives are making us sick-and how the regulation process “protects producers much more than it does consumers and citizens.” Her unrelenting search for the truth behind the poisons in our foods takes her across the U.S. and Europe to talk with researchers examining the links between chemicals and disease, and those who are hiding those links. …Robin takes particular aim at how chemicals in our food and packaging are regulated, with one OSHA official telling her there’s too much conflict of interest among scientists and corporations… (adapted from Syndetics summary)