An interesting collection this month includes a new publication of the 25 year old classic The hidden face of Eve.
This brave new world : India, China and the United States / Anja Manuel.
“In the next decade and a half, China and India will become two of the world’s indispensable powers–whether they rise peacefully or not. During that time, Asia will surpass the combined strength of North America and Europe in economic might, population size, and military spending. Both India and China will have vetoes over many international decisions, from climate change to global trade, human rights, and business standards…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Nordic theory of everything : in search of a better life / Anu Partanen.
“A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children. Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life–from buying a cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare–was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland… As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The hidden face of Eve : women in the Arab world / Nawal El Saadawi ; translated and edited by Sherif Hetata ; foreword by Ronak Husni.
“This powerful non-fiction account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago. Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a powerful sense of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, drove her to give voice to this suffering. Saadawi argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the essence of Islam or any human faith.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Code warriors : NSA’s codebreakers and the secret intelligence war against the Soviet Union / Stephen Budiansky.
“…The National Security Agency was born out of the legendary codebreaking programs of World War II that cracked the famed Enigma machine and other German and Japanese codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. In the postwar years, as the United States developed a new enemy in the Soviet Union, our intelligence community found itself targeting not soldiers on the battlefield, but suspected spies, foreign leaders, and even American citizens…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Man (dis)connected : how the digital age is changing young men forever / Philip Zimbardo and Nikita D. Coulombe.
“Masculinity is in meltdown. Young men are failing as never before : academically, socially and sexually. But why? And what needs to be done? Internationally-acclaimed psychologist Philip Zimbardo, and research partner Nikita Coulombe, show how symptoms include excessive gaming and porn use, apathy and drug abuse. They argue that digital technologies create alternative worlds that many boys find less demanding and more rewarding than real life, yet which are ultimately harmful.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
A million years in a day : a curious history of everyday life from the Stone Age to the phone age / Greg Jenner.
“Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, [this book] reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted… It is the story of your life, one million years in the making.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Dragons : ten entrepreneurs who built Britain / Liam Byrne.
“Dragons tells the story of Britain’s advance through the lives of ten titans of British commerce. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who transformed England’s economy by creating the companies and colonies of the New World… Fast paced and using fresh research, Dragons explains how history’s great change-makers helped build not only Britain but the modern commercial world – before asking some of today’s entrepreneurs: what are the lessons of history for the world-beaters of the future?” (adapted from book jacket)
Brazillionaires : the godfathers of modern Brazil / Alex Cuadros.
“In 2012, Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista was the eighth richest man in the world, his $30bn fortune built on Brazil’s incredible natural resources. By the middle of 2013 he had lost it all, engulfed in scandal… Along the way, it tells the parallel story of Brazil itself, a country caught in the cycle of boom and bust, renewed hope and dashed promise; a country where the hyper-rich are at the heart of the economy – and where their wealth can buy immense political power. Stefan Zweig said in 1941 that Brazil was the country of the future; Brazilians joke that it always will be…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The life project : the extraordinary story of 70,000 ordinary lives / Helen Pearson.
“In March 1946, scientists began to track thousands of children born in one cold week. No one imagined that this would become the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass five generations of children. Today, they are some of the best-studied people on the planet, and the simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die. This is the tale of these studies and the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. Touching people across the globe, they are one of the world’s best-kept secrets.” (Syndetics summary)
Rope : a history of the Hanged / Amanda Howard.
“This is a short history of the hanged … criminal and political cases, the guilty and the wrongly accused. There are some incredible stories herein, badly conducted hangings, innocent men and women, miraculous survivals and horrific deaths. Writer Amanda Howard has uncovered and relatively unknown history, delving into case studies of individuals and entire communities, even, obsessed with hanging throughout the ages.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)