By: Steger, Manfred B.
Published By: Oxford University Press
Globalization’ has become the buzz-word of our time. A growing number of scholars and political activists have invoked the term to describe a variety of changing economic, political, cultural, ideological, and environmental processes that are alleged to have accelerated in the last few decades. Rather than forcing such a complex social phenomenon into a single conceptual framework, Manfred Steger presents globalization in plain, readable English as a multifaceted process encompassing global, regional, and local aspects of social life. In addition to explaining the various dimensions of globalization, the author explores whether globalization should be considered a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thing – a question that has been hotly debated in classrooms, boardrooms, and on the streets.
By: Khalid, Adeeb
|Adeeb Khalid combines insights from the study of both Islam and Soviet history in this sophisticated analysis of the ways that Muslim societies in Central Asia have been transformed by the Soviet presence in the region. Arguing that the utopian Bolshevik project of remaking the world featured a sustained assault on Islam that destroyed patterns of Islamic learning and thoroughly de-Islamized public life, Khalid demonstrates that Islam became synonymous with tradition and was subordinated to powerful ethnonational identities that crystallized during the Soviet period. He shows how this legacy endures today and how, for the vast majority of the population, a return to Islam means the recovery of traditions destroyed under Communism. “Islam after Communism” reasons that the fear of a rampant radical Islam that dominates both Western thought and many of Central Asia’s governments should be tempered by an understanding of the politics of antiterrorism, which allows governments to justify their own authoritarian policies by casting all opposition as extremist.Comparing the secularization of Islam in Central Asia to experiences in Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, and other secular Muslim states, the author lays the groundwork for a nuanced and well-informed discussion of the forces at work in this crucial region.|
By: Moser-Wellman, Annette
|What do Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, and Ray Kroc, the man who created the McDonald’s franchise enterprise, have in common? They have all mastered the skills of creative genius-essential tools in today’s business climate. Having researched the lives and techniques of past and present geniuses for this inspiring and provocative new handbook, Annette Moser-Wellman helps workers at all levels build and refine their working styles. These qualities of creativity-drawn from the the realms of art, science, as well as business-make up the five distinct “faces”: Seer-the power to image Observer-the power to notice details Alchemist-the power to make connections Fool-the power to celebrate weakness Sage-the power to simplify Moser-Wellman shows how we can utilize these creative thinking strategies and flourish in the workplace.|
Jerusalem, the Holy City, venerated for centuries by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike; no other city has remained the center of such conflict for so long. Now Karen Armstrong, author of the best-selling and widely acclaimed A History of God, explains how this came to be as she unravels the meaning of a “holy city” and shows how Jerusalem has become deeply rooted in the identities of all three religions of Abraham.
Review by: Jane DC
All Sides of the Story
In books concerning hot conflicts like the Middle East, it is commonplace to cover only part of the story or to concentrate on one set of events more so than others. This is understandable of course since most people with adequate interest in a topic typically have made up their minds and favor one of the conflicting sides. Not so with this book. I read this book with a critical eye, begging to find any evidence that the author is partial to anyone anyone, but in all of the 430 pages I could not find a single biased reference nor any significant omissions. By writing this wonderful comprehensive and well-researched history of Jerusalem, Karen Armstrong has done all of us concerned about the city a great favor. Throughout the 5000-year history of the city, this book describes in an unbiased tone the enormously interesting history of this hotly contested city. Many remarkable and little-known facts are can be found here. For example, I was surprised to learn that the history of Jerusalem extended for 2000 years before King David, its purported “founder”. The book covers all the different eras of the city: the Canaanite, Egyptian, Israelite, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Muslim, and Crusader eras. The last two chapters focus on the 20th century history of the city. Though the author was a former catholic nun, she displays no bias whatsoever towards Christianity. The book displays the history of the city equally from the points of view of all three religious groups that care about it: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Thus the book dwells in detail about the extreme agony of the Jews for their loss of the city and their being forbidden to enter it during Byzantine Roman rule. The book also illustrates the relative tolerance of early Islam and how Jews for the first time were allowed to return to Jerusalem under Islamic rule and coexist in peace with Christians and Muslims. If the author displays a bias against anyone, it is against extremists from all religions who are today fanning the flames of conflict and threatening the peace of the city. The book is a definite page-turner, packed full of information, and well worth a read if you cared about understanding the “whys” and the “how comes” behind the daily headlines.
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 9, 2007)
If Albert Einstein were alive, he would have a copy of The Road to Reality on his bookshelf. So would Isaac Newton. This may be the most complete mathematical explanation of the universe yet published, and Roger Penrose richly deserves the accolades he will receive for it. That said, let us be perfectly clear: this is not an easy book to read. The number of people in the world who can understand everything in it could probably take a taxi together to Penrose’s next lecture. Still, math-friendly readers looking for a substantial and possibly even thrillingly difficult intellectual experience should pick up a copy (carefully–it’s over a thousand pages long and weighs nearly 4 pounds) and start at the beginning, where Penrose sets out his purpose: to describe “the search for the underlying principles that govern the behavior of our universe.” Beginning with the deceptively simple geometry of Pythagoras and the Greeks, Penrose guides readers through the fundamentals–the incontrovertible bricks that hold up the fanciful mathematical structures of later chapters. From such theoretical delights as complex-number calculus, Riemann surfaces, and Clifford bundles, the tour takes us quickly on to the nature of spacetime. The bulk of the book is then devoted to quantum physics, cosmological theories (including Penrose’s favored ideas about string theory and universal inflation), and what we know about how the universe is held together. For physicists, mathematicians, and advanced students, The Road to Reality is an essential field guide to the universe. For enthusiastic amateurs, the book is a project to tackle a bit at a time, one with unimaginable intellectual rewards.