Global Issues Book Group
The Global Issues Book Group, reads and discusses books on the vital Political, Economic, Environmental and Social issues that challenge humankind in the 21st Century.
Strangers in Their Own Land
When Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, a bewildered nation turned to Strangers in Their Own Land to understand what Trump voters were thinking when they cast their ballots. Arlie Hochschild, one of the most influential sociologists of her generation, had spent the preceding five years immersed in the community around Lake Charles, Louisiana, a Tea Party stronghold. As Jedediah Purdy put it in the New Republic , " Hochschild is fascinated by how people make sense of their lives....[Her] attentive, detailed portraits...reveal a gulf between Hochschild's 'strangers in their own land' and a new elite. Lauded by commentators from Noam Chomsky to New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, Hochschild's book was described by the New York Times' David Brooks as "humble and important".
Tuesday, May 8th at 6:30 PM
Age of Anger
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world--from American shooters to ISIS and Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to the proliferation of racism and misogyny on social media?
In the Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century, delivering a history of our present predicament unlike any other. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises--or who were left, or pushed, behind--reacted in horrifying similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast billions adrift, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity--with the same terrible results. John Gray in the Literary Review calls it, "Richly learned and usefully subversive."
Tuesday, June 12th at 6:30 PM
Utopia for Realists
This revolutionary guide focuses on three core concepts--a universal basic income, a fifteen-hour workweek, and open borders across the globe--and explores each of them through lively anecdotes, studies, and success stories. From a Canadian city that once eradicated poverty to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a national basic income, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond traditional left-right divides, as he points us toward a wholly attainable new social order. His book is a bracing reminder that every progressive milestone--be it the end of slavery or the beginning of democracy--was considered a utopian fantasy.
Tuesday, July 10th at 6:30 PM