This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with Harvard experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker about his new book, Better Angels of Our Nature, about the history of violence, and why it's declined.
In 2009, we spoke with new York Times reporter Warren St. John about his book Outcasts United– which tells the story of the Fugees soccer team and the growth of community around them. The book is currently being featured in the Concord Reads program at the Concord Public Library. Concord is a city that has experienced its own influx of refugees from war torn countries in recent years. Here is what Warren had to say about the Fugees' inspiring story.
[Spoiler alert: This review gives away some elements of the story.]
When a friend gave me Merce Rodoreda's Death in Spring, he told me it would blow my mind. Ten pages in, I doubted his claim.
The book begins when the narrator, a 14-year-old boy from a small mountain village, slips into a cold, sometimes savage river to escape a bee. His swim is interspersed with descriptions of his isolated community, with its pink painted homes and wisteria vines that "over the years, upwrenched houses."
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with poet and journalist Eliza Griswold, about her book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam. Griswold spend seven years traveling the band of the globe called the 'tenth parallel,' the latitude about ten degrees above the equator where two worlds collide.
Elizabeth Gilbert reads from her new book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Piece with Marriage, and talks about her relationship, skipping yoga in the mornings, and why Pamela Anderson is a great philosopher.
The controversial author and self-proclaimed inventor of a new genre of literary non-fiction, Ben Mezrich's bestselling books include Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires. The first was the source for the film, 21 and the second was adapted into the Academy Award-winning movie The Social Network.
This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with psychologist, author and blogger Bruce Levine, a radical progressive calling for the resurgence of an active and energized democracy. Polls show that politicians are out of step with the will of the citizens on issues like the wall street bailout, health care reform and the current deadlock over raising the debt ceiling.
David McCullough is widely known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning writing on great leaders and American politics, in books such as Truman and John Adams. In his newest work he turns his focus to Americans abroad in Nineteenth Century Paris.
In this edition of Writers on a New England Stage, McCullough reads from his newest book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, a chronicle spanning generation, and sits down for a conversation about his work, his influences, and America's age-old fascination with The City of Light.
Neil Gaiman is often credited for expanding the audience for comics beyond white, teenage boys with his Sandman series. But he is also a true multi-media phenom, a filmmaker, (now) recording artist, screenwriter for the likes of Dr. Who, and prolific author, including the multi-award winning, groundbreaking novel American Gods.
A new book by George Mason University Economics Chair Tyler Cowen has inspired spirited debate among beltway and economics circles. Published only as an e-book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Betterargues that America's economic growth plateaued in the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated since, he says, because we have eaten all the low hanging fruit that enabled innovation to flourish and average income to grow across the board.
In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.
How has technology changed the ways that we interact with one another? Sherry Turkle's Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other is the third in a trilogy exploring this question. Social networking, e-mail and texting, Turkle says, provide the façade of socialization but ultimately leave their users dissatisfied and disconnected. It may be time to reflect and reconsider the role we really want technology to play in our lives.