Books of the Month - Sept
Every other month, everyone at Lunstrum Electric has the opportunity to suggest a book recommendation that they think others in the company might be interested in reading. After this list is compiled, everyone gets to choose one of the books from the list of suggestions and the company purchases that book for them. September's picks are listed below.
The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957
By Frank Dikotter
“The Chinese Communist party refers to its victory in 1949 as a ‘liberation.’ In China the story of liberation and the revolution that followed is not one of peace, liberty, and justice. It is first and foremost a story of calculated terror and systematic violence.” So begins Frank Dikötter’s stunning and revelatory chronicle of Mao Zedong’s ascension and campaign to transform the Chinese into what the party called New People. Drawing on hundreds of previously classified documents, secret police reports, unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, eyewitness accounts of those who survived, and more, The Tragedy of Liberation bears witness to a shocking, largely untold history. Interweaving stories of ordinary citizens with tales of the brutal politics of Mao’s court, Frank Dikötter illuminates those who shaped the “liberation” and the horrific policies they implemented in the name of progress.
The Curve of Time
By M. Wylie Blanchet
This is a biography and astonishing adventure story of a woman who, left a widow in 1927, packed her five children onto a 25-foot boat and cruised the coastal waters of British Columbia, summer after summer. Muriel Wylie Blanchet acted single-handedly as skipper, navigator, engineer and, of course, mother, as she saw her crew through encounters with tides, fog, storms, rapids, cougars and bears. She sharpened in her children a special interest in Haida culture and in nature itself.
In this book, she left us with a sensitive and compelling account of their journeys.
How to Spend $75 Million to Make the World a Better Place
By Bjorn Lomborg
The world faces myriad challenges yet - we are constrained by scarce resources. In the 21 st Century, how do we deal with natural disasters, tackle global warming, achieve better nutrition, educate children...and address countless other urgent global issues? If you want to change the world, this inspiring and entertaining book is for you. Bjorn Lomborg presents smart solutions to twelve global problems, and shows how we could spend $75 billion to produce the most benefit and prioritize those problems. Featuring the cutting edge research of more than sixty eminent economists, including several Nobel Laureates, produced for the Copenhagen Consensus, How to spend 75 billion to make the world a better place will inform, enlighten and motivate actions to make our world a better place.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
By Emmanuel Acho
“You cannot fix a problem you do not know you have.” So begins Emmanuel Acho in his essential guide to the truths Americans need to know to address the systemic racism that has recently electrified protests in all fifty states. “There is a fix,” Acho says. “But in order to access it, we’re going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations.” In Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, Acho takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, many white Americans are afraid to ask―yet which all Americans need the answers to, now more than ever. With the same open-hearted generosity that has made his video series a phenomenon, Acho explains the vital core of such fraught concepts as white privilege, cultural appropriation, and “reverse racism.” In his own words, he provides a space of compassion and understanding in a discussion that can lack both. He asks only for the reader’s curiosity―but along the way, he will galvanize all of us to join the antiracist fight.
Humankind: A Hopeful History
By Rutger Bregman
If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.
But what if it isn't true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens.
From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic—it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.