What We Are Reading Today: Unfabling the East 

Updated 30 August 2018

What We Are Reading Today: Unfabling the East 

During the long 18th century, Europe’s travelers, scholars, and intellectuals looked to Asia in a spirit of puzzlement, irony, and openness. In this panoramic and colorful book translated to English by Robert Savage, Jürgen Osterhammel tells the story of the European Enlightenment’s nuanced encounter with the great civilizations of the East, from the Ottoman Empire and India to China and Japan.

Here is the acclaimed book that challenges the notion that Europe’s formative engagement with the non-European world was invariably marred by an imperial gaze and presumptions of Western superiority. Osterhammel shows how major figures such as Leibniz, Voltaire, Gibbon, and Hegel took a keen interest in Asian culture and history, and introduces lesser-known scientific travelers, colonial administrators, Jesuit missionaries, and adventurers who returned home from Asia bearing manuscripts in many exotic languages, huge collections of ethnographic data, and stories that sometimes defied belief. 

Osterhammel brings the sights and sounds of this tumultuous age vividly to life, from the salons of Paris and the lecture halls of Edinburgh to the deserts of Arabia, the steppes of Siberia, and the sumptuous courts of Asian princes. He demonstrates how Europe discovered its own identity anew by measuring itself against its more senior continent, and how it was only toward the end of this period that cruder forms of Eurocentrism — and condescension toward Asia — prevailed.

A momentous work by one of Europe’s most eminent historians, Unfabling the East takes readers on a thrilling voyage to the farthest shores, bringing back vital insights for our own multicultural age.


What We Are Reading Today: Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Updated 25 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

  • Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people

In her No.1 NYT bestsellers, Brene Brown taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong and brave the wilderness. 

Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who are ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead, says a review published on goodread.com.

Brown spent the past two decades researching the emotions that give meaning to our lives. Over the past seven years, she found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same questions:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? And, how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

Dare to Lead answers these questions and gives us actionable strategies and real examples from her new research-based, courage-building program.

When we dare to lead, we do not pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We do not see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability.