What We Are Reading Today: Expeditions Unpacked by Ed Stafford

Updated 02 September 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Expeditions Unpacked by Ed Stafford

In this unique and enthralling book, explorer and survivalist Ed Stafford curates 25 great expeditions through the lens of the kit these remarkable explorers took with them, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

In an environment where lack of preparation could mean certain death, the equipment carried, ridden and sailed into uncharted territories could mean the success or failure of an expedition. Was it simply a case of better provisions and preparation that helped Amundsen beat Scott to the South Pole? And how has the equipment taken to Everest changed since Hillary’s first ascent?

Through carefully curated photographs and specially commissioned illustrations we can see at a glance the scale, style and complexity of the items taken into the unknown by the greatest explorers of all time, and the impact each item had on their journey — how it potentially saved a life, or was purely for comfort or entertainment, and how these objects of survival have evolved and adapted as science advances, and we plunge further into the extremes.


What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

Updated 19 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

In the years after 1945, a flood of US advisors swept into Latin America with dreams of building a new economic order and lifting the Third World out of poverty. 

These businessmen, economists, community workers, and architects went south with the gospel of the New Deal on their lips, but Latin American realities soon revealed unexpected possibilities within the New Deal itself, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

 In Colombia, Latin Americans and US advisors ended up decentralizing the state, privatizing public functions, and launching austere social welfare programs. By the 1960s, they had remade the country’s housing projects, river valleys, and universities. 

They had also generated new lessons for the US itself. When the Johnson administration launched the War on Poverty, US social movements, business associations, and government agencies all promised to repatriate the lessons of development, and they did so by multiplying the uses of austerity and for-profit contracting within their own welfare state.