What We Are Reading Today: The Slow Moon Climbs by Susan Mattern

Updated 15 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Slow Moon Climbs by Susan Mattern

  • This book, then, introduces new ways of understanding life beyond fertility

Are the ways we look at menopause all wrong? Historian Susan Mattern says yes, and The Slow Moon Climbs reveals just how wrong we have been. Taking readers from the rainforests of Paraguay to the streets of Tokyo, Mattern draws on historical, scientific, and cultural research to reveal how our perceptions of menopause developed from prehistory to today. For most of human history, people had no word for menopause and did not view it as a medical condition. Rather, in traditional foraging and agrarian societies, it was a transition to another important life stage. 

This book, then, introduces new ways of understanding life beyond fertility, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Mattern examines the fascinating “Grandmother Hypothesis” — which argues for the importance of elders in the rearing of future generations — as well as other evolutionary theories that have generated surprising insights about menopause and the place of older people in society. She looks at agricultural communities where households relied on postreproductive women for the family’s survival.


What We Are Reading Today: The Language of Global Success by Tsedal Neeley

Updated 20 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Language of Global Success by Tsedal Neeley

For nearly three decades, English has been the lingua franca of cross-border business, yet studies on global language strategies have been scarce.
Providing a rare behind-the-scenes look at the high-tech giant Rakuten in the five years following its English mandate, The Language of Global Success explores how language shapes the ways in which employees in global organizations communicate and negotiate linguistic and cultural differences, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Drawing on 650 interviews conducted across Rakuten’s locations around the world, Tsedal Neeley argues that an organization’s lingua franca is the catalyst by which all employees become some kind of “expat” — detached from their native tongue or culture.
Demonstrating that language can serve as the conduit for an unfamiliar culture, often in unexpected ways, Neeley uncovers how all organizations might integrate language effectively to tap into the promise of globalization.