What We Are Reading Today: The Angel and the Assassin by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

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Updated 18 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Angel and the Assassin by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

A thrilling story of scientific detective work and medical potential that illuminates the newly understood role of microglia — an elusive type of brain cell that is vitally relevant to our everyday lives, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

Until recently, microglia were thought to be merely the brain’s housekeepers, helpfully removing damaged cells. But a recent groundbreaking discovery revealed them to be capable of terrifying Jekyll and Hyde behavior.

Under the right circumstances, however, microglia can be coaxed back into being angelic healers, able to repair the brain in ways that help alleviate symptoms and hold the promise to one day prevent disease.

Award-winning journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa began her investigation with a personal interest — when diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder years ago, she was convinced there was something physical going on in her brain as well as her body, though no doctor she consulted could explain how the two could be interacting in this way. 

The book offers us a radically reconceived picture of human health.


What We Are Reading Today: The Muqaddimah

Updated 04 April 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Muqaddimah

Author: Ibn Khaldun

The Muqaddimah, often translated as “Introduction” or “Prolegomenon,” is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world.
Written by the great 14th-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun (died 1406), this monumental work established the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including the philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics.
The first complete English translation by the eminent interpreter of Arabic literature Franz Rosenthal was published in three volumes in 1958 as part of the Bollingen Series and received immediate acclaim in the US and abroad. A one-volume abridged version of Rosenthal’s masterful translation first appeared in 1969.
This Princeton Classics edition of the abridged version includes Rosenthal’s original introduction as well as a contemporary introduction by Bruce B. Lawrence.
This volume makes available a seminal work of Islam and medieval and ancient history to twenty-first century audiences, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.