What We Are Reading Today: The Age of Hiroshima

What We Are Reading Today: The Age of Hiroshima
Short Url
Updated 22 August 2021

What We Are Reading Today: The Age of Hiroshima

What We Are Reading Today: The Age of Hiroshima

Authors: Michael D. Gordin and G. John Ikenberrys

On Aug. 6, 1945, in the waning days of World War II, the US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
The city’s destruction stands as a powerful symbol of nuclear annihilation, but it has also shaped how we think about war and peace, the past and the present, and science and ethics.
The Age of Hiroshima traces these complex legacies, exploring how the meanings of Hiroshima have reverberated across the decades and around the world, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Michael D. Gordin and G. John Ikenberry bring together leading scholars from disciplines ranging from international relations and political theory to cultural history and science and technology studies, who together provide new perspectives on Hiroshima as both a historical event and a cultural phenomenon.
As an event, Hiroshima emerges in the flow of decisions and hard choices surrounding the bombing and its aftermath. As a phenomenon, it marked a revolution in science, politics, and the human imagination — the end of one age and the dawn of another.


What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English

What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord:  Daily Life in Old English
Updated 16 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English

What We Are Reading Today: The Wordhord:  Daily Life in Old English

Author: Hana Videen

Old English is the language you think you know until you actually hear or see it. Unlike Shakespearean English or even Chaucer’s Middle English, Old English—the language of Beowulf—defies comprehension by untrained modern readers.

Used throughout much of Britain more than a thousand years ago, it is rich with words that haven’t changed (like word), others that are unrecognizable (such as neorxnawang, or paradise), and some that are mystifying even in translation (gafol-fisc, or tax-fish).

In this delightful book, Hana Videen gathers a glorious trove of these gems and uses them to illuminate the lives of the earliest English speakers.

We discover a world where choking on a bit of bread might prove your guilt, where fiend-ship was as likely as friendship, and where you might grow up to be a laughter-smith.

The Wordhord takes readers on a journey through Old English words and customs related to practical daily activities. Each chapter ends with its own “wordhord”—a list of its Old English terms, with definitions and pronunciations.


What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by

What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by
Updated 15 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by

What We Are Reading Today: Politics and Governance in Bangladesh by

Editors: Ipshita Basu, Joe Devine, Geoff Wood

“Politics and Governance in Bangladesh” explores the central issue of Bangladeshi politics: The weakness of governance.

The coexistence of a poor governance track record and a relatively strong socioeconomic performance make Bangladesh an intriguing case which throws up exciting and relevant conceptual and policy challenges.

Structured in four sections — Political settlement, elites and deep structures; democracy, citizenship and values; civil society, local context and political change; informality and accountability — the book identifies and engages with these challenges.

Chapters by experts in the field share a number of conceptual and epistemological principles and offer a combination of theoretical and empirical insights, and cover a good range of contemporary issues and debate, according to a review on goodreads.com.

Employing a structurally determinist perspective, this book explains politics and society in Bangladesh from a novel perspective.


What We Are Reading Today: How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers

What We Are Reading Today: How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers
Updated 14 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers

What We Are Reading Today: How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers

Author: Aristotle

Aristotle’s Poetics is the most important book ever written for writers and readers of stories—whether novels, short fiction, plays, screenplays, or nonfiction. Aristotle was the first to identify the keys to plot, character, audience perception, tragic pleasure, and dozens of other critical points of good storytelling. Despite being written more than 2,000 years ago, the Poetics remains essential reading for anyone who wants to learn how to write a captivating story—or understand how such stories work and achieve their psychological effects.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Mind and the Moon

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 14 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Mind and the Moon

Photo/Supplied
  • He explores the history of drug development, modes of treatment and the marketing of psycho-pharmaceuticals

Author: Daniel Bergner

The Mind and the Moon raises profound questions about how “we understand ourselves and the essential human divide between our brains and our minds,” said a review in Goodreads.com.
This is a book of thought-provoking reframings, delving into the science — and spirit — of our psyches.
It is about vulnerability and personal dignity, the terrifying choices confronted by families and patients, and the prospect of alternatives.
In The Mind and the Moon, Bergner beautifully “explores how to seek a deeper engagement with ourselves and one another — and how to find a better path toward caring for our minds,” said the review.
He reveals how the pharmaceutical industry has perpetuated “our biological view of the mind and our drug-based assumptions about treatment — despite the shocking price paid by many patients and the problematic evidence of drug efficacy,” the review added.
He explores the history of drug development, modes of treatment and the marketing of psycho-pharmaceuticals.
“And he takes us into the pioneering labs of today’s preeminent neuroscientists,” said the review.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Hot Molecule, Cold Electrons

What We Are Reading Today: Hot Molecule, Cold Electrons
Updated 13 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Hot Molecule, Cold Electrons

What We Are Reading Today: Hot Molecule, Cold Electrons

Author: Paul J. Nahin 
Heat, like gravity, shapes nearly every aspect of our world and universe, from how milk dissolves in coffee to how molten planets cool.

The heat equation, a cornerstone of modern physics, demystifies such processes, painting a mathematical picture of the way heat diffuses through matter.

Presenting the mathematics and history behind the heat equation, Hot Molecules, Cold Electrons tells the remarkable story of how this foundational idea brought about one of the greatest technological advancements of the modern era.

Paul Nahin vividly recounts the heat equation’s tremendous influence on society, showing how French mathematical physicist Joseph Fourier discovered, derived, and solved the equation in the early nineteenth century.