What We Are Reading Today: The Government of Emergency

What We Are Reading Today: The Government of Emergency
Short Url
Updated 04 December 2021

What We Are Reading Today: The Government of Emergency

What We Are Reading Today: The Government of Emergency

Authors: Stephen J. Collier & Andrew Lakoff

From pandemic disease, to the disasters associated with global warming, to cyberattacks, today we face an increasing array of catastrophic threats. It is striking that, despite the diversity of these threats, experts and officials approach them in common terms — as future events that threaten to disrupt the vital, vulnerable systems upon which modern life depends.
The Government of Emergency tells the story of how this now taken-for-granted way of understanding and managing emergencies arose. Amid the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, an array of experts and officials working in obscure government offices developed a new understanding of the nation as a complex of vital, vulnerable systems. They invented technical and administrative devices to mitigate the nation’s vulnerability, and organized a distinctive form of emergency government that would make it possible to prepare for and manage potentially catastrophic events.


What We Are Reading Today: From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe

What We Are Reading Today: From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe
Updated 27 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe

What We Are Reading Today: From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe

 Author: John Connelly

In the 1780s, the Habsburg monarch Joseph II decreed that henceforth German would be the language of his realm.

His intention was to forge a unified state from his vast and disparate possessions, but his action had the opposite effect, catalyzing the emergence of competing nationalisms among his Hungarian, Czech, and other subjects, who feared that their languages and cultures would be lost.

In this sweeping narrative history of Eastern Europe since the late 18th century, John Connelly connects the stories of the region’s diverse peoples, telling how, at a profound level, they have a shared understanding of the past.

An ancient history of invasion and migration made the region into a cultural landscape of extraordinary variety, a patchwork in which Slovaks, Bosnians, and countless others live shoulder to shoulder and where calls for national autonomy often have had bloody effects among the interwoven ethnicities.


Cairo International Book Fair kicks off with Greece guest of honor 

Cairo International Book Fair kicks off with Greece guest of honor 
Updated 27 January 2022

Cairo International Book Fair kicks off with Greece guest of honor 

Cairo International Book Fair kicks off with Greece guest of honor 
  • Greece is the guest of honor via a rich cultural program that includes discussion of publications and translated works on the ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations
  • Saudi Arabia is participating via 39 publishing houses and in the fair’s cultural and artistic activities

CAIRO: The 53rd Cairo International Book Fair kicked off on Thursday, with Greece the guest of honor and 1,063 Egyptian, Arab and foreign publishers and agencies from 51 countries taking part.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly inaugurated the exhibition, which will continue until Feb. 7 under the slogan “Egypt’s identity: Culture and the question of the future.”

The late writer Yahya Haqqi is the main personality of this year’s book fair, which comprises five halls and 879 pavilions, and includes discussion sessions and workshops. 

Greece is the guest of honor via a rich cultural program that includes discussion of publications and translated works on the ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations.

Saudi Arabia is participating via 39 publishing houses and in the fair’s cultural and artistic activities.

Algeria’s Ministry of Culture and Arts said more than 600 books and publications by Algerian publishing houses are featuring in the exhibition, as are seven writers and poets.

Oman is participating with publications aimed at introducing the country’s culture and highlighting its intellectual production.

The exhibition has a hall dedicated to children’s books and activities, with the works of the late author, translator and publisher Abdel Tawab Youssef at the fore.

The Arab Publishers Association will hold its general assembly on the sidelines of the fair on Sunday, including the election of a new board of directors.

The exhibition had earlier announced the creation of an award for best Arab publisher, and the raising of the financial value of its annual awards in the fields of story, novel, poetry, literary criticism and human studies.


What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms
Updated 26 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

Author: Angele Christin

When the news moved online, journalists suddenly learned what their audiences actually liked, through algorithmic technologies that scrutinize web traffic and activity.

Has this advent of audience metrics changed journalists’ work practices and professional identities? In Metrics at Work, Angele Christin documents the ways that journalists grapple with audience data in the form of clicks, and analyzes how new forms of clickbait journalism travel across national borders.

Drawing on four years of fieldwork in web newsrooms in the US and France, including more than 100 interviews with journalists, Christin reveals many similarities among the media groups examined—their editorial goals, technological tools, and even office furniture.

Yet she uncovers crucial and paradoxical differences in how American and French journalists understand audience analytics and how these affect the news produced in each country.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley

What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley
Updated 24 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley

What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley

Authors: Indira M. Raman and David L. Ferster

The origin of everything known about how neurons and muscles generate electrical signals can be traced back to five revolutionary papers, published in the Journal of Physiology in 1952 by Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley.

The principles they revealed remain cornerstones of the discipline, summarized in every introductory neuroscience and physiology course.

Since that era, however, scientific practice, technology, and presentation have changed extensively. It is difficult for the modern reader to appreciate Hodgkin and Huxley’s rigorous scientific thought, elegant experimental design, ingenious analysis, and beautiful writing.

This book provides the first annotated edition of these papers, offering essential background on everything, from terminology, equations, and electronics, to the greater historical and scientific context surrounding the work.

 


What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz
Updated 23 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

Americans revere the constitution even as they argue fiercely over its original toleration of racial slavery.

Some historians have charged that slaveholders actually enshrined human bondage at the nation’s founding.

Sean Wilentz shares the dismay but sees the constitution and slavery differently. Although the proslavery side won important concessions, he asserts, antislavery impulses also influenced the framers’ work.

“No Property in Man” invites fresh debate about the political and legal struggles over slavery that began during the Revolution and concluded with the Confederacy’s defeat.

It drives straight to the heart of the most contentious and enduring issue in all of American history, according to a review on goodreads.com.