What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin

What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin
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Updated 05 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin

What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin

Author: Linda Villarosa

In Under the Skin, Linda Villarosa lays bare the forces in the American healthcare system and in American society that cause Black people to “live sicker and die quicker” compared to their white counterparts.

Today’s medical texts and instruments still carry fallacious slavery-era assumptions that Black bodies are fundamentally different from white bodies.

Study after study of medical settings show worse treatment and outcomes for Black patients.

Villarosa describes the new understanding that coping with the daily scourge of racism ages Black people prematurely.

 


What We Are Reading Today: American Psychosis

What We Are Reading Today: American Psychosis
Updated 29 September 2022

What We Are Reading Today: American Psychosis

What We Are Reading Today: American Psychosis

Author: David Corn

David Corn’s American Psychosis is a fast-paced, rollicking, behind-the-scenes account of how the Republican Party since the 1950s has encouraged and exploited extremism, bigotry, and paranoia to gain power, offering readers a brisk journey through the netherworld of far-right irrationality and the party’s interactions with the darkest forces in America.

Corn reveals the hidden history of how the party forged alliances with extremists, kooks, racists, and conspiracy-mongers and fostered fear, anger, and resentment to win elections — and how this led to Donald Trump’s triumph and the transformation of the party into a Trump personality cult.


What We Are Reading Today: Paths of Dissent

What We Are Reading Today: Paths of Dissent
Updated 27 September 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Paths of Dissent

What We Are Reading Today: Paths of Dissent

Authors: Andrew Bacevich and Daniel A. Sjursen

Paths of Dissent collects fifteen original essays from American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan deployments who have come out in opposition to these conflicts.

These soldiers vividly describe both their motivations for serving and the disillusionment that made them speak out against the system.

Their testimony is crucial for understanding just how the world’s self-proclaimed greatest military power went so badly astray.


What We Are Reading Today: The Blame Game

Cover of the book of (The blame Game). (Supplied)
Cover of the book of (The blame Game). (Supplied)
Updated 27 September 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Blame Game

Cover of the book of (The blame Game). (Supplied)
  • The book also deals with the subject of the Russian-Ukrainian war, its impact on oil prices, and how Saudi Arabia has been working to steady the oil market while refusing to use it as an economic weapon or pressure card

Author: Dr. Mohammad Al-Sabban

Dr. Mohammad Al-Sabban’s book “The Blame Game” shares exclusive information on what he describes as the web of lies he encountered and fought against over three decades heading Saudi Arabia’s team of negotiators at climate-change talks.

He led the Kingdom’s delegation during key decision-making sessions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

While world leaders accepted that global warming was taking place and that the issue required swift and comprehensive action to tackle it, Al-Sabban reveals the darker secrets that have lurked behind the scenes of UN-sponsored meetings on climate change.

He exposes what he claims to be the direct and hidden fingerprints of developed industrial nations showing their involvement in atrocities against the environment over the past two centuries, while uncovering agenda-driven agreements and campaigns.

The book also deals with the subject of the Russian-Ukrainian war, its impact on oil prices, and how Saudi Arabia has been working to steady the oil market while refusing to use it as an economic weapon or pressure card.

“The Blame Game” tells how industrial nations often place more priority on oil and gas supply chains rather than creating a pollution-free environment.

 

 


What We Are Reading Today: A Continent Erupts

What We Are Reading Today: A Continent Erupts
Updated 26 September 2022

What We Are Reading Today: A Continent Erupts

What We Are Reading Today: A Continent Erupts

Author: Ronald H. Spector 

With A Continent Erupts, acclaimed military historian Ronald H. Spector provides a comprehensive military history and analysis of the decisive conflicts that changed the shape of Asia.

The war against Japan officially ended on Sept. 2, 1945, but in Asia the fighting never really stopped. Civil war, communal violence, and insurgency engulfed almost all of Asia within weeks of the famous surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri.

By early 1947, full-scale wars were raging in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, with growing guerrilla conflicts in Korea and Malaya. 

A decade after the Japanese surrender, almost all of the countries that formerly had been colonies had become independent — after clashes that resulted in the deaths of at least 2.5 million combatants and millions of civilians.


Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’

Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’
Updated 26 September 2022

Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’

Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’
  • Egypt's Muhammad Ali Pasha gave female giraffe from Nubia to King Charles X
  • Paris-based couple Oliver Gee and Lina Nordin Gee took inspiration from the historical story for their children's tale

DUBAI: In 1827, the people of Paris saw the rarest of sights. The ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, sent an unusual diplomacy gift to King Charles X of France: A female giraffe from Nubia, dubbed “la belle africaine,” that caused a sensation and set trends in French society.

This real-life and little-known story inspired Paris-based couple Oliver Gee and Lina Nordin Gee to create their third and latest children’s book, “Grace the Giraffe,” which will be released in October.

Paris-based couple Oliver Gee and Lina Nordin Gee created their third and latest children’s book, ‘Grace the Giraffe.’ (Supplied)

It captures a light-hearted aspect of this historical event. “A few books have been written about the giraffe, but they’re quite dry,” Oliver, an Australian, and host of The Earful Tower podcast, told Arab News.

“We thought the fun part of the story was just as much this reaction from Parisians,” he continued. “It’s a fashion story of people going crazy, where women had their hair looking like the horns or ears of the giraffe.”

Originally from southern Sudan, the giraffe was transported via the Nile and crossed the Mediterranean, landing in Marseille. “She was in a boat with a hole so her head could stick out, which is amazing,” noted Oliver.

The giraffe endured a long and arduous journey as she was walked from Marseille to Paris for weeks. She grew physically along the way, accompanied by a procession of cows that provided milk. “By the time that she was in Marseille, a giraffe hadn’t been in Europe for 300 years,” said Oliver. “So today, it would be like an alien is here.”

In Paris, the giraffe lived in a zoo for under two decades until her death. “Everybody went to see her,” said Oliver. “Even in the small cities, half the population came to see her go past. It was insane.” She achieved her own kind of celebrity, as the elegant creature appeared on fans and ceramics. Luckily, the giraffe’s body has been preserved over the years and is currently on display at a museum in La Rochelle, France.

“Grace the Giraffe” was written by Oliver and illustrated by his wife, Lina. Told in rhyming couplets with little twists in the narrative, the charming piece of work features colorful spreads of Grace’s boat journey, extraordinary procession, and whirlwind arrival in the French capital.

The news of the book’s publication has been well-received online, sparking interest from readers of all ages. “From a history perspective,” said Oliver, “it’s cool to know that children and adults will be learning about a fascinating story.”