What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets

What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets
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Updated 08 February 2023

What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets

What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets

Author: Matt Potter

Matt Potter’s “We Are All Targets” tells  the incredible untold origin story of cyberwar and the hackers who unleashed it on the world, tracing their journey from the ashes of the Cold War to the criminal underworld, governments, and even Silicon Valley.

Two years before 9/11, the US was attacked by an unknown enemy. No advance warning was given, and it didn’t target civilians. Instead, tomahawk missiles started missing their targets, US agents were swept up by hostile governments, and America’s enemies seemed to know its every move in advance. A new phase of warfare — cyberwar — had arrived. 

Never before told, this is the riveting secret history of cyberwar not as governments want it to be — controlled, military-directed, discreet, and sophisticated — but as it really is: anarchic, chaotic, dangerous, and often thrilling.


What We Are Reading Today: Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society

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Photo/Supplied
Updated 26 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society

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Author: Adam Simpson, Nicholas Farrelly (editors)

“Myanmar: Politics, Economy and Society” provides a sophisticated overview of the key political, economic and social challenges facing contemporary Myanmar and explains the complex historical and ethnic dynamics that have shaped the country.
The book provides a clear and incisive contribution from the world’s leading Myanmar scholars, assessing the policies and political reforms that have provoked contestation in the country’s recent history.
Questions of economic ownership and control and the distribution of natural resources are shown to be deeply informed by long-standing fractures among ethnic and civil-military relations.

The chapters analyse the key issues that constrain or expedite societal development in Myanmar and place recent events of national and international significance in the context of its complex history and social relations, according to a review on goodreads.com.

The book demonstrates that ethnic and cultural diversity is at the core of Myanmar’s society and heavily influences all aspects of life in the country.

This book will be of top interest to students, journalists and scholars of Southeast Asian politics, economics and societies.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas

What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas
Updated 25 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas

What We Are Reading Today: Rescuing Socrates by Roosevelt Montas

What is the value of a liberal education? Traditionally characterized by a rigorous engagement with the classics of Western thought and literature, this approach to education is all but extinct in American universities, replaced by flexible distribution requirements and ever-narrower academic specialization. Many academics attack the very idea of a Western canon as chauvinistic, while the general public increasingly doubts the value of the humanities. In “Rescuing Socrates,” Dominican-born American academic Roosevelt Montas tells the story of how a liberal education transformed his life, and offers an intimate account of the relevance of the Great Books today, especially to members of historically marginalized communities.

Montas emigrated from the Dominican Republic to Queens, New York, when he was 12 and encountered the Western classics as an undergraduate in Columbia University’s renowned Core Curriculum, one of America’s last remaining Great Books programs. The experience changed his life and determined his career—he went on to earn a PhD in English and comparative literature, serve as director of Columbia’s Center for the Core Curriculum, and start a Great Books program for low-income high school students who aspire to be the first in their families to attend college.

Weaving together memoir and literary reflection, Rescuing Socrates describes how four authors—Plato, Augustine, Freud, and Gandhi—had a profound impact on Montas’s life.


What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer

What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer
Updated 24 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer

What We Are Reading Today: Trust the Plan by William Sommer

In “Trust the Plan,” William Sommer explains the rise of QAnon, how it has gained a mainstream following Republican lawmakers and ordinary citizens, the threat it poses to democracy, and how we can reach those who have embraced the conspiracy and are disseminating its lies.

What began as a fringe online conspiracy in the mid 2000s is now embraced by millions of Americans including new members of Congress and the thousands of Trump follower who attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

This timely and essential book outlines what the nation must do to address this growing danger — including how to help friends and family who have fallen under Q’s pernicious sway.


What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation

What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation
Updated 23 March 2023

What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation

What We’re Reading Today: Invention and Innovation

Author: Vaclav Smil

The world is never finished catching up with Vaclav Smil. In his latest and perhaps most readable book, “Invention and Innovation,” the prolific author — a favorite of Bill Gates — pens an insightful and fact-filled jaunt through the history of human invention, says a review published on Goodreads.com.
Impatient with the hype that so often accompanies innovation, Smil offers in this book a clear-eyed corrective to the overpromises that accompany everything from new cures for diseases to AI.
Drawing on his vast knowledge, Smil explains the difference between invention and innovation.


What We Are Reading Today: The First Fossil Hunters

What We Are Reading Today: The First Fossil Hunters
Updated 21 March 2023

What We Are Reading Today: The First Fossil Hunters

What We Are Reading Today: The First Fossil Hunters

Author: Adrienne Mayor

What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in “The First Fossil Hunters.”

Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact—in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans.