What We Are Reading Today: Changing the Game

What We Are Reading Today: Changing the Game
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Updated 29 November 2023
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What We Are Reading Today: Changing the Game

What We Are Reading Today: Changing the Game

Author: Nancy Weiss Malkiel

As provost and then president of Princeton University, William G. Bowen (1933–2016) took on the biggest and most complex challenges confronting higher education: cost disease, inclusion, affirmative action, college access, and college completion. Later, as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, he took his vision for higher education—and the strategies for accomplishing that vision—to a larger arena. 

In “Changing the Game,” drawing on deep archival research and hundreds of interviews, Nancy Weiss Malkiel argues that Bowen was the most consequential higher education leader of his generation.


What We Are Reading Today: Birds of Belize

What We Are Reading Today: Birds of Belize
Updated 04 March 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Birds of Belize

What We Are Reading Today: Birds of Belize

Authors: Steve N. G. Howell & Dale Dyer

Belize is one of the world’s premier birding destinations, home to a marvelous array of tropical birds and beautiful habitats ranging from verdant rain forests and extensive wetlands to rolling pine savannas and the country’s famed barrier reef.

“Birds of Belize” is the essential illustrated pocket guide to this birder’s paradise. It covers all regularly occurring bird species found in the region and features facing-page plates and text that make field identification easy.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘On Myself, and Other, Less Important Subjects’

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Updated 03 March 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘On Myself, and Other, Less Important Subjects’

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Author: CASPAR HARE

Caspar Hare makes an original and compelling case for “egocentric presentism,” a view about the nature of first-person experience, about what happens when we see things from our own particular point of view.

A natural thought about our first-person experience is that “all and only the things of which I am aware are present to me.” Hare, however, goes one step further and claims, counterintuitively, that the thought should instead be that “all and only the things of which I am aware are present.”

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘King: A Life’ by Martin Luther King Jr.

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Updated 03 March 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘King: A Life’ by Martin Luther King Jr.

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“King: A Life” is a biography of American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. written by Jonathan Eig and published in 2023.

The book delves into the complex and inspiring life of King Jr., exploring his upbringing, his role in the fight for racial equality, and the impact of his untimely death.

Despite his privileged upbringing, King Jr. was exposed to the harsh realities of racial discrimination, which shaped his commitment to challenging injustice.

The author examines King Jr.’s pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a significant turning point in the civil rights movement in the US, detailing the challenges he faced, including the threats to his life and the internal conflicts within the movement.

Eig presents a balanced account of King Jr.’s leadership abilities, his strategies for nonviolent resistance, and the impact of his speeches, such as the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

One of the strengths of Eig’s biography is his exploration of King Jr.’s personal life, including his marriage to Coretta Scott King and his extramarital affairs. This honest portrayal of the man’s complexities humanizes him while acknowledging his flaws and struggles in his personal and public life.

The book recounts the final years of King Jr.’s life, including his opposition to the Vietnam War and his efforts to alleviate poverty, and showcases the pressures and challenges he faced during this period, such as FBI surveillance and internal divisions within the movement.

Eig is an American writer and journalist. He is best known for his biographies of notable figures in history and sports, including Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Al Capone, and Mohammed Ali.

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Wasps of the World’

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Updated 02 March 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Wasps of the World’

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Authors: SIMON VAN NOORT AND GAVIN BROAD 

Wasps have been around since before the dinosaurs and are one of the world’s largest insect groups. More than 150,000 species have been identified, and while the black-and-yellow insect with a cinched waist may be the most familiar, most wasps are tiny parasitoids that use other insects for food.

“Wasps of the World” provides a breathtaking look at the diverse characteristics, habitats, and lifestyles of these extraordinary insects.

 


What We Are Reading Today: LatinoLand

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Updated 02 March 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: LatinoLand

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Author: Marie Arana

“LatinoLand,” by Marie Arana, explores the diverse politics and historical roots of Hispanic Americans.
It is a compelling and insightful exploration into the diverse tapestry of Latino culture in the US.
Arana, with her profound understanding and personal connection to the Latino experience, crafts a narrative that is both illuminative and deeply resonant.
The book is not just a mere compilation of statistics and historical facts; it’s a vibrant journey through the lives, struggles, and triumphs of the Latino community.
Arana draws on her own experience as the daughter of an American mother and Peruvian father who came to the US at age nine, straddling two worlds, as many Latinos do.
She delves into the socio-political challenges facing Latino Americans, from immigration policies to economic disparities, without losing sight of the individual stories that illuminate these issues.
Arana’s work shines in its celebration of the cultural contributions of Latino Americans to the fabric of American society.
The book “unabashedly celebrates Latino resilience and character and shows us why we must understand the fastest-growing minority in America,” said a review on Goodreads.com.