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Books by Scholars

Recent and forthcoming books written and edited by Rhodes Scholars.

For a full list of books by Scholars, please visit the Rhodes Scholars Library Catalogue. To add a book to this list or the catalogue, email connect@rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk.

  • For the past eight decades, we have lived in “the American Century” – a period during which the US has enjoyed unrivalled power – be it political, economic or military - on the global stage.  Born on the cusp of this new era, Joseph S. Nye Jr. has spent a lifetime illuminating our understanding of the changing contours of America power and world affairs.  His many books on the nature of power and political leadership have rightly earned him his reputation as one of the most influential international relations scholars in the world today. 
     
    In this deeply personal book, Joseph Nye shares his own journey living through the American century. From his early years growing up on a farm in rural New Jersey to his time in the State Department, Pentagon and Intelligence Community during the Carter and Clinton administrations where he witnessed American power up close, shaping policy on key issues such as nuclear proliferation and East Asian security.  After 9/11 drew the US into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nye remained an astute observer and critic of the Bush, Obama and Trump presidencies. Today American primacy may be changing, but he concludes with a faint ray of guarded optimism about the future of his country in a richer but riskier world.

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  • We are in a crucial moment: women are breaking through the cultural reticence around gender-based violence. But just as survivors have begun to feel empowered to speak out, a new form of systematic silencing has made itself more evident: rich and powerful men are using teams of lawyers to suppress allegations and prevent newspaper stories from running. Individual women, advocacy groups and journalists find themselves fighting against censorship.

    The law is being wielded to reinforce the status quo of silence that existed before #MeToo.

    If women cannot speak about their abuse ­- and journalists are fearful of telling their stories – then how can we understand the problem of gender-based violence in our society? And how can we even begin to end it?

    In How Many More Women? internationally-acclaimed human rights lawyers, Jennifer Robinson and Keina Yoshida, examine the broken systems and explore the changes needed in order to ensure that women’s freedom, including their freedom of speech, is no longer threatened by the laws that are supposed to protect them.

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  • The UN's urban sustainability goal (#11) is fundamental to the global sustainable development agenda. David Simon explains the anatomy and dynamics of SDG 11, and critically assess how it is being used and understood in different local, regional and national contexts.

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  • Walter Isaacson charts Elon Musk’s journey from humble beginnings to one of the wealthiest people on the planet – but is Musk a genius or a jerk?

    For two years, Walter Isaacson had unprecedented access. He shadowed Musk, attended his meetings, walked his factories with him and spent hours interviewing him, his family, friends, coworkers and adversaries. The result is the revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, that addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?

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  • Unmasking AI goes beyond the headlines about existential risks produced by Big Tech. It is the remarkable story of how Buolamwini uncovered what she calls “the coded gaze”—the evidence of encoded discrimination and exclusion in tech products—and how she galvanized the movement to prevent AI harms by founding the Algorithmic Justice League. Applying an intersectional lens to both the tech industry and the research sector, she shows how racism, sexism, colorism, and ableism can overlap and render broad swaths of humanity “excoded” and therefore vulnerable in a world rapidly adopting AI tools. Computers, she reminds us, are reflections of both the aspirations and the limitations of the people who create them.

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  • Statues and Storms offers a gripping insider’s account of Max Price’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town during a transformative period in South African higher education. 

    With a focus on leadership, the book also explores enduring themes in academia, including academic and artistic freedom, the limits of protest rights, institutional racism, culture and inclusiveness, and the funding of higher education.

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  • India is set to become the next global superpower, with a population expected to exceed that of the United States and China combined by 2050. For Australia, India has emerged as a new geopolitical partner, offering hope for a more secure and balanced Indo-Pacific region.

    Yet Australia's relationship with India is weaker than it should be. Despite many similarities of geography and history, and a thriving Indian diaspora in Australia, both Indians and Australians have an outdated view of each other, trapped in decades-old stereotypes and misunderstandings. In Australia's Pivot to India, Andrew Charlton explains why now is the time to seize the opportunity for collaboration and cooperation, and outlines a vision for the Australia–India partnership that will enhance Australia's security and prosperity in the twenty-first century.

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  • When Thomas Roe arrived in India in 1616 as James I's first ambassador to the Mughal Empire, the English barely had a toehold in the subcontinent. Their understanding of South Asian trade and India was sketchy at best, and, to the Mughals, they were minor players on a very large stage. Roe was representing a kingdom that was beset by financial woes and deeply conflicted about its identity as a unified 'Great Britain' under the Stuart monarchy. Meanwhile, the court he entered in India was wealthy and cultured, its dominion widely considered to be one of the greatest and richest empires of the world.

    In Nandini Das's fascinating history of Roe's four years in India, she offers an insider's view of a Britain in the making, a country whose imperial seeds were just being sown. It is a story of palace intrigue and scandal, lotteries and wagers that unfolds as global trade begins to stretch from Russia to Virginia, from West Africa to the Spice Islands of Indonesia.

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  • Shim has only ever known a world of peace. Unusually big and strong even for a young giant, he lives on the magical isle of Fincayra, immersed in nature as well as tales of wizards, mer folk, and dragons.

    Suddenly that world explodes in chaos. A terrible attack forces Shim and his mother to flee — and take a hazardous journey to reach the only person who could possibly help them, the mysterious Domnu. But when a wager goes horribly wrong, Shim shrinks down to a tiny fraction of his size. Now only as tall as a man’s knee, he finds himself lost in a deadly swamp. Worse yet, he has forgotten something important, something truly essential. But what?

    As small as he is now, Shim must find giant-size courage. He embarks on a perilous quest to discover what happened, what secret he forgot, and what it really means to be a giant.

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  • The author's ancestry and upbringing are a blend of the plural strands of India's races, religions and culture . His education in three countries, reinforced this liberal, cosmopolitan and trusting heritage, which is the backdrop for the unfolding of a diplomat's life in eight different countries.

    The book recounts the history of dramatic, exciting, and dangerous events, which the author and his family witnessed and in which they were often active participants.

    Vivid portraits of Presidents, Prime Ministers, Emperors, Princes, musicians, dancers, poets, actors, business tycoons give this book a uniquely rare texture. This kaleidoscope of eminent leaders and humbler folk, is enriched and enlivened by a variety of stories and anecdotes which are amusing, poignant and at times inspirational .

    The author has tried to portray a life which has had the character of a luxuriant garden, with flowers of a myriad hues, stately trees and the scent of freshly mown grass. The pages of the book illuminate the wonder, the beauty, the joys and the grace of a magnificent garden.

    He celebrates his garden by counting the flowers that grow rather than by the leaves that fall.

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  • Artifice is set in a near-future Singapore and takes on the challenge of what truly sentient AI might mean for humanity. This is speculative fiction in the mold of Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun or Le Tellier's The Anomaly.

    Humanity's greatest invention could be our last.

    Archie's involvement in the artificial intelligence project known as Janus was limited to routine diagnostics. But when she discovers that she and everyone else has been deceived by their creation, it launches her on a journey that will change her life - and humanity's future.

    Set in a near-future Singapore, Artifice will resonate with anyone curious or concerned about developments in AI, as well as how such technological advances might make us rethink what it means to be human.

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  • The issues of poverty, inequality, racial injustice, and climate change have never been more pressing or paralyzing. Current approaches to social change, which rely on linear thinking and traditional power dynamics to 'solve' social problems, are not helping. In fact, they may only be entrenching the status quo.

    Systemic social challenges produce bewildering results when we try to solve them due to their complexity, scale, and depth. While strategies to tackle complexity and scale have received significant attention and investment, challenges that arise from deeply-held beliefs, values, and assumptions that no longer serve us well have been largely overlooked. 

    In The Systems Work of Social Change, Cynthia Rayner and François Bonnici draw on two hundred years of history and a treasure trove of stories of committed social change-makers to uncover principles and practices for social change that radically depart from industrial approaches. Rather than delivering solutions or being lured by grander visions of 'systems change', these principles and practices focus on the process of change itself.

    Simple yet profound, these stories distil a timely set of lessons for leaders, scholars, and policymakers on how connection, context, and power sit at the heart of the change process, ensuring broader agency for people and communities while building social systems that are responsive in a rapidly-changing world.

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  • Since Pauline Konga’s breakthrough performance at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, the world has become accustomed to seeing Kenyan women medal at major championships, sweep marathons, and set world records. Yet little is known about the pioneer generation of women who paved the way for Kenya’s reputation as an international powerhouse in women’s track and field. In Kenya’s Running Women: A History, historian and former professional runner Michelle M. Sikes details the triumphs and many challenges these women faced, from the advent of Kenya’s athletics program in the colonial era through the professionalization of running in the 1980s and 1990s. Sikes reveals how over time running became a vehicle for Kenyan women to expand the boundaries of acceptable female behavior. Kenya’s Running Women demonstrates the necessity of including women in histories of African sport, and of incorporating sport into studies of African gender and nation-building.
     

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  • This volume collects four spirited, imaginative and provocative plays from Romanian-American dramatist Cristina A. Bejan. The plays are:

    • TO THOSE WHO HAVEN'T STOPPED THINKING
    • DISTRICTLAND
    • FINALLY QUIET IN MY MIND
    • LIFE ACCORDING TO SWAMI SHIVA.

    From a dystopian investigation of the impact of totalitarianism, an absurd satire about American ambition, a cry for mental health awareness, and a timely critique of Putin's Russia, Bejan's plays span the world and ultimately capture the universal beating of the human heart. 

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  • A fascinating history of the first attempts to computerize medical diagnosis.

    Beginning in the 1950s, interdisciplinary teams of physicians, engineers, mathematicians, and philosophers began to explore the possible application of a new digital technology to one of the most central, and vexed, tasks of medicine: diagnosis. In Digitizing Diagnosis, Andrew Lea examines these efforts—and the larger questions, debates, and transformations that emerged in their wake.

    While surveying the continuities spanning the analog and digital worlds of medicine, Lea uncovers how the introduction of the computer to medical diagnosis reconfigured the identities of patients, diseases, and physicians. Debates about how and whether to apply computers to the problem of diagnosis, he demonstrates, were animated by larger concerns about the nature of medical reasoning, the definitions of disease, and the authority and identity of physicians and patients.

    In their attempts to digitize diagnosis, these interdisciplinary groups of researchers repeatedly came up against fundamental moral and philosophical questions. How should doctors classify diseases? Could humans understand, and come to trust, the opaque decision-making processes of machines? And how might computerized systems circumvent—or calcify—bias? As medical algorithms become more deeply integrated into clinical care, researchers, clinicians, and caregivers continue to grapple with these questions today.

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  • Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, anthropologist, and educator known around the world for her educational philosophy and pedagogy. Her work established educational environments tailored to the child where autonomy and independence are encouraged within thriving and respectful communities. 

    The Bloomsbury Handbook of Montessori Education is an accessible resource tracing Montessori education from its historical roots to current scholarship and contemporary issues of culture, social justice, and environmentalism. Divided into six sections the handbook encompasses a range of topics related to Maria Montessori and Montessori education including foundations and evolution of the field; key writings; pedagogy across the lifespan; scholarly research; global reach; and contemporary considerations such as gender, inclusive education, race and multilingualism.

    Written by scholars and practitioners based in over 20 countries, this is the go-to reference work for anyone interested in Montessori education.

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  • Getting to Good Friday intertwines literary analysis and narrative history in an accessible account of the shifts in thinking and talking about Northern Ireland's divided society that brought thirty years of political violence to a close with the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

    Drawing on decades of reading, researching, and teaching Northern Irish literature and talking and corresponding with Northern Irish writers, Marilynn Richtarik describes literary reactions and contributions to the peace process during the fifteen years preceding the Agreement and in the immediate post-conflict era.

    Progress in this period hinged on negotiators' ability to revise the terms used to discuss the conflict. As poet Michael Longley commented in 1998, 'In its language the Good Friday Agreement depended on an almost poetic precision and suggestiveness to get its complicated message across.' Interpreting selected literary works by Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Deirdre Madden, Seamus Deane, Bernard MacLaverty, Colum McCann, and David Park within a detailed historical frame, Richtarik demonstrates the extent to which authors were motivated by a desire both to comment on and to intervene in unfolding political situations. 

    Getting to Good Friday suggests that literature as literature-that is, in its formal properties in addition to anything it might have to 'say' about a given subject-can enrich readers' historical understanding. Through Richtarik's engaging narrative, creative writing emerges as both the medium of and a metaphor for the peace process itself.

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  • Brothers is Nico Slate’s poignant memoir about Peter Slate, aka XL, a Black rapper and screenwriter whose life was tragically cut short. Nico and Peter shared the same White American mother but had different fathers. Nico’s was White; Peter’s was Black. Growing up in California in the 1980s and 1990s, Nico often forgot about their racial differences until one night in March 1994 when Peter was attacked by a White man in a nightclub in Los Angeles.

    Nico began writing Brothers with the hope that investigating the attack would bring him closer to Peter. He could not understand that night, however, without grappling with the many ways race had long separated him from his brother.

    This is a memoir of loss—the loss of a life and the loss at the heart of our racial divide—but it is also a memoir of love. The love between Nico and Peter permeates every page of Brothers. This achingly beautiful memoir presents one family’s resilience on the fault lines of race in contemporary America.

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  • The world is changing faster than ever, with increasing uncertainty and threat of disruption in every business and nonprofit segment. Conventional approaches to strategy no longer work. In this prequel to their Amazon-bestseller, Bulletproof Problem Solving, Charles Conn and Rob McLean introduce a novel approach to strategic problem solving in times of high uncertainty.

    Based on a decade of research and fifty new case studies, The Imperfectionists posits a dynamic approach to developing organizational direction under uncertainty based on six reinforcing problem-solving mindsets. With endorsements from Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and Professor Richard Rumelt, The Imperfectionists is a go-to strategy resource for this moment. 

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  • A Surprisingly Simple Plan for Ending Poverty–and Making Trillions of Dollars for Ourselves While We Do It

    Poverty costs our country more than a trillion dollars a year for myriad complex reasons. Ending it would result in joy that is hard to quantify. Yet for all the complexities involved, the “how” of it all–the way to escape national suffering and decline and start off toward a future of organic, resilient national growth–is simple. It’s SO SIMPLE.

    To have lives of dignity and purpose and contribute meaningfully to our capitalist economy, America’s poor people do not need the rest of us to feed or shelter them. They don’t need us to derail our lives to take care of them or even think about them all that much.

    They need MONEY.

    Darryl Finkton, Jr. is a hedge fund manager turned community organizer. Raised in poverty, Darryl went on to graduate from Harvard College and the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. In “End Poverty. Make Trillions.” Darryl shares how he rose from rags to riches, and how we can ensure everyone has an opportunity to generate wealth.

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  • Overcoming the Oppressors traces southern Africa's long walk to freedom, the overturning of colonial rule in the northern territories, and the dissolution of backs-to-the-wall white settler suzerainty, first in what became Zimbabwe and then in South Africa. Chapters on the individual countries detail the stages along their sometimes complicated and tortuous struggle to attain the political New Zion. Rotberg explains how and why the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland failed, how and why apartheid eventually collapsed, and exactly how the various components of this heavily white conquered, and later white oppressed, domain transitioned via diverse fits and starts into today's assemblage of proud, politically charged, and still mostly fragmented nation-states.

    But what did the new republics make of their hard-won freedoms? Having liberated themselves successfully, several soon dismantled democratic safeguards, established effective single-party states, closed their economies, deprived citizens of human rights and civil liberties, and exchanged economic progress for varieties of central planning experiments and stunted forms of protected economic endeavors. Only Botswana, of the new entities, embraced full democracy and good governance. The others, even South Africa, at first tightly regimented their economies and attempted to severely limit the degrees of economic freedom and social progress that citizens could enjoy. Corruption prevailed everywhere except Botswana. Today, as the chapters on contemporary southern Africa reveal, most of the southern half of the African continent is returning, if sometimes struggling, to the patterns of probity and good governance that many countries abandoned in the decades after independence.

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  • From a leading Yale expert and serial entrepreneur, a radical, principled, and field-tested approach that identifies what’s really at stake in any negotiation and ensures you get your half—so you can focus on growing the pie. 

    Negotiations are incredibly stressful and can bring out the worst in people. Wouldn’t it be better if there were a principled way to negotiate? Wouldn’t it be even better if there were a way to treat people fairly and get treated fairly in a negotiation?

    Split the Pie offers a new approach that does both—a field-tested method that reframes how negotiations play out. Barry Nalebuff, a professor at Yale School of Management, helps identify what’s really at stake in a negotiation: the “pie.” The negotiation pie is the additional value created through an agreement to work together. Seeing the relevant pie will change how you think about fairness and power in negotiation. You’ll learn how to get half the value you create, no matter your size. 

    Filled with examples and in-depth case studies, Split the Pie is a practical and theory-based approach to negotiation. You’ll see how it helped reframe a high-stakes negotiation when Coca-Cola purchased Honest Tea, a company Barry cofounded with his former student Seth Goldman. The pie framework also works for everyday negotiations. You’ll learn how to deploy logic to determine truly equitable solutions and employ empathy to expand the pie and sell your solution. Split the Pie allows both sides to focus their energy on making the biggest possible pie—to have your pie and eat it too.

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  • Were the Dutch-Africans in southern Africa a brother nation to the Dutch or did they simply represent a lost colony? Connecting primary sources in Dutch and Afrikaans, this work tells the story of the Dutch stamverwantschap (kinship) movement between 1847 and 1900. The white Dutch-Africans were imagined to be the bridgehead to a broader Dutch identity – a ‘second Netherlands’ in the south. This study explores how the 19th century Dutch identified with and idealised a pastoral community operating within a racially segregated society on the edge of European civilisation. When the stamverwantschap dream collided with British military and economic power, the belief that race, language and religion could sustain a broader Dutch identity proved to be an illusion.

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  • This book brings the tools and ideas of Anglo-American analytic philosophy to bear on how we think about issues of contemporary significance, in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. While acknowledging empirical findings within the social sciences, it takes on the prescriptive task of imagining a better world, in which being citizens in a democracy means actively engaging with others. 

    We cling to tribal affiliations which incline us to look inward and spurn those whom we deem to be “other.” And we observe the mind-numbing, herd-like impact of social (and other) media on our capacity – and that of our children – to distinguish truth and good sense from falsehood and nonsense. Such problems demand our attention as reasonable persons who both think for themselves, and deliberate in good faith with others with whom they may well disagree. The good news is that while reasonableness cannot be taken for granted, it can – indeed, it must – be nurtured and it must be taught. This book both articulates a conception of reasonableness and exemplifies a clear standard of reasonableness, with respect to the questions it raises and the author's responses to them. 

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  • A practical blueprint for successful, measurable, and impactful DEI initiatives

    In Data-Driven DEI: The Tools and Metrics You Need to Measure, Analyze, and Improve Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Dr. Randal Pinkett, a renowned diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) thought leader delivers a practical and evidence-based blueprint to achieving lasting impact with your DEI initiatives. Dr. Pinkett has created a simple, step-by-step process to assess the current state of your DEI, analyze that data to create a personal and organizational action plan, and implement data-driven, science-based, and technology-enabled interventions for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

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  • A haunting story of love, art, and betrayal, set against the heart-pounding backdrop of Antarctic exploration—from the Boston Globe-bestselling author of The Clover House.

    The year is 1910, and two Antarctic explorers, Watts and Heywoud, are racing to the South Pole.  Back in London, Viola, a photo-journalist, harbors love for them both.  In Terra Nova, Henriette Lazaridis seamlessly ushers the reader back and forth between the austere, forbidding, yet intoxicating polar landscape of Antarctica to the bustle of early twentieth century London.

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  • A tour de force, Second Coming, first novel by the author explores the sacred and the profane in the life of the protagonist. The multi-layered narrative is seen through his eyes which both colour it, and expose him. It cuts across several countries and cultures, belief systems and social structures, ages and genders. The novel deftly weaves literary and religious allusions and illusions into an absorbing, complex portrayal. A cosmopolitan childhood, challenging and successful middle age and the onset of infirmities of ageing contribute to the unusual manipulation of the time frame. The past, present and future, of a sensitive individual prone to doubt and hope, vulnerability and sureness, are laid candidly bare. It is a story studded with comic moments of self-delusion, folly and the ridiculous. Here, viewed from telling, faceted perspectives, is the human condition.

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  • Divided by a beautiful valley and 150 years of racism, the town of Rossburn and the Waywayseecappo Indian reserve have been neighbours nearly as long as Canada has been a country. Their story reflects much of what has gone wrong in relations between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. It also offers, in the end, an uncommon measure of hope.

    Find out more about Valley of the Birdtail

  • A bold new interpretation of Augustine’s virtue of hope and its place in political life.

    When it comes to politics, Augustine of Hippo is renowned as one of history’s great pessimists, with his sights set firmly on the heavenly city rather than the public square. Many have enlisted him to chasten political hopes, highlighting the realities of evil and encouraging citizens instead to cast their hopes on heaven. A Commonwealth of Hope challenges prevailing interpretations of Augustinian pessimism, offering a new vision of his political thought that can also help today’s citizens sustain hope in the face of despair.

    Amid rising inequality, injustice, and political division, many citizens wonder what to hope for in politics and whether it is possible to forge common hopes in a deeply polarized society. Michael Lamb takes up this challenge, offering the first in-depth analysis of Augustine’s virtue of hope and its profound implications for political life. He draws on a wide range of Augustine’s writings—including neglected sermons, letters, and treatises—and integrates insights from political theory, religious studies, theology, and philosophy. Lamb shows how diverse citizens, both religious and secular, can unite around common hopes for the commonwealth.

    Recovering this understudied virtue and situating Augustine within his political, rhetorical, and religious contexts, A Commonwealth of Hope reveals how Augustine’s virtue of hope can help us resist the politics of presumption and despair and confront the challenges of our time.

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  • Arctic Meltdown, a gripping environmental thriller, is set against the backdrop of the melting polar icecap and the ensuing jostling for jurisdiction over additional seabed resources. Hanne Kristensen, a beautiful Danish geologist, has to contend with a corrupted UN process, China's growing interest in Arctic resources and maritime routes, Russian military aggression and the resulting international tension to try to save the world from war and the Arctic from environmental catastrophe. A potential complication in this real-life situation is that resource rich but population poor Greenland is egged on toward independence from Denmark by Chinese money and Russian military domination. This is a book that presages what is actually happening in the Arctic today.

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  • The Mind Spins is an exploration of the creative process, of the mind as it plots a narrative and builds characters. The thirteen stories included in the collection are divided into two parts, Awake and Dreaming. The six that make up the Part I, Awake, explore how the human mind creates a story in its waking state. Several of the tales in this section take off from the author's own experiences—walking in the woods in Vermont, a phone message from his brother, a stray item of lingerie—while others are based on critical social issues—the plight of refugees in the US, human trafficking, the plight of homeless veterans. The stories in Part II, Dreaming, are based on dreams the author had and managed to capture upon waking. These fully reflect the zany manner in which dreams can spin off in strange directions, often bringing in new seemingly unrelated characters, some of which are sometimes non-human, others clearly from a non-contemporaneous past or future. Yet it is also evident that these stories, too, the first "draft" of which were "spun" by the mind in its dreaming state, are based on the author's experiences.

    Find out more about The Mind Spins: A Collection of Short Stories

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  • The Abyss: Poems for our World poignantly sets out that we - human beings - are the greatest threat to life and this world: not only because of our social and political divisions, but also because of our continuing incapacity to come to terms with the need to change our ways, and to adopt behaviors that are less destructive to mother earth, other species of life and indeed, ourselves.

    Geza Tatrallyay's last two collections of poetry, Extinction and Extinction Rebellion, were devoted to exploring the beauty of nature around us and more specifically, how our actions are systematically destroying it. The Abyss, continues the focus on our glorious world and the delight we can derive from it and from each other, as well as on the manner in which our habits can have such a harmful impact.]

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  • To be published in February 2023. A poet and journalist looks back on a remarkable journey from Turkey to Nepal in 1978, when the region was on the brink of massive transformation.

    In the spring of 1978, at age twenty-two, Mark Abley put aside his studies at Oxford and set off with a friend on a three-month trek across the celebrated Hippie Trail — a sprawling route between Europe and South Asia, peppered with Western bohemians and vagabonds. It was a time when the Shah of Iran still reigned supreme, Afghanistan lay at peace, and city streets from Turkey to India teemed with unrest. Within a year, many of the places he visited would become inaccessible to foreign travellers.

    Drawing from the tattered notebooks he filled as a youthful wanderer, Abley brings his kaleidoscope of experiences back to life with vivid detail: dancing in a Turkish disco, clambering across a glacier in Kashmir, travelling by train among Baluchi tribesmen who smuggled kitchen appliances over international borders. He also reflects on the impact of the Hippie Trail and the illusions of those who journeyed along it. The lively immediacy of Abley’s journals combined with the measured wisdom of his mature, contemporary voice provides rich insight, bringing vibrant witness and historical perspective to this beautifully written portrait of a region during a time of irrevocable change.

    Find out more about Strange Bewildering Time: Istanbul to Kathmandu in the Last Year of the Hippie Trail 

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  • Harry Abley was a nightmare of a father: depressive, self-absorbed, unpredictable, emotionally unstable. He was also a dream of a father: gentle, courageous, artistically gifted. Mark Abley, his only child, grew up in the shadow of music and mental illness. How he came to terms with this divided legacy, and how he learned to be a man in the absence of a traditional masculine role model, are central to this beautifully written memoir. 

    This extraordinary story will speak to all those who love music, who struggle with depression, or who wrestle with the difficult bonds of love between a parent and a child. 

    Find out more about The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind.

  • Among the greatest of poets, T. S. Eliot protected his privacy while publicly associated with three women: two wives and a church-going companion. This presentation concealed a life-long love for an American: Emily Hale, a drama teacher to whom he wrote (and later suppressed) over a thousand letters. Hale was the source of “memory and desire” in The Waste Land; she is the Hyacinth Girl.

    Drawing on the dramatic new material of the only recently unsealed 1,131 letters Eliot wrote to Hale, leading biographer Lyndall Gordon reveals a hidden Eliot. Emily Hale now becomes the first and consistently important woman of life — and his art. Gordon also offers new insight into the other spirited women who shaped him: Vivienne, the flamboyant wife with whom he shared a private wasteland; Mary Trevelyan, his companion in prayer; and Valerie Fletcher, the young disciple to whom he proposed when his relationship with Emily foundered. Eliot kept his women apart as each ignited his transformations as poet, expatriate, convert, and, finally, in his latter years, a man `made for love.’

    Emily Hale was at the centre of a love drama he conceived and the inspiration for the lines he wrote to last beyond their time. To read Eliot’s twice-weekly letters to Emily during the thirties and forties is to enter the heart of the poet’s art.

    Read more about the Hyacinth Girl.

  • A timely resource for Black professionals on how to rise to the top of their organizations or industries and, just as importantly, to stay there. 
    Black Faces in High Places is the essential guide for Black professionals who are moving up through their organizations or industries but need a roadmap for how to get to the top and stay there. It highlights the experiences of other Black faces in high places who were able to navigate various crossroads, reach the top, and stay there, including insights from President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Cathy Hughes, Bob Johnson, Ursula Burns, David Steward, Angela Glover Blackwell, Ken Chenault, Senator Cory Booker, Geoffrey Canada, and others.

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  • These poems are framed by the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic. While not all were written during that time, they share a concern with the fragility of the earth and our bodies on the earth, as well as the webs we weave through virtual means of connection.

    Jennifer Davis Michael is a professor of English at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, specializing in British Romanticism. Her publications include a previous chapbook, Let Me Let Go (Finishing Line Press, 2020), and a book of criticism, Blake and the City (Bucknell University Press, 2006).  Her poem “Forty Trochees” won the Frost Farm Prize in 2020, judged by Rachel Hadas.

    Find out more about Dubious Breath.

  • From the author of The Emperor of All Maladies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and The Gene, a #1 New York Times bestseller, comes his most spectacular book yet, an exploration of medicine and our radical new ability to manipulate cells. Rich with Mukherjee’s revelatory and exhilarating stories of scientists, doctors, and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, The Song of the Cell is the third book in this extraordinary writer’s exploration of what it means to be human.

    Mukherjee begins this magnificent story in the late 1600s, when a distinguished English polymath, Robert Hooke, and an eccentric Dutch cloth-merchant, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek looked down their handmade microscopes. What they saw introduced a radical concept that swept through biology and medicine, touching virtually every aspect of the two sciences, and altering both forever. It was the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny, self-contained, self-regulating units. Our organs, our physiology, our selves—hearts, blood, brains—are built from these compartments. Hooke christened them “cells”.

    The discovery of cells—and the reframing of the human body as a cellular ecosystem—announced the birth of a new kind of medicine based on the therapeutic manipulations of cells. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer’s dementia, AIDS, pneumonia, lung cancer, kidney failure, arthritis, COVID pneumonia—all could be reconceived as the results of cells, or systems of cells, functioning abnormally. And all could be perceived as loci of cellular therapies.

    In The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces you with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee’s own experience as a researcher, a doctor, and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate—a masterpiece.

    Find out more about the Song of the Cell

  • Originally published in 1950, Harold A. Innis’s Empire and Communications is considered to be one of the classic works in media studies, yet its origins have received little attention. Ambitious in its scope, the book spans five millennia, tracing a path of development around the globe from 2900 BCE to the twentieth century and revealing the cyclical interplay between communications and power structures across space and time.

    In this new edition, William J. Buxton pays close attention to handwritten glosses that Innis added to a copy of the original edition and the revisions undertaken by his widow, Mary Q. Innis. A new introduction provides a detailed account of how the book emerged from lectures that Innis delivered at Oxford University in 1948, as well as how it related to other presentations Innis made in Britain during the same period. It explores how Innis sought to enrich his analysis by incorporating material related to phenomena such as war, education, religion, culture, geography, and finance. An insightful foreword by Marshall McLuhan is included, as well as bibliographical references and a revised index.

    By providing a narrative based on extensive notes from Innis, this edition makes Empire and Communications more accessible and contributes to the broad efforts to shape Innis’s legacy.

    Find out more about Empire and Communications.

  • We live in a world that is always on, where everyone is always connected. But we feel increasingly disconnected. Why? The answer lies in our brains. Carl D. Marci, MD, a leading expert on social and consumer neuroscience, reviews the mounting evidence that overuse of smart phones and social media is rewiring our brains, resulting in a losing deal: we are neglecting the relationships that sustain us and keep us healthy in favor of weaker and more ephemeral ties.


    The ability to connect and form strong social bonds is fundamental to human experience and emerged through unique structures in our brains. But ever-more-powerful technologies and ubiquitous access to media have hijacked our need to connect intimately and emotionally with others. The quick highs of clicking “like” and swiping right overstimulate the same neurological reward centers associated with social relationships. The habits that accompany our digital lifestyles are putting tremendous pressure on critical components of the brain associated with attention, emotion, and memory, changing how we process information and altering how we communicate and relate, even at a physiological level.


    As a psychiatrist working at the forefront of research on the impact of digital technology, Marci has seen this transformation up close and developed a range of responses. Rewired provides scientifically supported solutions for everyone who wants to restore their tech–life balance—from parents concerned about their children’s exposure to the internet to stressed workers dealing with the deluge of emails and managing the expectation of 24/7 availability.

    Read more about Rewired

  • Fob James’ legal adviser (from January 1979 to July 1980), Mike Waters, details how the former Alabama Governor's vision for Alabama's future still resonates today. 

    Mike Waters has practiced law in Alabama since 1977 and is a partner in the Birmingham office of Jones Walker LLP.  A native of Cullman, Alabama, he graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1972 with a B.A. in history.  He received an M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics in 1975 from Oxford University, England, as a Rhodes Scholar, and received a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1977.  His law practice centers on corporate and securities work, primarily for banks and financial institutions.  He served as Legal Adviser to Alabama Governor Fob James from January 1979 to July 1980.  He was a member of Governor Bob Riley’s Alabama Citizens Commission on Constitutional Reform chaired by Secretary of State Jim Bennett in 2002-2003 and a consultant to Governor Robert Bentley’s Alabama Constitution Revision Commission chaired by former Governor Albert Brewer, 2011-2014.

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  • Jessica Teich was among the first wave of women to expose Hollywood’s culture of harassment and abuse. Her memoir, The Future Tense of Joy, tells the inspiring story of her own recovery from trauma, empowering other victims to move past silence and shame toward help, healing, and hope. Teich writes openly, courageously, of the challenges facing so many survivors: to feel safe, to find love, to nurture optimism and resilience, and to reclaim the sense of connection — of belonging — that defines us as human beings.

    Kirkus called The Future Tense of Joy “an honest, compassionate memoir about shaking off personal demons.” 

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  • Choosing to pursue a PhD is not an easy decision. It can include enormous financial and time investments, relocation, and loss of personal time. It is stressful and onerous work, yet it can bring prestige, better career opportunities, increased income, priceless knowledge, and memorable experiences. Even if you know you want to pursue a PhD, how do you choose which program to apply for? How do you fund your studies? And what questions do you not even know to ask? In The PhD Journey: Strategies for Enrolling, Thriving, and Excelling in a PhD Program, Dr. Gladys Chepkirui Ngetich shares her recent experiences succeeding in a PhD program at the University of Oxford. Her personal stories, practical advice, and down-to-earth perspective will enlighten your journey. Plus, she shares interviews with fifteen other students from universities around the world.

    Topics range from choosing a PhD program, finding an advisor, and deciding on a thesis or dissertation topic to coping with homesickness, finding a support group, making the best use of your time, and applying new technology.

  • This book details how any administration intent on pursuing a pro-fossil policy, when Congress fails to act as a check, can change governance rules to permanently entrench oil and gas extraction and reliance in the United States and to cripple regulatory agencies. The Trump administration’s actions which violated traditional bipartisan values of economic prudence, environmental stewardship and respect for democratic norms, damaged Americans’ health, economy and governing institutions. Americans can take steps to reset the United States to a sustainable energy pathway and a more inclusive economy. Proposed legislation that combines incentives for the deployment of renewable energy with long-term investments into revitalizing fossil fuel communities enjoys strong support among voters in fossil fuel reliant regions. Government policies that correct economic-wide signals to capture pollution and climate risks creates a more level playing field for the growth of more sustainable livelihoods. These actions can bolster the momentum for a sustainable and equitable transition.

    With America’s Energy Gamble, public policy expert Shanti Gamper-Rabindran lays out a stark case that powerful oil and gas interests have, with considerable help from the outgoing Trump administration, gained control of the lever arms of our energy and environmental policy apparatus. Our economic competitiveness, the health of our environment, and the livability of our planet are all now threatened. Read this book to be informed about the threat and armed with the knowledge of what can be done in the Biden era to undo the damage and right the course.' Michael E. Mann, Penn State University; author of The New Climate War

    Find out more about America's Energy Gamble: People Economy and Planet

  • Having moved from zoology to psychology to anthropology on both sides of the Atlantic, Bill McGrew developed a fascination for chimpanzees which led to him spending four decades studying our nearest living relations in their African homelands. He held a series of academic posts in the USA and UK, culminating in a professorship at the University of Cambridge and ending in retirement to Scotland. As he puts it: “I was lucky enough to be paid by various academic institutions to do what I would have paid them to let me do”.

    This memoir consists of a series of stories and vignettes from a varied and colourful life, mainly involving animals, and naturally focusing on chimpanzees. All proceeds will go to organisations that rescue and care for chimpanzees.

    Find out more about Chasing after Chimpanzees