Global Issues Book Group

The Global Issues Book Group, reads and discusses books on the vital Political, Economic, Environmental and Social issues that challenge humankind in the 21st Century. The Global Issues Book Group is currently meeting virtually and if you are interested in joining, please send an email to BOOKCLUB@ELLIOTTBAYBOOK.COM.

 

Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812988116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 11th, 2021

July 2021

Eat the Buddha

 

Just as she did with North Korea, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick explores one of the most hidden corners of the world. She tells the story of a Tibetan town perched eleven thousand feet above sea level that is one of the most difficult places in all of China for foreigners to visit. Ngaba was one of the first places where the Tibetans and the Chinese Communists encountered one another. In the 1930s, Mao Zedong’s Red Army fled into the Tibetan plateau to escape their adversaries in the Chinese Civil War. By the time the soldiers reached Ngaba, they were so hungry that they looted monasteries and ate religious statues made of flour and butter—to Tibetans, it was as if they were eating the Buddha. Their experiences would make Ngaba one of the engines of Tibetan resistance for decades to come, culminating in shocking acts of self-immolation. 
 
Eat the Buddha spans decades of modern Tibetan and Chinese history, as told through the private lives of Demick’s subjects, among them a princess whose family is wiped out during the Cultural Revolution, a young Tibetan nomad who becomes radicalized in the storied monastery of Kirti, an upwardly mobile entrepreneur who falls in love with a Chinese woman, a poet and intellectual who risks everything to voice his resistance, and a Tibetan schoolgirl forced to choose at an early age between her family and the elusive lure of Chinese money. All of them face the same dilemma: Do they resist the Chinese, or do they join them? Do they adhere to Buddhist teachings of compassion and nonviolence, or do they fight?
 
Illuminating a culture that has long been romanticized by Westerners as deeply spiritual and peaceful, Demick reveals what it is really like to be a Tibetan in the twenty-first century, trying to preserve one’s culture, faith, and language against the depredations of a seemingly unstoppable, technologically all-seeing superpower. Her depiction is nuanced, unvarnished, and at times shocking.

Meeting Virtually on Tuesday, July 13th at 6:30 PM


The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781541724006
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - April 27th, 2021

August 2021

The Jakarta Method

 

The hidden story of the wanton slaughter -- in Indonesia, Latin America, and around the world -- backed by the United States.
In 1965, the U.S. government helped the Indonesian military kill approximately one million innocent civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the twentieth century, eliminating the largest communist party outside China and the Soviet Union and inspiring copycat terror programs in faraway countries like Brazil and Chile. But these events remain widely overlooked, precisely because the CIA's secret interventions were so successful.

In this bold and comprehensive new history, Vincent Bevins builds on his incisive reporting for the Washington Post, using recently declassified documents, archival research and eye-witness testimony collected across twelve countries to reveal a shocking legacy that spans the globe. For decades, it's been believed that parts of the developing world passed peacefully into the U.S.-led capitalist system. The Jakarta Method demonstrates that the brutal extermination of unarmed leftists was a fundamental part of Washington's final triumph in the Cold War.

Meeting Virtually on Tuesday, August 10th at 6:30 PM