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.
Palaces for the People
We are living in a time of deep divisions. Americans are sorting themselves along racial, religious, and cultural lines, leading to a level of polarization that the country hasn't seen since the Civil War. Pundits and politicians are calling for us to come together and find common purpose. But how, exactly, can that be done?In Palaces for the People, Eric Klinenberg suggests a way forward. He believes that the future of democratic societies rest not simply on shared values but on shared spaces: the libraries, childcare centers, churches, and parks where crucial connections are formed. Interweaving his own research with examples from around the globe, Klinenberg shows how "social infrastructure" is helping to solve some of our most pressing societal challenges. Richly reported and ultimately uplifting, Palaces for the People offers a blueprint for bridging our seemingly unbridgeable divides.
Tuesday, February 11th at 6:30 PM
The glorification of citizenship is a given in today's world, part of a civic narrative that invokes liberation, dignity, and nationhood. In reality, explains Dimitry Kochenov, citizenship is a story of complacency, hypocrisy, and domination, flattering to citizens and demeaning for noncitizens.
Kochenov offers a critical introduction to a subject most often regarded uncritically, describing what citizenship is, what it entails, how it came about, and how its role in the world has been changing. He examines four key elements of the concept: status, considering how and why the status of citizenship is extended, what function it serves, and who is left behind; rights, particularly the right to live and work in a state; duties, and what it means to be a “good citizen”; and politics, as enacted in the granting and enjoyment of citizenship.
Citizenship promises to apply the attractive ideas of dignity, equality, and human worth—but to strictly separated groups of individuals. Those outside the separation aren't citizens as currently understood, and they do not belong. Citizenship, Kochenov warns, is too often a legal tool that justifies violence, humiliation, and exclusion.
Tuesday, March 10th at 6:30 PM
1947: Where Now Begins
The year 1947 marks a turning point in the twentieth century. Peace with Germany becomes a tool to fortify the West against the threats of the Cold War. The CIA is created, Israel is about to be born, Simone de Beauvoir experiences the love of her life, an ill George Orwell is writing his last book, and Christian Dior crates the hyper-feminine New Look as women are forced out of jobs and back into the home.
In the midst of it all, a ten-year-old Hungarian Jewish boy resides in a refugee camp for children of parents murdered by the Nazis. This year he has to make the decision of a lifetime, one that will determine his own fate and that of his daughter yet to be born, Elizabeth.
" A skillful and illuminating way of presenting, to wonderful effect, the cultural, political and personal history of a year that changed the world. --Kirkus Review
Tuesday, April 14th at 6:30 PM