From language to culture to cultural collision: the story of how humans invented history, from the Stone Age to the Virtual Age Traveling across millennia, weaving the experiences and world views of cultures both extinct and extant, The Invention of Yesterday shows that the engine of history is not so much heroic (battles won), geographic (farmers thrive), or anthropogenic (humans change the planet) as it is narrative. Many thousands of years ago, when we existed only as countless small autonomous bands of hunter-gatherers widely distributed through the wilderness, we began inventing stories--to organize for survival, to find purpose and meaning, to explain the unfathomable. Ultimately these became the basis for empires, civilizations, and cultures. And when various narratives began to collide and overlap, the encounters produced everything from confusion, chaos, and war to cultural efflorescence, religious awakenings, and intellectual breakthroughs. Through vivid stories studded with insights, Tamim Ansary illuminates the world-historical consequences of the unique human capacity to invent and communicate abstract ideas. In doing so, he also explains our ever-more-intertwined present: the narratives now shaping us, the reasons we still battle one another, and the future we may yet create.
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As countries across the Western world struggle to deal with the financial stability of their public services, there is no doubt that the current crisis affecting the public sector is not only the worst post-war, but perhaps the worst in the last hundred years. The current thinking about the economy and the public sector has not only contributed to the financial difficulties but may even have created some of the problems in the first place. As public sector reforms try to find a solution to the crisis, it seems unlikely that continuing with the same approach will provide a solution to the issue of public debt that will be politically or socially acceptable. This book argues that current policies may have some measure of success, but it may be "at a price we cannot afford". It proposes a radical alternative based upon a sound understanding of how organisations and the economy work and discusses practical ways it could be implemented. It also explores the threats, as well as the opportunities, that such an approach will face.
A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities America is an urban nation, yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly . . . or are they? In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and cogent argument, Glaeser makes an urgent, eloquent case for the city's importance and splendor, offering inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future. "A masterpiece." -Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics "Bursting with insights." -The New York Times Book Review
There is currently much discussion regarding the causes of terrorist acts, as well as the connection between terrorism and religion. Terrorism is attributed either to religious 'fanaticism' or, alternately, to political and economic factors, with religion more or less dismissed as a secondary factor. The Cambridge Companion to Religion and Terrorism examines this complex relationship between religion and terrorism phenomenon through a collection of essays freshly written for this volume. Bringing varying approaches, from the theoretical to the empirical, to the topic, the Companion includes an array of subjects, such as radicalization, suicide bombing, and rational choice, as well as specific case studies. The result is a richly textured collection that prompts readers to critically consider the cluster of phenomena that we have come to refer to as 'terrorism,' and terrorism's relationship with the similarly problematic set of phenomena that we call 'religion.'
World history is not a subject; it is all the subjects. Because of this, world history as a discipline has never fit well with the traditional definition of historical research. H.G. Wells wrote the first true book of world history in 1920 and only a few authors have made the attempt to "explain it all" since Wells. In that time, world history has become the chosen subject of polymaths and possesses the most potential to unite all of the fields of knowledge. The subject of world history has developed several approaches, with "Big History" being the most modern, and flawed, of its variants.
Working with Vulnerable Families embodies the universal edict - that for societies to flourish we must enhance the opportunities for our children to reach their physical, intellectual, emotional and social potential. For families facing issues of marginalisation, poverty, domestic violence, drug and alcohol dependence or mental illness, such ideals can seem particularly daunting. In a thoroughly candid and engaging style, this groundbreaking text transcends narrow professional boundaries to demonstrate how those working in diverse health, education and social welfare settings can work collaboratively with one another and with parents to protect, nurture and support young children from birth to 8 years. The book draws together a broad range of research-based theory, practice wisdom and successful real-world exemplars to explicate the core values, knowledge and skills required when working with families with multiple and complex needs.
A fictional account of the nomadic wanderings of the boy who grew up to become Mali's great fourteenth-century leader, Mansa Musa.
Kaplan shows how U.S. imperialism--from "Manifest Destiny" to the "American Century"--has profoundly shaped key elements of American culture at home, and how the struggle for power over foreign peoples and places has disrupted the quest for domestic order.
The Memoirs of Jafar Pasha Al-Askari shed a vivid light on the early days of Arab nationalism and on the creation of modern Iraq in the 1920s and 1930s, as experienced by one of the prime movers of Iraqi independence. They provide a timely reminder of the all but insuperable obstacles to be overcome in building an open Iraqi state, and add much fuel to the ongoing debate about the Arabs' quest to shape their own political destiny. Born in Mosul in 1885, Jafar Al-Askari played a colourful part in the events that led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Physically large and courageous, with a sharp intellect, a talent for languages, and a jovial and commanding personality, he was sent for military training in Germany before the War, and was rapidly recognised by the Young Turks as a gifted military commander. He was however also strongly drawn to the Arab nationalist ideas then current, and the consistent theme of his career was his intense Arab patriotism. As one of the youngest generals in the Ottoman Army, he led the Sanusi regular forces in Cyrenaica in 1915-16. His capture by the British and incarceration in Cairo led to an abortive - and comical - escape attempt, and also to cordial relations with various British officers, among them T. E. Lawrence. In Cairo he realised that the Arab cause might best be served by Sharif Hussain of Makkah's revolt against Ottoman rule, then getting under way with British support. He was released in March 1917 to take command of the Arab regular forces fighting under the Amir Faisal bin Hussain (later King Faisal I of Iraq) in the Hijaz. Jafar describes his leading role in the Arab Revolt at length. His achievement was to shape and inspire an effective force of Arab regulars to form the core of Amir Faisal's army. Co-operating with Lawrence and the bedouin irregulars, they disrupted Turkish communications along the desert flank of Allenby's northward advance through Palestine. By the end of the War Jafar had accomplished the rare feat of having been decorated by both the Germans and the British. In 1919, Faisal appointed Jafar Military Governor of Aleppo. He became one of the first members of the new Iraqi government under the British Mandate, and spent the remainder of his life serving his King and country as Prime Minister (twice), Minister of Defence (five times), and Iraqi Minister in London, where he also found time to be called to the Bar (at Gray's Inn). Jafar Pasha was assassinated outside Baghdad in 1936, on a doomed quest to forestall Iraq's first military coup. He had not by then completed his Memoirs, which break off in 1919 at Aleppo. Material describing the remainder of his career is given in the Epilogue and Appendices. Jafar's Memoirs, published here in English for the first time, give a colourful demonstration of how much one gifted individual can achieve in a single lifetime, even one so tragically cut short.