In January 1811, an organized army of 500 men brought New Orleans to the brink of overthrow. This little-mentioned uprising was the largest slave revolt in American history, yet the story was largely buried by a southern gentry who wanted to prevent the contagion of rebellion from spreading. Well researched and presented, this book makes for an especially interesting read in light of the current unrest in the Middle East (and the rapidly expanding revolts there). A highly recommended read.
The Vidocq Society is an illustrious team of criminal profilers, law enforcement personnel, and forensic experts from around the world. Their purpose is to solve the unsolvable — cold cases and horrific crimes that have defied common means of detection. Michael Capuzzo’s narrative of the lives and escapades of a handful of Vidocq Society members is fascinating, if not a little cumbersome. The complexity of the cases and the tenacity of the pursuers can be exhausting to read about, but is rewarding for anyone willing to plod through the disturbing details. Highly recommended for true-crime and CSI buffs.
(reviewed Rachel M.)
Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream by Arianna Huffington
Huffington is the well-know blogger and personality behind The Huffington Post. In her latest work, she largely departs from her usual satire and delves into the serious question of the future of the American way of life. The premise of Third World America is the visible decline of the American middle class – the stabilizing force in our nation’s economy is becoming financially and politically weaker. Though clearly left-leaning, Huffington places the blame for the decline of the middle class squarely at the feet of members of both political parties and their inability to see the big picture. A thoughtful and well-researched book, Third World America is a worthy read for anyone concerned about the current direction of the United States.
(reviewed by Rachel)
Chip and Dan Heath examine the psychology of change in multiple facets of our lives. The human brain engages in a continuous struggle between the emotional pulls and rational analyses of our daily existence. If we can overcome, or at least diminish, the emotional obstacles to change, we can create an ideal environment in which to improve our lives and workplaces. The Heaths make a compelling argument for retraining our brains to allow emotion and rationality to operate together, instead of in opposition. A worthy read for those in the workforce or anyone who wants to effect a change in their lives.
(reviewed by Rachel)
Crisis Economics : a Crash Course in the Future of Finance by Nouriel Roubini 338.542 ROU
Currently on the New York Times Business Books Bestseller List, “Crisis Economics” surveys the history and etiology of economic crashes over the past few centuries. Author Nouriel Roubini is an economics professor and NYU, and he analyses the present crisis in an historical context of natural highs and lows that can be exacerbated by external forces. While economics is not everyone’s favorite “curl up with a good book” topic, Roubini presents solid and convincing explanations for our current bottomed-out economy that will help readers understand how we got here and how we can get back out again. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the ebb and flow of economics.