ENTANGLED LIFE, by Sheldrake NOTE: Meeting Online

Futurist
Monday, May 2, 7:30 pm

The Futurist Book Group is led by Sam Lubell and Eamon Bobowski and meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at Politics and Prose, in the Den coffeehouse. Please note: book group is meeting online. Please contact: Sam Lubell samlubell@verizon.net for online access information.

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures Cover Image

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures (Paperback)

$18.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
5 on hand, as of May 28 9:21am
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
1 on hand, as of May 28 9:33am
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of May 28 1:03pm
(SCIENCE)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “brilliant [and] entrancing” (The Guardian) journey into the hidden lives of fungi—the great connectors of the living world—and their astonishing and intimate roles in human life, with the power to heal our bodies, expand our minds, and help us address our most urgent environmental problems.

“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Time, BBC Science Focus, The Daily Mail, Geographical, The Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, London Evening Standard, Science Friday

When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.

In Entangled Life, the brilliant young biologist Merlin Sheldrake shows us the world from a fungal point of view, providing an exhilarating change of perspective. Sheldrake’s vivid exploration takes us from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that range for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the “Wood Wide Web,” to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.

Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms—and our relationships with them—are changing our understanding of how life works.

Winner of the Wainwright Prize, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, and the Guild of Food Writers Award • Shortlisted for the British Book Award • Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer. He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from the University of Cambridge for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a musician and keen fermenter. Entangled Life is his first book.
Product Details ISBN: 9780525510321
ISBN-10: 052551032X
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 13th, 2021
Pages: 368
Language: English
Entangled Life is a special book and Merlin is, as his name suggests, a magical writer. Through his writing I feel connected to nature through a thousand invisible threads”—Russell Brand

“I fell in love with this book. Merlin is a scientist with the imagination of a poet and a beautiful writer. . . . This is a book that, by virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the human. . . . It will inspire a generation to enter mycology.”—Michael Pollan (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)

“Dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing . . . a remarkable work by a remarkable writer, which succeeds in springing life into strangeness again.”—Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

“Fungi are everywhere, and Merlin Sheldrake is an ideal guide to their mysteries. He’s passionate, deeply knowledgeable, and a wonderful writer.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction

“Sheldrake’s charm and curiosity make for a book that is delightful to read but also grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world and the often overlooked organisms within it.”—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

“True to his name, Merlin takes us on a magical journey deep into the roots of Nature—the mycelial universe that exists under every footstep we take in life. Merlin is an expert storyteller, weaving the tale of our co-evolution with fungi into a scientific adventure. Entangled Life is a must-read for citizen scientists hoping to make a positive difference on this sacred planet we share.”—Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

“Reading this book, I felt surrounded by a web of wonder. The natural world is more fantastic than any fantasy, so long as you have the means to perceive it. This book provides the means.”—Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget

“This engaging book shines light on the hidden fungal connections that link plants, trees, and us. I thought I knew a lot about fungi, but I found much that was new to me, and exciting. Sheldrake is a rare scientist who is not afraid to speculate about the truly profound implications of his work. A very good read.”—Andrew Weil, author of Fast Food, Good Food

“Entangled Life is an exuberant introduction to the biology, ecology, climatology, and psychopharmacology of the earth’s ‘metabolic wizards.’”—Julian Lucas, Harpers

“Nearly every page of this book contained either an observation so interesting or a turn of phrase so lovely that I was moved to slow down, stop, and reread. . . . This book rocked me into remembering that nature, especially fungal nature, is big and encompassing and creative and destructive. It reminded me that fungi are, like the Universe, sublime.”—Rob Dunn, Science magazine


9.9 PERCENT, by Stewart NOTE: Meeting Online

Futurist
Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 pm

The Futurist Book Group is led by Sam Lubell and Eamon Bobowski and meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm. Please note: book group is meeting online. Please contact: Sam Lubell samlubell@verizon.net for online access information.

The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture Cover Image

The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture (Hardcover)

$28.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
7 on hand, as of May 28 9:21am
A “brilliant” (The Washington Post), “clear-eyed and incisive” (The New Republic) analysis of how the wealthiest group in American society is making life miserable for everyone—including themselves.

In 21st-century America, the top 0.1% of the wealth distribution have walked away with the big prizes even while the bottom 90% have lost ground. What’s left of the American Dream has taken refuge in the 9.9% that lies just below the tip of extreme wealth. Collectively, the members of this group control more than half of the wealth in the country—and they are doing whatever it takes to hang on to their piece of the action in an increasingly unjust system.

They log insane hours at the office and then turn their leisure time into an excuse for more career-building, even as they rely on an underpaid servant class to power their economic success and satisfy their personal needs. They have segregated themselves into zip codes designed to exclude as many people as possible. They have made fitness a national obsession even as swaths of the population lose healthcare and grow sicker. They have created an unprecedented demand for admission to elite schools and helped to fuel the dramatic cost of higher education. They channel their political energy into symbolic conflicts over identity in order to avoid acknowledging the economic roots of their privilege. And they have created an ethos of “merit” to justify their advantages. They are all around us. In fact, they are us—or what we are supposed to want to be.

In this “captivating account” (Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone), Matthew Stewart argues that a new aristocracy is emerging in American society and it is repeating the mistakes of history. It is entrenching inequality, warping our culture, eroding democracy, and transforming an abundant economy into a source of misery. He calls for a regrounding of American culture and politics on a foundation closer to the original promise of America.
Matthew Stewart is an independent philosopher and historian who has written extensively about the philosophical origins of the American republic and the history of management. With degrees from Princeton University and Oxford University and a stint as a management consultant, he was once a respectable member of the 9.9%. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, among other publications. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts, and you can visit him at MWStewart.com.
Product Details ISBN: 9781982114183
ISBN-10: 1982114185
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 12th, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English
“Brilliant. . . . Stewart is both cartographer and critic, serving as a kind of appalled anthropologist. . . . What gives the book its relentlessly sharp edge is his exposure of so much conventional wisdom as ultimately self-serving and deluded.”
— Nick Romeo

"Matthew Stewart’s new book is a captivating account of how America got into our current plight of extreme inequality and why that should concern all of us—especially those of us in the top 9.9 percent.  It closes with some suggestions about what we might do about it, which alone should make the book must reading in the Biden White House."
— Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids

"In contemporary America, the lives of the wealthy bear increasingly little resemblance to those of working-class people, much less to those who are poor. Stewart is surely right to view this as a problem and to question why it has generated so much less outrage and concern than the obscene fortunes of the superrich."
— Eyal Press

"A charged study of the second-tier wealthy in America, the principal engine of inequality. . . . A sharp-tongued, altogether readable, and welcome assault on unrestrained wealth."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The 9.9 Percent is a bracing and necessary read. Matthew Stewart does not pull his punches, making clear that the inequality and social stagnation plaguing the United States cannot be blamed on the billionaires. The ideology of meritocracy has been perverted to support a growing aristocracy, even as many of us passionately profess our commitment to universal equal opportunity. Highly recommended."
— Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America

"[A] withering assessment of the overweighted, nearly intractable socioeconomic power of [the] 9.9 percent—all conveyed with an acid humor that recalls the late social critics Henry Fairlie and Paul Fussell."
— Booklist (starred review)

"In The 9.9 Percent, Matthew Stewart studies . . . the social class just below the new millennial robber barons—the overcompensated, self-regarding, yet terminally anxious cohort of the merely extravagantly privileged. . . . [a] clear-eyed and incisive study."
— Chris Lehmann

"A rip-roaring argument against oblivious privilege. Stewart is an agile, witty writer with philosophical gifts. He can make you laugh while you make better sense of America."
— Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America, Executive Director, Economic Hardship Reporting Project

"Like the ancient curse of Midas, today’s extreme inequality poisons even those it privileges, as Matthew Stewart reveals in this urgent and convincing book. It’s not just the plutocrats who are ruining lives; it’s all of us who enable the toxic myth that our society is a meritocracy and who engage in practices we fail to recognize as ruinous. To understand how your life got so harried and your country so cruel, read this book."
— Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

"At a time when there is much focus on billionairesthe top 0.1 percent of American householdsMatthew Stewart's book The 9.9 Percent provides us with a welcome, in-depth look at another vitally important group. . . . This important, often gripping book gives us a much-needed analysis of a powerful group, the 9.9 percent, that is too often overlooked as it plays a pivotal role in shapingand mis-shaping21st century America."
— Steven Greenhouse, author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor

MADE IN CHINA, by Pang NOTE: Meeting Online

Futurist
Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 pm

The Futurist Book Group is led by Sam Lubell and Eamon Bobowski and meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm. Please note: book group is meeting online. Please contact: Sam Lubell samlubell@verizon.net for online access information.

Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Goods Cover Image

Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Goods (Paperback)

$16.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
4 on hand, as of May 28 9:21am
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
2 on hand, as of May 28 9:33am

February 2021 Indie Next List


“This powerful story arises from an improbable source: a crude, hand-written note slipped into Halloween merchandise made in China, a note that leads Pang on a search for its author and introduces her to the nightmare life of Chinese prison labor, so-called re-education camps, the worst horrors of living in a police state, and lives destroyed just for being an independent thinker. The toll on individuals is foregrounded here and summons us to be humane to all.”
— Susan Thurin, Bookends On Main, Menomonie, WI

*A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Pick*
*A Newsweek & Refinery29 Most Anticipated Book of 2021*


“Timely and urgent.” —The New York Times
“Moving and powerful.” —Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author 

Discover the truth behind the discounts.
 
In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.
  “Sir: If you occassionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicuton of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”
The note’s author, Sun Yi, was a mild-mannered Chinese engineer turned political prisoner, forced into grueling labor as punishment for campaigning for the freedom to join a forbidden meditation movement. He was imprisoned alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and tens of thousands of others the Chinese government had decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.

In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on Sun’s story and the stories of others like him, including the persecuted Uyghur minority group, whose abuse and exploitation is rapidly gathering steam. What she reveals is a closely guarded network of laogai—forced labor camps—that power the rapid pace of American consumerism. Through extensive interviews and firsthand reportage, Pang shows us the true cost of America’s cheap goods and shares what is ultimately a call to action—urging us to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies we patronize.
 
Amelia Pang is an award‑winning journalist who has written for publications such as Mother Jones and the New Republic. In 2017, the Los Angeles Press Club awarded her first place in investigative journalism for her undercover reporting on the exploitation of smuggled immigrants who are recruited to work in Chinese restaurants. Amelia grew up in a Mandarin‑speaking household in Maryland, and holds a BA in literary studies from the New School. She lives near Washington, DC.
 
Product Details ISBN: 9781643752068
ISBN-10: 1643752065
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: January 4th, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English

“A moving and powerful look at the brutal slave labor camps in China that mass produce our consumer products. Amelia Pang, who puts a human face on the Chinese laborers who work in bondage, makes clear our complicity in this inhuman system. She forces us, like the abolitionists who battled slavery in the 19th century, to place the sanctity of human life before the maximization of profit. It is hard not to finish this book and not be outraged, not only at the Chinese government but the American corporations that knowingly collaborate with and profit from this modern slave trade.”
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and author

“Amelia Pang has written a powerful new book that traces what we buy back to those who made it, often under truly torturous conditions.”
Scott Simon, host of NPR / Weekend Edition Saturday

“Amelia Pang exposes the shadow economy of forced labor in Made in China. Pang adroitly situates readers to Chinese culture and society… [and] sounds an uplifting note of agency and empowerment about the prospective impact of reforming Western consumption.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Timely and urgent… Pang is a dogged investigator.”
The New York Times Book Review

“The result of Pang's investigation is this powerful, illuminating book, which serves as a reminder that not only is nothing in life actually free, but it should also never be inexplicably cheap—someone, somewhere, is always paying the price.”
Refinery29

“Journalist Pang debuts with a vivid and powerful report on Chinese forced labor camps and their connections to the American marketplace. Cinematic . . . Engrossing and deeply reported, this impressive exposé will make readers think twice about their next purchase.” 
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An urgent, shocking and enraging account of the forced labor in China behind the cheap goods we purchase here in the U.S.”
Ms. Magazine

“With clarity and sensitivity, [Pang] exposes the human cost of the global demand for cut-rate products, and provides clear calls to action for individuals, corporations and governments to stem these abuses. Any reader with half a heart will be hard-pressed not to re-examine their own buying habits after reading this incredible, moving account.” 
Shelf Awareness

“A powerful call to action and advice for conscientious consumption . . . Spanning biography, business, and sociology, this well-reported and well-researched account of labor practices shows the impact of the demand for global goods.” 
Library Journal

“A powerful argument for heightened awareness of the high price of Chinese-made products.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will be drawn into this thoroughly researched narrative and will be awakened by the author’s pleas for consumers to be more vigilant about the origin of their goods.”
Booklist

“The book is an excellent entry-level explanation of Chinese religious and political history, and how human rights abuses intersect with billion-dollar businesses. Pang connects the dots between globalization, Western consumption, and sustainability to create a clear, cohesive picture of the problem, as well as of potential solutions.” 
BookPage

“A cinematic approach to a vital topic, which should be as close to our hearts as cheap goods are to our wallets. Amelia Pang provides close-ups of the individual stories behind labor camps, and wide-angle views of their context and history.”
Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China

"Sun's story shows the inhuman nature of the authoritarian Chinese government. The narrative consists of many people’s untold stories. After reading this book, anyone with a conscience will realize it is time to take action for those who are persecuted by the Chinese dictatorship.”
Chen Guangcheng, author of The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man's Fight for Justice and Freedom in China

“The problem of illegal prison labor being used in the People’s Republic of China to manufacture goods for global markets is a longstanding one that keeps resurfacing in new guises. Now with this well-researched and reported book that reads like a detective story, investigative journalist Amelia Pang has opened a new porthole on this pernicious practice.”
—Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society 

 

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