This month we’re beginning a look at some of the new non-fiction titles in the library with a brief introduction to three new books:
Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment
by Stephen Kotkin
Remember the Cold War? This book is a study of the economic, social, and political developments in East Germany, Poland, and Romania that led to the dissolution of Communist Europe. The fall of Communism and the consequences that had for European and world stability are still affecting the shape of the world today; this book is an important examination of the hows and whys for what seemed, to many at the time, a sudden and inexplicable upsurge of popular protest combined with unprecedented restraint from a number of totalitarian governments.
Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps — and What We Can Do About It
by Lise Eliot
A lot of pop-science in the media makes a big deal out of the supposed differences between male and female brains. This book, by a neuroscientist, unveils a great deal of bad reporting and bad science in such stories, while discussing the small differences that actually do exist between the developing brains of male and female infants and children. She also analyses in detail the ways that people’s treatment of young children, and their expectations of their behaviour, affects, reinforces, or exaggerates these differences, sometimes preventing children of both sexes from fully realizing their potential.
Ice, Mud, and Blood: Lessons From Climates Past
by Chris Turney
This book by a British geologist looks at the ways the climate of the Earth has changed over millions of years. He explains both the scientific methods used to study this and how such research helps to understand the probable outcomes of human-induced climate change today. The interconnectedness of the Earth’s many ecologies, the way that weather systems and ocean currents far removed from one another geographically interact, and the many signs of rapid and recent change are examined in detail.