An authoritative account of our “shared,” increasingly interdependent human journey.

READ REVIEW

THE AGES OF GLOBALIZATION

GEOGRAPHY, TECHNOLOGY, AND INSTITUTIONS

In this history of the stages of globalization since the first foraging bands of humans, Sachs shows how the “rising scale of global interactions” has led to the crises of the 21st century—and what can be done.

“Humanity has always been globalized,” writes the author, as a result of the interplay of physical geography (climate, etc.), technology (systems of production), and institutions (from politics to cultural ideas). At each stage, humans have become more aware of and dependent on the wider world. By examining how interactions occur and how changes in one region affect another, we can learn lessons for today. The author’s scholarly overview, based on lectures given at Oxford University in 2017, identifies seven ages of globalization and explains how each prompted “scale-enlarging transformations.” Humanity progressed from foraging (Paleolithic Age) to farming (Neolithic) to horse power (Equestrian) to empire-building (Classical) to oceangoing vessels and the birth of global capitalism (Ocean) to the creation of the modern world (Industrial Age) to the present Digital Age. Sachs captures defining aspects of each age: The horse, for example, “offered the speed, durability, power, and intelligence to enable breakthroughs in every sector of the economy”; empire-building signaled “a new ethos of greed”; capitalist globalization of the 1500s sparked a “ruthless, violent” economic system. By the Industrial Age, most people remained poor and never traveled from their birthplace. “Most economic and demographic change,” writes Sachs, “has occurred…during the past two hundred or so years of our roughly three hundred thousand years as a species.” In 2020, with world population at 7.7 billion and rising at 70 million per year, the Digital Age faces “challenges of inequality, environmental crisis, and the fragility of peace” that cry out for “a new era of cooperation at the global scale” and the precepts of sustainable development.

An authoritative account of our “shared,” increasingly interdependent human journey. (maps, charts, graphs)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-231-19374-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more