Readers interested in environmental economics, inequality, and like matters will benefit from Carney’s discussion.

VALUE(S)

BUILDING A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL

The U.N. Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance calls for a rethinking of capitalism “to build an economy that works for all.”

As a G-7 governor in Canada and the U.K., Carney instituted reforms that helped address the global financial meltdown of 2007 and that looked ahead at such challenges as climate change. At root, he writes, is a problem of values, that sticky realm of morality and ethics, in a time when value is perceived as determined solely by the market. Today, we live in a market society, “and this is now undermining our basic social contract of relative equality of outcomes, equality of opportunity and fairness across generations.” With that undermining and its dog-eat-dog ethos, the world has been largely unequipped to deal with the current pandemic while climate change and other crises have been fueled by a market fundamentalism that takes it as a matter of faith that markets are self-correcting, moral, and unimpeachable. This fundamentalism has expanded its reach “into spheres of life previously governed by non-market norms,” including health care, education, and criminal justice, further weakening social bonds and privileging wealth. Against this, Carney proposes an emphasis on solidarity and the enhancement of the social capital on which economic capital relies for its long-term health. The author extols corporations and leaders committed to “socially driven purpose” and urges community building and infrastructure development, including stricter regulations for carbon taxes, all overseen by the state. “Nations—not companies—must set these ground rules for markets to be fair,” he writes. It helps to have some knowledge of economics to follow the technical aspects of Carney’s argument, though it’s not a prerequisite. He writes clearly and well of the need for “a life of moral, not market, sentiments,” an argument that will send Chicago School acolytes into despair.

Readers interested in environmental economics, inequality, and like matters will benefit from Carney’s discussion.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5417-6870-3

Page Count: 608

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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A meandering chronicle of a year on the road.

FREEDOM

The bestselling author explores the lure of nomadism.

At the age of 51, childless and soon to be divorced, Junger spent much of one year walking 400 miles alongside railroad lines in the eastern U.S. with a changing cast of three companions and his dog. They called their trek “the Last Patrol”: an escape, “a temporary injunction against whatever was coming,” and an interlude of freedom from the restrictions and demands of conventional life. Because the swaths of property alongside railroad lines were “the least monitored” land in the country, it seemed a safe choice for the wanderers, who did not want to be mistaken for vagrants. “Most nights,” Junger notes, “we were the only people in the world who knew where we were.” The author’s contemplative, digressive narrative combines vivid details of the walk, which was completed in several segments, with political, social, and cultural history; anthropology; and science. He ruminates on nomadic society, hunter-gatherers, Indigenous peoples, the perilous escapes of runaway slaves, various wars, and conflicts that include Cain’s jealousy of Abel and Ireland’s Easter uprising. Sometimes these musings involve considerations of freedom; not always. “Throughout history,” he writes, “good people and bad have maintained their freedom by simply staying out of reach of those who would deprive them of it. That generally meant walking a lot.” Nomadism has romantic appeal for Junger, just as, he claims, it has had for “the settled world.” To hunter-gatherers, working the land seemed a form of subservience; nomadic societies, asserts the author, were more equitable than societies centered around land ownership. Among hunter-gatherers, “although leaders understandably had more prestige than other people, they didn’t have more rights.” Although the trip did not yield epiphanies, Junger finally arrived at a place where he decided to stop wandering and step into his future. It was time “to face my life.”

A meandering chronicle of a year on the road.

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982153-41-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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