A game-changer that we would be foolish to ignore.

TOXIC LEGACY

HOW THE WEEDKILLER GLYPHOSATE IS DESTROYING OUR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

A senior research scientist at MIT sounds the alarm on the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other agrochemicals.

Seneff takes us on a shocking biochemical journey through the deleterious effects of glyphosate on the environment and humans. The author clearly explains the ever growing body of scientific evidence of the insidious consequences of its continued, massive application across the world. As Seneff shows, the herbicide is the common denominator to a swath of environmental and human health problems, from obesity to autism to toad die-offs. The herbicide disrupts the uptake of minerals by plants and kills the bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that have symbiotic relationships with plants for mutual health. The direct effect on humans is dire, as glyphosate damages the gut microorganisms our bodies use to synthesize the amino acids that build body proteins. This affects everything from liver and kidney functions to fertility and autoimmunity. Seneff is precise about the biochemistry involved, but she is a genial, attentive guide. “I know this is technical but stay with me,” she writes. When she ventures into new, even controversial work, she is diligent in her analysis but candid about such territory: “I propose…,” “may be damaging…,” “Autism is not due to glyphosate exposure alone….” The two most salient—and devastating—points that Seneff highlights: First, glyphosate, which shows up in our soil, water, and even air, is disturbingly pervasive….ubiquitous…nearly impossible for even the most diligent person to avoid.” Second, the agricultural industry, taking a page from the tobacco industry’s playbook, does everything it can to hide the dangers: Monsanto and other companies censor research and proliferate junk science, raking in profits by turning a blind eye to the chronic illnesses resulting from glyphosate use. Comparisons will be made to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring—and they should be. We can only hope Seneff’s work goes on to rival Carson’s in reach and impact.

A game-changer that we would be foolish to ignore.

Pub Date: July 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-60358-929-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Chelsea Green

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

THE WAR ON THE WEST

A British journalist fulminates against Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, and other threats to White privilege.

“There is an assault going on against everything to do with the Western world—its past, present, and future.” So writes Spectator associate editor Murray, whose previous books have sounded warnings against the presumed dangers of Islam and of non-Western immigration to the West. As the author argues, Westerners are supposed to take in refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America while being “expected to abolish themselves.” Murray soon arrives at a crux: “Historically the citizens of Europe and their offspring societies in the Americas and Australasia have been white,” he writes, while the present is bringing all sorts of people who aren’t White into the social contract. The author also takes on the well-worn subject of campus “wokeness,” a topic of considerable discussion by professors who question whether things have gone a bit too far; indeed, the campus is the locus for much of the anti-Western sentiment that Murray condemns. The author’s arguments against reparations for past damages inflicted by institutionalized slavery are particularly glib. “It comes down to people who look like the people to whom a wrong was done in history receiving money from people who look like the people who may have done the wrong,” he writes. “It is hard to imagine anything more likely to rip apart a society than attempting a wealth transfer based on this principle.” Murray does attempt to negotiate some divides reasonably, arguing against “exclusionary lines” and for Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s call for a more vigorous and welcoming civil culture. Too often, however, the author falters, as when he derides Gen. Mark Milley for saying, “I want to understand white rage. And I’m white”—perhaps forgetting the climacteric White rage that Milley monitored on January 6, 2021.

A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-316202-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2022

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A deceptively slender but rich argument in favor of conserving liberal ideals—and liberal government.

LIBERALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS

The renowned political scientist and philosopher considers classical liberalism and the broad range of enemies arrayed against it.

“By ‘liberalism,’ ” writes Fukuyama, “I refer to the doctrine…that argued for the limitation of the powers of governments through law and ultimately constitutions, creating institutions protecting the rights of individuals living under their jurisdiction.” Born of events such as the English civil war and the Enlightenment, this liberalism also encouraged diversity of thought, religion, and ethnicity, placing it squarely in the crosshairs of today’s authoritarian nationalists, not least Donald Trump. Fukuyama has often been identified with conservative causes, but his thinking here is democratic to the core, and he has no use for such pathetic lies as Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen. That said, the author notes that liberalism has many enemies on both the left and the right for numerous real yet correctable failings. The neoliberalism that has emerged over the past couple of generations has accelerated inequality, and numerous institutions have been eroded while others, such as the Electoral College, have been revealed to be anti-democratic. Both left and right, the author argues, have trouble accepting that governing over diversity, the hallmark of liberalism, means governing over many ethnic and national groups, strata of income, and competing interests. He adds, however, “Left-of-center voters…remain much more diverse” in political outlook. Essential to a liberal society, Fukuyama insists, is the right to vote: “Voting rights are fundamental rights that need to be defended by the power of the national government.” While he insists that individual rights take precedence over group rights, he also observes that the social contract demands citizen participation. To the conservative charge that the social contract is one thing but the “common moral horizon” another, he answers that yes, liberalism does not insist on a single morality—which “is indeed a feature and not a bug.”

A deceptively slender but rich argument in favor of conserving liberal ideals—and liberal government.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-374-60671-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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