january 2022 – good to read

The Dawn of Everything. A New History of Humanity

David Graeber & David Wengrow
For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike – either free and equal, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a reaction to indigenous critiques of European society, and why they are wrong. In doing so, they overturn our view of human history, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery and civilization itself. The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society.
Penguin | October 2022

Psyche Unbound. Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof

Rick Doblin et al.
In honor of Grof’s 90th birthday this year, the contributions begin with Joseph Campbell’s remarkable 1971 lecture in the Great Hall at Cooper Union setting forth the importance of Grof’s findings, and Huston Smith’s 1976 summary of their significance for the study of religion and mysticism, all the way through to the 2021 reflections by psychiatrists and researchers Charles Grob and Michael Mithoefer as part of the current renaissance of psychedelic therapy. Further essays include transpersonal sexual experiences (Jenny Wade), implications for social and cultural change (William Keepin), comparative studies with Asian religious systems (Jeffrey Kripal, Tom Purton), the perinatal dimensions of Jean-Paul Sartre’s transformational 1935 mescaline experience (Thomas Riedlinger), and parallel findings from quantum and relativistic physics (Fritjof Capra).
MAPS | January 22

Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals. The Future of Food

Roxanne van Voorst
Though increasing numbers of people know that eating meat is detrimental to our planet’s health, many still can’t be convinced to give up eating meat. But how can we change behavior when common arguments and information aren’t working? A massive shift is already taking place—everything van Voorst covers in this book has already been invented and is being used today by individuals and small organizations worldwide. Combining the ethical clarity of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals with the disquieting vision of Alan Weissman’s bestseller The World Without Us, a thought-provoking, entertaining exploration of a future where animal consumption is a thing of the past. Hopeful and persuasive, this book offers a vision of what is not only possible but perhaps inevitable.
Harper Collins | January 22

The Fifties. An Underground History

James R. Gaines
A bold and original argument that upends the myth of the Fifties as a decade of conformity to celebrate the solitary, brave, and stubborn individuals who pioneered the radical gay rights, feminist, civil rights, and environmental movements. In a fascinating and beautifully written series of character portraits, The Fifties invokes the accidental radicals; people motivated not by politics but by their own most intimate conflicts; who sparked movements for change in their time and our own. Among many others, we meet the legal pathfinder Pauli Murray, who was tortured by both her mixed-race heritage and her in between sexuality, and we hear the prophetic voices of Rachel Carson and Norbert Wiener, and Harry Hay. Change often begins in the lives of de-centered, often lonely individuals.
Simon & Schuster | January 22


Isabel Allende
Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first girl in a family with five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth. Through her father s prescience, the family will come through that crisis unscathed, only to face a new one as the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known. Her family loses everything and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. Violeta’s life is shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women s rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and ultimately not one, but two pandemics.
Random House | January 22

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