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Latest Books

Empowering All Students At Scale
Reimers, Fernando M., ed. 2017. Empowering All Students At Scale. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The global movement to educate all children has produced one of the most remarkable silent revolutions experienced by humanity, integrating most children and youth into institutions invented to pass on to them what each generation considers valuable, and to help them develop the competencies to improve the world. Changes in a range of domains, from technology to politics, from the ways in which we communicate and associate, to the ways in which we produce goods and services, continue to expand our aspirations for how schools should prepare the young to invent the future. There is much innovation worldwide responding to this aspiration, and the need to bring such innovations to scale so they benefit all children. The contributors to this book explain what the opportunities and challenges are to scale educational change to make schools relevant to the demands of our times. Based on a Think Tank convened by the Global Education Innovation Initiative at Harvard University, this book aims to stimulate broad social dialogue on how to support students and teachers to live fulfilling lives in the volatility and complexity of our times.
Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe’s Scramble for Africa
Press, Steven. 2017. Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe’s Scramble for Africa. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the 1880s, Europeans descended on Africa and grabbed vast swaths of the continent, using documents, not guns, as their weapon of choice. Rogue Empires follows a paper trail of questionable contracts to discover the confidence men whose actions touched off the Scramble for Africa. Many of them were would-be kings who sought to establish their own autonomous empires across the African continent—often at odds with traditional European governments which competed for control.

From 1882 to 1885, independent European businessmen and firms (many of doubtful legitimacy) produced hundreds of deeds purporting to buy political rights from indigenous African leaders whose understanding of these agreements was usually deemed irrelevant. A system of privately governed empires, some spanning hundreds of thousands of square miles, promptly sprang up in the heart of Africa. Steven Press traces the notion of empire by purchase to an unlikely place: the Southeast Asian island of Borneo, where the English adventurer James Brooke bought his own kingdom in the 1840s. Brooke’s example inspired imitators in Africa, as speculators exploited a loophole in international law in order to assert sovereignty and legal ownership of lands which they then plundered for profit.

The success of these experiments in governance attracted notice in European capitals. Press shows how the whole dubious enterprise came to a head at the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, when King Leopold of Belgium and the German Chancellor Bismarck embraced rogue empires as legal precedents for new colonial agendas in the Congo, Namibia, and Cameroon.

Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China
Gewirtz, Julian. 2017. Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Unlikely Partners recounts the story of how Chinese politicians and intellectuals looked beyond their country’s borders for economic guidance at a key crossroads in the nation’s tumultuous twentieth century. Julian Gewirtz offers a dramatic tale of competition for influence between reformers and hardline conservatives during the Deng Xiaoping era, bringing to light China’s productive exchanges with the West.

When Mao Zedong died in 1976, his successors seized the opportunity to reassess the wisdom of China’s rigid commitment to Marxist doctrine. With Deng Xiaoping’s blessing, China’s economic gurus scoured the globe for fresh ideas that would put China on the path to domestic prosperity and ultimately global economic power. Leading foreign economists accepted invitations to visit China to share their expertise, while Chinese delegations traveled to the United States, Hungary, Great Britain, West Germany, Brazil, and other countries to examine new ideas. Chinese economists partnered with an array of brilliant thinkers, including Nobel Prize winners, World Bank officials, battle-scarred veterans of Eastern Europe’s economic struggles, and blunt-speaking free-market fundamentalists.

Nevertheless, the push from China’s senior leadership to implement economic reforms did not go unchallenged, nor has the Chinese government been eager to publicize its engagement with Western-style innovations. Even today, Chinese Communists decry dangerous Western influences and officially maintain that China’s economic reinvention was the Party’s achievement alone. Unlikely Partners sets forth the truer story, which has continuing relevance for China’s complex and far-reaching relationship with the West.

Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption After Empire
Koga, Yukiko. 2017. Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan, and the Political Economy of Redemption After Empire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
How do contemporary generations come to terms with losses inflicted by imperialism, colonialism, and war that took place decades ago? How do descendants of perpetrators and victims establish new relations in today’s globalized economy? With Inheritance of Loss, Yukiko Koga approaches these questions through the unique lens of inheritance, focusing on Northeast China, the former site of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, where municipal governments now court Japanese as investors and tourists. As China transitions to a market-oriented society, this region is restoring long-neglected colonial-era structures to boost tourism and inviting former colonial industries to create special economic zones, all while inadvertently unearthing chemical weapons abandoned by the Imperial Japanese Army at the end of World War II.
Inheritance of Loss chronicles these sites of colonial inheritance––tourist destinations, corporate zones, and mustard gas exposure sites––to illustrate attempts by ordinary Chinese and Japanese to reckon with their shared yet contested pasts. In her explorations of everyday life, Koga directs us to see how the violence and injustice that occurred after the demise of the Japanese Empire compound the losses that later generations must account for, and inevitably inherit.
El caso de Sacco y Vanzetti. Los Estados Unidos a juicio (The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti: The United States on Trial)
Temkin, Moshik. 2017. El caso de Sacco y Vanzetti. Los Estados Unidos a juicio (The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti: The United States on Trial). San Diego: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti: The United States on Trial is a book that analyzes the enormous national and international impact of the trial and subsequent execution of the anarchist militants Nicolás Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. It only contributes to understanding the dramatic social and political struggles that accompanied the famous case, but the divisions and conflicts that continue to manifest in the United States today.

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