From Here To Eternity: Traveling The World To Find The Good Death [EPUB]
27 October 2017, 09:49
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780393249897 | 46.33MB
The best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with “dignity.”
Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.
In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes.
With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. She introduces deathcare innovators researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial help us see our own death customs in a new light.
Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular―and, upon close inspection, peculiar―set of “respectful” rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.
Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a story about the many fascinating ways people everywhere have confronted the very human challenge of mortality.
Thailand: Shifting Ground between the US and a Rising China [EPUB]
26 October 2017, 21:51
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781783608706 | 1.0MB
Since the World War II, Thailand has positioned itself as a key strategic ally of the United States, serving as a bulwark against communism in Southeast Asia and as a base for American troops during the Vietnam War. In return, the United States has provided millions of dollars in military and economic aid, while staunchly supporting the country’s despotic regimes. However, recent decades have seen a striking reversal in Thailand’s foreign relations, with China, once a sworn enemy, now treated as a valued ally by the Thai junta. This shift reflects China’s growing status as a world power, and it represents a major setback to American efforts at curbing the spread of Chinese influence in Asia. It has also had a dramatic impact on Thailand itself, as the country’s ruling elite seek to follow the Chinese model of authoritarianism combined with neoliberalism.
In this up-to-date study of Thai foreign policy, Benjamin Zawacki provides a compelling account of Thailand’s modern history and its changing role in the world order, from the beginning of its alliance with the United States in 1945 to the 2014 coup and beyond. Featuring extensive interviews with more than seventy high-level figures in Thailand and the United States, including deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the book offers unprecedented insight into the inner workings of the Thai elite and their dealings with the United States and China. As the Sino-American rivalry escalates, Southeast Asia will become an increasingly important theater in global affairs. Understanding the current transitions of power in Thailand are essential for comprehending the profound implications of China’s influence, not only for the region, but for the wider world.
Courage Is Contagious: And Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michelle Obama [EPUB]
25 October 2017, 09:37
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780399592614 | 7.05MB
A collection of essays celebrating the influential former first lady, by an array of acclaimed contributors and with a foreword by Lena Dunham
Michelle Obama’s legacy transcends categorization. Mrs. Obama was not only our first black first lady; she was President Obama’s equal partner in marriage and parenthood and a tireless advocate for women’s rights, education, healthy eating, and exercise. Her genre-busting personal style encouraged others to speak, to engage, even to dress as they wished. In an extension of his popular T, The New York Times Style Magazine feature, Nick Haramis has assembled nineteen essays from prizewinning writers, Hollywood stars, and political leaders—all of whom have been moved and influenced by Mrs. Obama’s extraordinary example of grace in power.
Here are original testimonials from Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alice Waters, and Charlamagne tha God, among others. Presidential biographer Jon Meacham supplies historical perspective. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross suggests that Mrs. Obama “provided an antidote to all the false representations of black women that have inundated us for centuries.” Anna Wintour and designer Jason Wu celebrate the former first lady’s impact as an international fashion icon. Two ninth-grade girls—one in training to be a boxer—talk about how Mrs. Obama has emboldened them to be themselves.
Here are some of the many facets of Michelle Obama as she continues to inspire us, a stirring reminder that the best of America once lived in the White House, embodied in one authentic, inclusive, and courageous woman.