As current events continue to shape world on a daily basis, our authors have become prominent voices in speaking for topics that that range from human rights to environmental conservation. Take a look at some of the attention our authors have been getting this past week:
In his book To Uphold the World,author Bruce Rich writes about the Indian emperor Ashoka and his principles of peace and non-violence. In a recent response to the BP oil spill, Rich has published a piece for the Washington Post's blog, Political Bookworm, questioning the possibility of a universal code of ethics.
Carlos Ball, author of From the Closet to the Courtroom, describes in detail five of the most influential court cases in the realm of LGBT rights. In a recent article for the Huffington Post, Ball describes how the election of President Obama was a turning point in LGBT rights; however, in retrospect, little has actually been accomplished.
Gail Dines, author of Pornland, is a prominent voice on how porn has become a sexist, racist, and violent industry. In an article for Mother Jones, Dines (in Washington D.C. with other anti-porn activists) is quoted for her position against porn when she says, "The days of women wearing a coy smile and not much else are long gone."
In keeping with the realm of the psychological, The Lonely American, by Jacqueline Olds MD and Richard S. Schwartz MD, looks at the overwhelming evidence that more Americans are living alone today, affecting not only their physical and mental health, but also the personal interactions within the society as a whole. In a wonderful review looking deeper into this research, the Greater Good, concludes: "turn off your computers, go knock on your neighbor's door, and don't take 'no' for an answer."
This week, our authors' words have been quoted, posted, and commented on throughout the online community on a wide range of urgent topics. They're going viral and we invite you to continue the conversation. Here are a few highlights:
Mark Hyman's book, Until It Hurts, is a central topic for Jane Brody's recent article in the New York Times. Documenting the history and facts of overworked young athletes, Brody's piece delves into the Phelps family and other fascinating examples of the
abuses of our obsession with youth sports.
From its highly lucrative revenue to its inherent racial biases, the adult film industry continues to thrive and affect many. Marie Claire addresses five shocking facts from Gail Dines's book, Pornland, set to release this July.
In an interview with WBUR, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner is described as "push[ing] for better science, better evidence and convictions that she can have more faith in." Gertner's new book, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, is due spring 2011.
In an article on Grist correlating falling birthrates to sexism, Fred Pearce author of The Coming Population Crash, is quoted for his research on the conservative ideals of Italy and the Vatican versus the flexibility of Swedish gender roles.
Finally, we close honoring a writer whose teachings still inspire conversation today. In a 1972 lecture titled "Why to Believe in Others" (recently posted on Ted.com), Viktor Frankl, author of Man's Search for Meaning, expresses the psychiatry behind reaching human potential through his use of insight and humor. Frankl states with zeal: "If we take man as he is, we make him worse; but if we take man as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be!"
We've been listening to vital voices recently here at Beacon and hope you'll spend some time with them as well. We invite you to then lift your own in our comments section.
Author Fred Pearce joins Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" to discuss The Coming Population Crash. Pearce also gives a lively interview over on Salon.com in which he asserts that feminism and pop culture are preventing Earth from becoming too overcrowded.
Allison Martin reviews Dana Sachs's "gripping" new book about the aftermath of Operation Babylift, the story of how, in 1975, the U.S. government airlifted nearly 3,000 displaced children out of wartime Vietnam. Martin's website is devoted to helping families who are adopting children from Vietnam.
On a more somber note, Beacon Press mourns the passing of Civil Rights leader and renowned activist for racial justice and gender equality, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, who died early the morning of April 20th at the age of 98. Among her lifetime of distinguished and selfless service, Dr. Height served as chair and national president of the National Council of Negro Women and worked on the original Historical Cookbook of the American Negro. You can listen to snippets of her speaking courtesy of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Bruce Rich is an attorney who has served as senior counsel for major environmental organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is the author of Mortgaging the Earth. This piece is adapted from his new book, To Uphold the World, with a foreword by Nobel Economics Laureate Amartya Sen and an afterword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. You can watch a video of Bruce Rich discussing universal health care in Ancient India here.
This April marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and indeed we like to think that environmental protection is a relatively recent invention, and that in particular the United States has been a pioneer in this area. We often think that the U.S. established the first national forests and parks well over a century ago and promulgated the world's first endangered species protection act in 1973, three years after the first Earth Day.
In To Uphold the World: A Call for a New Global Ethic from Ancient India, author Bruce Rich contemplates the rule of the Indian emperor Ashoka over 2,200 years ago, whose philosophy of tolerance, conservation, nonviolence, species protection, and human rights still have much to teach us today. One of the many programs established by Ashoka was a system of universal health care for people and animals which, once established, served the Indian empire for close to a millennium. Rich discusses Ashoka's health care system in this video.
Bruce Rich is a Washington DC based attorney who has served as senior counsel on international finance and development issues for major environmental organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Rich has published extensively in environmental and policy journals, as well as in newspapers and magazines such as The Financial Times, The Nation and The Ecologist. He is the author of Mortgaging the Earth, a widely acclaimed critique of the World Bank and reflection on the philosophical and historical evolution of the project of economic development in the West. He has been awarded the United Nations Environment Program 'Global 500 Award,' the highest environmental prize of the United Nations, in 1988, and also won the World Hunger Media Award in that year for the best periodical piece on development issues.