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Good Reads?

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gracefulone

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I had compiled a long list of books to read, and am nearly done.

I was wondering if anyone on here knew of books on humanitarian efforts, specifically involving genocide/poverty/education, that would be good. Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks
 

Cynical-Chick

Member
Mar 5, 2008
374
Sydney
Guns, Germs, & Steel - Jared Diamond.

Another good nonfiction book is this one; it's about the history of Germany, and it talks about the Berlin Wall and what it represented, how it truly divided the world.
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
These don't necessarily meet all of your criteria, but you might like some of them:
American Dream by Jason Deparle
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
In Search of Respect by Phillipe Bourgois (what an ironic surname for this topic)
Poor People by William Vollman
What is the What by Dave Eggers
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (warning: people seem to either love this book or hate it. My friends loved it. I hated it.)

Off-topic but in response to Cynical-Chick: for German history, I really enjoyed Five Germanys I Have Known. It's a bit more academic, but it was really interesting (for me as a German major).
 

I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
We are studying a Scottish book in English called Sunset Song- I don't personally like it but its about education and the changing way of life in a remote Scottish village.

PS. Its all written in Scots though. It might be a bit hard.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
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Jul 5, 2007
5,121
You would probably like Three Cups of Tea.

I don't know if you are more interested in domestic or international efforts. Let me know. Robert Egger is one of my personal heroes and relatively recently wrote a book called Begging for Change. Although his humanitarian efforts are mostly domestic, this is a must read in my opinion for anyone interested in the nonprofit sector. He is very inspiring and pragmatic.

But based on some of your previous posts I think Three Cups is pretty up your alley, also I Live Here. The Spirit Catches You is an interesting story full of moral questions that I think is a good read on issues of cultural divide in humanitarian efforts.

On genocide: I don't know exactly whether we're going for journalistic, anthropological, etc. Chris Hedges, War is a Force, is pretty good, mostly analytical. I just finished A Lexicon of Terror and I was impressed by the treatment of historical and anthropological themes, but the subject matter is pretty heavy. I think it does really illustrate the extent to which systematic torture (and clandestine inter-state activity to that end) represents government sponsored terrorism and should never be tolerated. Also a good illustration of the extent to which Cold War rhetoric was used in the western hemisphere to justify undercutting true democratic practices, which I think is applicable to some of the rhetoric we are exposed to today...this book is about Argentina's Dirty War, a campaign against "subversive" political activity, and of course there's some controversy as to the extent to which such a campaign represents genocide. Which is an interesting debate in itself though the book doesn't really touch on it.

There are a variety of case studies like this though, based on other countries, if I recall you are interested in Uganda. Ishmael Beah's (Sierra Leone) memoir A Long Way Gone is good, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything specific to Uganda.
 
G

gracefulone

Guest
You would probably like Three Cups of Tea.

I don't know if you are more interested in domestic or international efforts. Let me know. Robert Egger is one of my personal heroes and relatively recently wrote a book called Begging for Change. Although his humanitarian efforts are mostly domestic, this is a must read in my opinion for anyone interested in the nonprofit sector. He is very inspiring and pragmatic.

But based on some of your previous posts I think Three Cups is pretty up your alley, also I Live Here. The Spirit Catches You is an interesting story full of moral questions that I think is a good read on issues of cultural divide in humanitarian efforts.

On genocide: I don't know exactly whether we're going for journalistic, anthropological, etc. Chris Hedges, War is a Force, is pretty good, mostly analytical. I just finished A Lexicon of Terror and I was impressed by the treatment of historical and anthropological themes, but the subject matter is pretty heavy. I think it does really illustrate the extent to which systematic torture (and clandestine inter-state activity to that end) represents government sponsored terrorism and should never be tolerated. Also a good illustration of the extent to which Cold War rhetoric was used in the western hemisphere to justify undercutting true democratic practices, which I think is applicable to some of the rhetoric we are exposed to today...this book is about Argentina's Dirty War, a campaign against "subversive" political activity, and of course there's some controversy as to the extent to which such a campaign represents genocide. Which is an interesting debate in itself though the book doesn't really touch on it.

There are a variety of case studies like this though, based on other countries, if I recall you are interested in Uganda. Ishmael Beah's (Sierra Leone) memoir A Long Way Gone is good, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything specific to Uganda.

I loved 3 cups of Tea. My friends and I read it for a book discussion. We trade books like crazy.
 
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gracefulone

Guest
These were some great suggestions, everyone!

Also, just as a note to fututre posters, weight of material is not really and issue. I've been reading all types.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Gold Membership
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Jan 21, 2007
4,065
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THREAD COMES BACK TO LIFE! IT'S THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!

So I just finished The Last Hunt, the fourth and final book of the Unicorn Chronicles, by Bruce Coville (who has been one of my favorite authors since before I even learned to read).

I highly recommend this series to everybody, no matter how old you are.
 

All Chalked Up

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Mar 15, 2010
1,307
Canada
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OOOOO, I am gonna have fun with this thread!!!
"Emil and Karl" by Yankev Glatsheyn. Sorry, the last name wasn't spelt right but still. Its about the Holocaust. Great book, a little heavy though. Make sure you get the English translation, not the Yiddish version unless you speak Yiddish and want it in Yiddish.

You guys will shoot me for this, I'm posting it anyways, It's out of genre though. "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer. Good read. Any of the series is good.


"The Diary of Anne Frank" by Anne Frank. Speaks for itself.

"3 Cups of Tea". That was an AMAZING book. I loved it.

Any biographies of African/Asian/Haitian people, particularly woman.





 

fearundercontrol

New Member
May 17, 2010
29
outside of Syracuse, NY
I don't know that this necessarily counts as humanitarian efforts, but it falls under the category of genocide. The book Four Perfect Pebbles by Marion Blumenthal Lazan is very good. It is about her growing up in a concentration camp during the Holocaust and her life afterwards. It's very inspirational. I have heard her speak in person and I got goosebumps. She got an immediate standing ovation. She is an amazing woman, and her story is well worth reading. (Side note: a PBS documentary and a 2 act musical have also been done on her story.)
 
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