Category: Books

What is a Paradigm Shift?

It’s been almost a half-century since the publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’sThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a slim little book that introduced the word “paradigm” into common parlance and shattered our conventional way of looking at change. Fifty years on, it still represents perhaps the best thinking on how transformation happens, who drives it, why [...]

The Global Brain

In his new book, visionary physicist Peter Russell expands on the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo, suggesting that humanity has advanced to the point in its evolutionary journey where it is poised to make the “next evolutionary leap” — the critical shift from personal to global consciousness. With the latest breakthroughs in [...]

Five Books I Love

As part of a book project I’m involved with, I was asked to submit a list of five great books — personal favorites that, for better or worse, have challenged and inspired my work, perhaps shaped my way of seeing the world. It was an fun assignment, but also an impossible task. For every book [...]

The Price of a Dream

The Price of a Dream by David Bornstein is a compelling and well-written account of how Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus started the Grameen Bank out of his own pocket in the 1970s and thereby launched the microcredit movement. Grameen and efforts like it are transforming not only conventional banking practices but also social and economic [...]

Intellectuals and the Flag

Cultural critic Todd Gitlin’s latest essay collection, Intellectuals and the Flag, takes the attacks of September 11 as a point of departure for raising difficult questions about political authority, patriotism, civic engagement, and the role of intellectuals in American public life. My review of the book appears in the new issue of the Journal of Politics. An excerpt: Todd [...]

Better Together

Better Together brings together a dozen case studies of successful community-building efforts in the United States. The book is an outgrowth of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America, a three-year dialogue among leading thinkers and activists about how to build and strengthen the American community (though it bears little resemblance to the Seminar’s final [...]

New Reviews

I’ve added three new book reviews: Fritjof Capra’s The Web of Life, a study of the shift from mechanistic to systems thinking taking place in the sciences; Gail Bernice Holland’s A Call for Connection, a survey of new ideas and trends pointing to the emergence of a more holistic worldview in the West; and George Lakoff’s Moral Politics, [...]

Revisiting Some Bright Ideas from the Past

I’ve recently returned to several books from the 1960s and 1970s that were widely read and hotly debated at the time but have been largely forgotten in the intervening years. These titles are all out of print at this point. It’s a shame because they are brimming with far-sighted ideas, compelling insights, and still-timely wisdom. [...]

Better Together

  Better Together brings together a dozen case studies of successful community-building efforts in the United States. The book is an outgrowth of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America, a three-year dialogue among leading thinkers and activists about how to build and strengthen the American community (though it bears little resemblance to the Seminar’s [...]