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Library Blog

LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

cover of ''This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate''

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

"The time for marginal fixes has expired, writes Klein. We will not be saved by toothless international agreements, spurious political bargains, outlandish geoengineering environmental groups in bed with corporations or magical thinking of any kind—and surely not by deregulating the capitalist system responsible for the crisis. Carbon emissions continue to rise, and greenhouse gases dangerously accumulate as the fossil fuel industry ramps up devastating extraction.

In part, Klein's narrative is a personal story about her own awakening to and increasing engagement with the climate issue. But this always-interesting polemic is built mostly on her interviews with experts, environmentalists and activists and her colorful on-site reporting from various international meetings and conferences and particularly from worldwide pockets of resistance to corporate bullying. "Blockadia," she calls these places, where communities have risen to oppose open-pit mining, fracking and pipelines. In them she finds hope for a grass-roots rebellion, a kind of "People's Shock" where push back against the aggressive energy industry can be a catalyst for advancing a range of policies dear to the progressive agenda.

Klein has no time for deniers of man-made global warming, but she credits right-wing ideologues with better understanding the high stakes, the vast scope of the changes necessary to meet the climate challenge. This awareness accounts for their vigorous opposition to the activists' docket and for the movement's consequent loss of momentum for the past decade. The author's journalism won't slow down the fossil fuel companies, but it surely holds out hope for activists looking to avert a disaster, for a widespread people's movement that, if it happens, "changes everything." A sharp analysis that is bound to be widely discussed, with all the usual suspects, depending on their politics, lining up to cheer or excoriate Klein.

"This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate." Kirkus Reviews 82.19 (2014): 206. Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson). Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

Do you disagree with the review or the book? Check Book Review Digest Plus or Academic Search Complete for other reviews and responses to this book.

You can request this book from storage if it is no longer in the New Books section (in front of the Reference Desk). Instructions on how to request books are here.

Ask a librarian to help you find this or other books.

See our previous Books of the Week here.



LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Saving Normal

Cover of ''Saving normal: an insider's revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the medicalization of ordinary life''

Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life by Allen Frances

In Saving Normal, Francis …argues that labeling life problems as mental illness has serious long-term implications. It is a well-accepted notion… that disease does not exist until society agrees it does by perceiving, naming, and responding to it. Yet Frances criticizes the proliferation of mental diseases in DSM-5 (2013) and explores the social and personal consequences. He begins with a terse historical review of how "normal" has been defined, but ignores the legal profession's significant contributions to the debate.

Most of the book focuses on how the idea of normal remains elusive and argues that the medicalization of behavior leads to polypharmacy, misallocation of medical resources, multibillion-dollar profits for drug companies, and a lapse of personal and internal accountability for behavior...He asserts that transforming human behavior into the newly invented mental...may diminish human adaptability, diversity, and humanity."

Hamilton, D.B. "Frances, Allen. Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt against Out-of-control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life." CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Feb. 2014: 1043+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

You can request this book from storage if it is no longer in the New Books section (in front of the Reference Desk). Instructions on how to request books are here.

Ask a librarian to help you find resources on this or related books.

See our previous Books of the Week here.



Free Earplugs at the Reference Desk

box of Library earplugs

We know the Library can sometimes be a bit noisy because of our renovation. To help keep everyone focused, we have free earplugs at the Reference Desk (don't worry — they're individually wrapped). Just make sure you take them out before you go to class!

Thanks to Hunter for the great idea (and for the great box)!



LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

cover of ''Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption''

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

As a young Harvard law student testing himself in an internship in Georgia, Stevenson visited death-row inmates and saw firsthand the injustices suffered by the poor and disadvantaged, how too many had been railroaded into convictions with inadequate legal representation. The visit made such an impression on Stevenson that he started the Equal Justice Institute in Montgomery, Alabama. One of his first clients was Walter McMillian, a young black man accused of murdering a white woman and imprisoned on death row even before he was tried.

Stevenson alternates chapters on the shocking miscarriage of justice in McMillian's case, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, with other startling cases. The war on drugs and tough-on-crime political postures have resulted in hundreds of juveniles sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for nonhomicidal offenses. Among the cases Stevenson cites: a 14-year-old condemned to death for killing his mother’s abusive boyfriend and a mentally ill adolescent girl condemned to life in prison for second-degree murder for the death of young boys killed in a fire she started accidentally. Through these cases and others, Stevenson details changes in victims' rights, incarceration of juveniles, death penalty reforms, inflexible sentencing laws, and the continued practices of injustice that see too many juveniles, minorities, and mentally ill people imprisoned in a frenzy of mass incarceration ien the U.S. A passionate account of the ways our nation thwarts justice and inhumanely punishes the poor and disadvantaged.

Bush, Vanessa. "Just Mercy." The Booklist 111.4 (2014): 6-7. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.

This book is in Leisure Reading (the maroon shelves in Periodicals.) It is shelved under the author's last name (Stevenson).

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See our previous Books of the Week here.



LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess

Cover of ''Temptation:
Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess''

Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess by Daniel Akst

"At a time when the fallout from reckless spending and unrestrained consumption is fueling a national malaise, Daniel Akst delivers a witty and comprehensive investigation of the central problem of our time: how to save ourselves from what we want. Temptation reminds us that while more calories, sex, and intoxicants are readily available than ever before, crucial social constraints have eroded, creating a world that sorely tests the limits of human willpower. Referencing history, literature, psychology, philosophy, and economics, Akst draws a vivid picture of the many-sided problem of desire-and delivers a blueprint for how we can steer shrewdly away from a campaign of self-destruction."

from the publisher's website

You can request this book from storage if it is no longer in the New Books section (in front of the Reference Desk). Instructions on how to request books are here.

Ask a librarian to help you find resources on this or related books.

See our previous Books of the Week here.



Welcome to Fall II 2015!

Looking for a textbook? Ask for it at the checkout desk or check our 14-day loan area.

Looking for something fun to read? Our browsing collection is in the back by periodicals and our new books are in front of the reference desk.

Everything else is still available — you just need to request it first.