How an American hedge fund manager created a unique school in Somaliland whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve success beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
Jonathan Starr, once a cutthroat hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. "Why," they wondered, "would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world's #1 failed state?" To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff. It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it's the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso. Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: "If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?"
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world--from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises--of freedom, stability, and prosperity--were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world--or were left, or pushed, behind--reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose--angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift in a demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity--with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.
The Farewell was published at the end of Washington's second term. It was reprinted in newspapers across the country. The President began the letter during his first term intending to retire but was persuaded by Hamilton and Jefferson to run for a second. By the end of that term he was the object of scurrilous press attacks and alarmed by the growing partisan bitterness. Fearful for the country's future, Washington pled with his countrymen to resist hyper-partisanship and foreign alliances. He called for unity among "citizens by birth or choice," defended religious pluralism, called for national education. His message to the country was urgent. Avlon describes how it was quoted by Jackson, Webster, Clay, Calhoun, and importantly by Lincoln in defense of the Union. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson called on it for nation-building; Kennedy for Cold war; Reagan for religion. Clinton kept a copy on his Oval Office wall. In Washington's Farewell, Avlon offers important insight into Washington's his final public days, presenting not only a startling description of the perilous state of the new nation but a rare view of the man behind the usual face of a tranquil First Father.
The stunning story of a young woman, an international crisis, and the triumph of the human spirit. Adrift in a frigid sea, no land in sight--just debris from the ship's wreckage and floating corpses all around--nineteen-year-old Doaa Al Zamel floats with a small inflatable water ring around her waist and clutches two children, barely toddlers, to her body. The children had been thrust into Doaa's arms by their drowning relatives, all refugees who boarded a dangerously overcrowded ship bound for Sweden and a new life. For days, Doaa floats, prays, and sings to the babies in her arms. She must stay alive for these children. She must not lose hope. Doaa Al Zamel was once an average Syrian girl growing up in a crowded house in a bustling city near the Jordanian border. But in 2011, her life was upended. Inspired by the events of the Arab Spring, Syrians began to stand up against their own oppressive regime. When the army was sent to take control of Doaa's hometown, strict curfews, power outages, water shortages, air raids, and violence disrupted everyday life. After Doaa's father's barbershop was destroyed and rumors of women being abducted spread through the community, her family decided to leave Syria for Egypt, where they hoped to stay in peace until they could return home. Only months after their arrival, the Egyptian government was overthrown and the environment turned hostile for refugees. In the midst of this chaos, Doaa falls in love with a young opposition fighter who proposes marriage and convinces her to flee to the promise of safety and a better future in Europe. Terrified and unable to swim, Doaa and her young fiance hand their life savings to smugglers and board a dilapidated fishing vessel with five hundred other refugees, including a hundred children. After four horrifying days at sea, another ship, filled with angry men shouting insults, rams into Doaa's boat, sinking it and leaving the passengers to drown. That is where Doaa's struggle for survival really begins.
A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is an emotionally charged, eye-opening true story that represents the millions of unheard voices of refugees who risk everything in a desperate search for the promise of a safe future. Melissa Fleming sheds light on the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time and paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of the triumph of the human spirit.
The partial inspiration for the forthcoming ABC television mini-series from Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, executive producer Gus Van Sant, and starring Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Carrie Preston, and Rachel Griffiths.
Born in 1954, Cleve Jones was among the last generation of gay Americans who grew up wondering if there were others out there like himself. There were. Like thousands of other young people, Jones, nearly penniless, was drawn in the early 1970s to San Francisco, a city electrified by progressive politics and sexual freedom. Jones found community--in the hotel rooms and ramshackle apartments shared by other young adventurers, in the city's bathhouses and gay bars like The Stud, and in the burgeoning gay district, the Castro, where a New York transplant named Harvey Milk set up a camera shop, began shouting through his bullhorn, and soon became the nation's most outspoken gay elected official. With Milk's encouragement, Jones dove into politics and found his calling in "the movement." When Milk was killed by an assassin's bullet in 1978, Jones took up his mentor's progressive mantle--only to see the arrival of AIDS transform his life once again.
By turns tender and uproarious--and written entirely in his own words--When We Rise is Jones' account of his remarkable life. He chronicles the heartbreak of losing countless friends to AIDS, which very nearly killed him, too; his co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation during the terrifying early years of the epidemic; his conception of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community art project in history; the bewitching story of 1970s San Francisco and the magnetic spell it cast for thousands of young gay people and other misfits; and the harrowing, sexy, and sometimes hilarious stories of Cleve's passionate relationships with friends and lovers during an era defined by both unprecedented freedom and possibility, and prejudice and violence alike. When We Rise is not only the story of a hero to the LQBTQ community, but the vibrantly voice memoir of a full and transformative American life--an activist whose work continues today.
"Buddhism has a lot to say about suffering-and there are likely few times we suffer more intensely than when we break up with a romantic partner. It feels like you may never recover sometimes. But Lodro Rinzler has wonderfully good news for those suffering heartbreak- the 2,500-year-old teachings of the Buddha are the ultimate antidote for emotional pain. And you don't need to be a Buddhist for them to apply to you. In this short and compact first-aid kit for a broken heart, he walks you through the cause and cure of suffering, with much practical advice for self-care as you work to survive a breakup. The wisdom he presents applies to any kind of emotional suffering. It's a great, practical offering of consolation for someone you know who's going through a tough time, and for yourself when you're looking for the light at the end of the tunnel in your own situation."
Have you ever wondered what humans did before numbers existed? How they organized their lives, traded goods, or kept track of their treasures? What would your life be like without them? Numbers began as simple representations of everyday things, but mathematics rapidly took on a life of its own, occupying a parallel virtual world. In Are Numbers Real? , Brian Clegg explores the way that math has become more and more detached from reality, and yet despite this is driving the development of modern physics. From devising a new counting system based on goats, through the weird and wonderful mathematics of imaginary numbers and infinity, to the debate over whether mathematics has too much influence on the direction of science, this fascinating and accessible book opens the reader's eyes to the hidden reality of the strange yet familiar entities that are numbers.