Book of the Week: “Sex and secularism” by Joan Wallach Scott

Joan Wallach Scott’s acclaimed and controversial writings have been foundational for the field of gender history.

“Challenging the assertion that secularism has always been synonymous with equality between the sexes, Sex and Secularism reveals how this idea has been used to justify claims of white, Western, and Christian racial and religious superiority and has served to distract our attention from a persistent set of difficulties related to gender difference―ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.”

Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2018
Call Number: 305.3 HEIA 120474


Joan Wallach Scott will be present at the Institute, on Tuesday, 25 September, for the Opening lecture of the academic year, “Gender equality: why is it so difficult to achieve?”

Book of the Week: “What we owe: truths, myths, and lies about public debt” by Carlo Cottarelli

The euro crisis, Japan’s sluggish economy, and partisan disagreements in the United States about the role of government all have at least one thing in common: worries about high levels of public debt.

“Nearly everyone agrees that public debt in many advanced economies is too high to be sustainable and must be addressed. There is little agreement, however, about when and how that addressing should be done – or even, in many cases, just how serious the debt problem is.

As the former director of the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department, Carlo Cottarelli has helped countries across the globe confront their public finance woes. He also had direct experience in advising his own country, Italy, about its chronic fiscal ailments. In this straightforward, plain-language book, Cottarelli explains how and why excessive public debt can harm economic growth and can lead to crises such as those experienced recently in Italy and several other European countries.”

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution Press, 2017
Call Number: 336.3 HEIA 120154

Book of the Week: “Strange justice: the selling of Clarence Thomas” by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson

There was in fact much to doubt about the character of Clarence Thomas and his denial of Anita Hill’s accusations during the riveting and fractious Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

“Drawing on hundreds of interviews and scores of documents never seen before, Mayer and Abramson demonstrate that the political machinations that assured Thomas’s ascension to the Court went far beyond what was revealed to the public: Several witnesses were prepared but not allowed to testify in support of Anita Hill’s specific allegations about Thomas’s pronounced interest in sexually explicit materials; Republican Judiciary Committee members manipulated the FBI and misled the American public into believing that Hill was fabricating testimony during the televised hearings; Clarence Thomas mythologized certain elements of his upbringing and career to draw attention away.”

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1994
Call Number: 340(73) HEIA 44623


Jill Abramson will be present at the Institute, on Tuesday, 29 May,  for the conference Women’s Voices in the Media: Changing the World