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

Livre de la semaine : “L’événement 68” de Emmanuelle Loyer

Un retour aux sources de Mai 68
“On ne semble plus vouloir aborder Mai 68 que sous deux angles : la commémoration des témoins et des anciens, rituellement organisée tous les dix ans ; la liquidation exigée par ses adversaires, qui, régulièrement, revient sur le devant de la scène médiatique. Ce livre veut sortir de ce double discours, pieux et nostalgique ou vindicatif et injuste, en proposant les documents qui, sur le moment même, ont constitué l’événement de Mai 68.
À travers ces traces écrites, ces voix plurielles – déclarations, pétitions, slogans, tracts, procès-verbaux de manifestations, fiches de renseignements généraux, projets étudiants ou ouvriers, extraits de presse, fragments de discours –, l’on peut revivre au plus juste et comprendre ce qui fut une véritable révolution, dans la rue, certes, mais aussi dans les mots. Le regard de l’historienne, au ras de l’archive, permet ainsi de lire à nouveaux frais ce qui s’est passé au printemps 68, moment d’invention et de jubilation de la parole.”
Editeur : Paris : Flammarion, 2018
Call Number: 944.083, HEIA 121742

Livre de la semaine : “Le djihad et la mort” de Olivier Roy

Nous aimons la mort, vous aimez la vie

“De Khaled Kelkal en 1995 à l’attentat de Nice en 2016, pratiquement tous les terroristes se font exploser eux-mêmes ou tuer par la police, sans vraiment chercher à fuir et sans que leur mort soit nécessaire à la réalisation de leur action. Mohammed Merah reprendra la phrase attribuée à Oussama ben Laden et systématiquement reprise avec des variantes : “Nous aimons la mort, vous aimez la vie.”

La mort du terroriste n’est pas une possibilité ou une conséquence malheureuse de son action, elle est au cœur de son projet. L’on retrouve cette même fascination pour la mort chez le djihadiste qui rejoint Daech : l’attentat-suicide est la finalité par excellence de son engagement. Et si c’était cela, le vrai danger ? Non pas les dégâts infligés, mais l’effet de terreur. Car la force de Daech est de jouer sur nos peurs. Et cette peur, c’est la peur de l’islam.”

Editeur : Paris : Seuil, 2016
Cote : 323.28 HEIA 115556

Olivier Roy sera présent aujourd’hui, mercredi 9 mai, à l’Institut pour la conférence : De quoi le cochon est-il le nom ? Des agressions de Cologne à l’affaire Weinstein.

Book of the Week: “Has democracy failed women?” by Drude Dahlerup

Why are women still under-represented in politics? Can we speak of democracy when women are not fully included in political decision-making?

“Some argue that we are on the right track to full gender equality in politics, while others talk about women hitting the glass ceiling or being included in institutions with shrinking power, not least as a result of neo-liberalism.

In this powerful essay, internationally renowned scholar of gender and politics Drude Dahlerup explains how democracy has failed women and what can be done to tackle it. Political institutions, including political parties, she argues, are the real gatekeepers to elected positions all over the world, but they need to be much more inclusive. By reforming these institutions and carefully implementing gender quotas we can move towards improved gender equality and greater democratization.”

Publisher: Cambridge ; Malden : Polity Press, 2018
Call Number: 323 HEIA 120671

Book of the Week: “Weapons of math destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy”

A former Wall Street quantitative analyst sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.

“We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives — where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance — are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.

But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: if a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.”

Publisher: London: Penguin Books, 2017
Call Number: 384 HEIA 120998

Book of the Week: “The full transcripts of the Putin interviews” by Oliver Stone

Academy Award winner Oliver Stone interviews Vladimir Putin.

“Oliver Stone was able to secure what journalists, news organizations, and even other world leaders have long coveted: extended, unprecedented access to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Putin Interviews are culled from more than a dozen interviews with Putin over a two-year span, never before has the Russian leader spoken in such depth or at such length with a Western interviewer.

No topics are off limits in the interviews, which first occurred during Stone’s trips to meet with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Moscow and most recently after the election of President Donald Trump. Prodded by Stone, Putin discusses relations between the United States and Russia, allegations of interference in the US election, and Russia’s involvement with conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere across the globe. Putin speaks about his rise to power and details his relationships with Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump. The exchanges are personal, provocative, and at times surreal.”

Publisher: London: New York: Hot Books, 2017

Call Number: 947.086 HEIA 120532