Book of the week: “Too small to fail: why some small nations outperform larger ones and how they are reshaping the world”, by R. James Breiding

“Too Small to Fail analyzes how several successful ‘small’ countries, with populations under twenty million, have made a virtue out of their physical limitations. The book seeks to understand what it is they do differently, and why. What is their recipe for achieving better-educated, more egalitarian and wealthier populations? The book looks first at the forest and then the trees. It examines the characteristics shared by small countries, such as Switzerland, Ireland, Singapore, and the Scandinavian states. It draws parallels and discovers patterns shared among them that are common to each of their success stories. The book then looks at the policies of selected countries that have paved the way for remarkable improvements; and considers the individuals, corporations and institutions that have made a positive and sustainable impact. It further goes on to explain how these small countries are reshaping the World in a never before manner.”

Publisher: Harper Business, Uttar Pradesh (India), 2019
Call number: 303 HEIA 126707


Illustration: book cover.

Film of the week: “Contagion”, by Steven Soderbergh

“When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. However, two days later, Beth is dead, and doctors tell her shocked husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic explodes. Doctors try to contain the lethal microbe, but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia.”

102 min., 2011
Call number: 8.0 CON HEIDVD 2906

Book of the week: “Transforming multilateral diplomacy: the inside story of the Sustainable Development Goals”, by Macharia Kamau, Pamela Chasek and David O’Connor

Transforming Multilateral Diplomacy provides the inside view of the negotiations that produced the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Not only did this process mark a sea change in how the UN conducts multilateral diplomacy, it changed the way the UN does its business. This book tells the story of the people, issues, negotiations, and paradigm shifts that unfolded through the Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs and the subsequent negotiations on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, from the unique point of view of Ambassador Macharia Kamau, and other key participants from governments, the UN Secretariat, and civil society.”

Publisher: London, Routledge, 2018
Call number: 327(004) HEIA 121548

Film of the week: “Paths of glory”, by Stanley Kubrick

Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas (1916-2020) as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refuse to continue a suicidal attack, after which Dax attempts to defend them against a charge of cowardice in a court-martial.

In 1992, the film was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.”

84 mns, 1957
Call number: 6.2 PAT HEIDVD 525

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paths_of_Glory

Book of the week: “Pandemic: tracking contagion, from cholera to Ebola and beyond”, by Sonia Shah

“A wide-ranging inquiry into the origins of pandemics. Interweaving history, original reportage, and personal narrative, Pandemic explores the origins of epidemics, drawing parallels between the story of cholera-one of history’s most disruptive and deadly pathogens-and the new pathogens that stalk humankind today, from Ebola and avian influenza to drug-resistant superbugs. More than three hundred infectious diseases have emerged or reemerged in new territory during the past fifty years, and 90 percent of epidemiologists expect that one of them will cause a disruptive, deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. To reveal how that might happen, Sonia Shah tracks each stage of cholera’s dramatic journey from harmless microbe to world-changing pandemic, from its 1817 emergence in the South Asian hinterlands to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world and its latest beachhead in Haiti. She reports on the pathogens following in cholera’s footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers emerging from China’s wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, the slums of Port-au-Prince, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast. By delving into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world’s deadliest diseases, Pandemic reveals what the next epidemic might look like-and what we can do to prevent it.”

Publisher: New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Call number: 614 HEIA 114963