Books for Busy Minds

August 25, 2014 | By Book Department
1967 anti-Vietnam war protest

Broaden your horizons and keep your mind busy during Labor Day weekend. If you are piqued by the world’s conflicts and looking to keep your literary summer engaged, this compilation of non-fiction titles may help to quell your concerns or awaken new passions for social justice.


The Making of the Indebted Man, Maurizio Lazzarato (MIT Press, 2012)
Debt—both public and private—has become a major concern of political and economic leaders. In The Making of the Indebted Man, Maurizio Lazzarato shows that, far from being a threat to the capitalist economy, debt lies at the very core of the neoliberal project.

Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry, Jean-Luc  Ziegler (The New Press, 2013)
In an extensive investigation of this disturbing shift from growing food to growing fuel, Jean Ziegler—one of the world’s leading food experts—lays out, in clear and accessible terms, the complex global causes of the new hunger crisis.

Law and the Public Sphere in Africa: La Palabre and Other Writings, Jean Godefroy Bidma, (Indiana University Press, 2013)
This book examines the traditional African institution of palaver as a way to create dialogue and open exchange in an effort to resolve conflict and promote democracy. In the wake of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the gacaca courts in Rwanda, Bidima offers a compelling model of how to develop an African public space where dialogue can combat misunderstanding.


Too hot, too cold, too angry, too quiet, too busy, too lonely? We have the solutions here! Fun, fear and passion await. Each week, we will post thematic lists of great titles so you can let your bookworming desires run wild. Follow us on Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA

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