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16 October 2003

The Commercialization of Intimate Life
Notes From Home and Work

By Arlie Russell Hochschild
A compendium of key essays and new work from professor of sociology Arlie Hochschild, this paperback book garnered high praise from Barbara Ehrenreich: “A fascinating read. . . . Hochschild has a mind nimble enough to dance — but always to the beat of a generous and compassionate heart.”

Hochschild covers a lot of turf in her exploration of how the demands of global capitalism affect the conditions of our personal lives. She structures the book around the central topics of culture, emotion, family and work, care, and a culminating personal essay. Simply listing these areas doesn’t do justice to her accessible, extremely readable and fascinating treatment of the strange divisions that have taken place between work and family both in America and abroad.

University of California Press, 2003;
313 pages

The Real Environmental Crisis
Why Poverty, Not Affluence, Is the Environment’s Number One Enemy

By Jack M. Hollander
Conventional wisdom holds that affluent societies are depleting most of the planet’s resources and are culpable for profound environmental damage. Most mass media feature stories that prophesy environmental disaster in the not-too-distant future. But Jack M. Hollander, professor emeritus of energy and resources, doesn’t share this gloom-and-doom view. In fact, in this book written expressly for the “nonexpert public,” he takes a radical stance and proffers that protecting the environment depends on helping third-world countries become prosperous. Issue by issue, Hollander tackles population growth; climate change; agricultural and food supplies; fisheries, forests, and fossil fuels; water and air quality; global warming; genetically modified foods; transportation technologies; and solar and nuclear power. In his analysis, he makes a powerful case for seeing the figurative glass as half-full.

University of California Press,
2003; 237 pages

White-Washing Race
The Myth of a Color-Blind Society

By Michael K. Brown, Martin Carnoy, Elliott Currie, Troy Duster, David B. Oppenheimer, Marjorie M. Shultz, and David Wellman

The seven authors of this volume took a decidedly different approach to colla-boration. Elliot Currie (professor of law), Troy Duster (professor of sociology), and Marjorie Shultz (professor of law) all teach at Berkeley. Rather than contribute separate essays, they and their co-authors worked closely together. Over the course of two years they discussed and disagreed about racial issues, augmenting their work with research on law, sociology, and history. Theirs is an effort to dispel the notion put forth by conservative think tanks — now widely accepted by the American public — that racial inequalities are now behind us and that an individual’s behavior alone determines success in the areas of employment, income, and political representation. The result is a text that is informed by the authors’ commitment to melding their differing viewpoints into ideas that transcend simplicity and go beyond the trite and not so true.

University of California Press,
2003; 328 pages

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