What Is At Stake Now: My Appeal For Peace And Freedom by Mikhail Gorbachev

The Blurb On The Back:

Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, world peace is at risk again.  The President of the United States has withdrawn from the disarmament treaty with Russia, Europe is disintegrating, China is surging forward and a wave of nationalism and populism is destabilising established political institutions and endangering hard-won liberties.  Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp relief the fragility of the global order and the speed with which it can slide into chaos.

In view of this dangerous and unpredictable state of affairs, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last great statesman of the 1989 revolution, has written this short book to warn us of the grave risks we now face and to urge us all, political leaders and citizens alike, to take action to address them.  He focuses on the big challenges of our time, such as the renewal of the arms race and the growing risks of nuclear war, the new tension between Russia and the West, the global environmental crisis, the global threat of diseases and epidemics, the rise of populism and the decline of democracy.  He argues that self-serving policies and narrow-minded politics aimed at the pursuit of national interests are taking the place of political principles and overshadowing the vision of a free and just world for all peoples.  He offers his view of where Russia is heading and he urges political leaders in the West to recognise that re-establishing trust between Russia and the West requires the courage of true leadership and a commitment to genuine dialogue and understanding on both sides.

Now more than ever, the responses to the great challenges we face cannot be purely national in character but must be based on a collaborative effort in which political leaders put aside their differences and work together to advance the human security for all.  

You can buy WHAT IS AT STAKE NOW by Mikhail Gorbachev from Amazon USA, Amazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Society Of Fear by Heinz Bude

The Blurb On The Back:

From the rise of terrorism to the uncertainties associated with economic crisis and recession, our age is characterised by fear.  Fear is the expression of a society on unstable foundations.  Most of us feel that our social status is under threat and our future prospects in jeopardy.  We are overwhelmed by a sense of having been catapulted into a world to which we no longer belong.

Tracing this experience, Heinz Bude uncovers a society marked by disturbing uncertainty, suppressed anger and quiet resentment.  This is as true in our close relationships as it is in the world of work, in how we react to politicians as much as in our attitudes towards bankers and others in the financial sector.  Bude shows how this fear is not derived so much from a “powerful other” but rather from the seemingly endless range of possibilities that we face.  While this may seem to offer us greater autonomy and freedom, in reality the unknown impact and meaning of each option creates a vacuum which is filled by fear.

What conditions lead people to feel anxious and fearful for themselves and others?  How can individuals withstand fear and develop ways of making their fears intelligible?  Probing these and other questions, Bude provides a fresh analysis of some of the most fundamental features of our societies today. 

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