Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.
Far from being a nave hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.
With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
Violence in Society
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Silicon Valley technology is transforming the way we work, and Uber is leading the charge. An American startup that promised to deliver entrepreneurship for the masses through its technology, Uber instead built a new template for employment using algorithms and Internet platforms. Upending our understanding of work in the digital age, Uberland paints a future where any of us might be managed by a faceless boss.
The neutral language of technology masks the powerful influence algorithms have across the New Economy. Uberland chronicles the stories of drivers in more than twenty-five cities in the United States and Canada over four years, shedding light on their working conditions and providing a window into how they feel behind the wheel. The book also explores Uber's outsized influence around the world: the billion-dollar company is now influencing everything from debates about sexual harassment and transportation regulations to racial equality campaigns and labor rights initiatives.
Based on award-winning technology ethnographer Alex Rosenblat's firsthand experience of riding over 5,000 miles with Uber drivers, daily visits to online forums, and face-to-face discussions with senior Uber employees, Uberland goes beyond the headlines to reveal the complicated politics of popular technologies that are manipulating both workers and consumers.
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019.
Many Women, Many Voices
Curators. Activists. Hockey Players. Students. Medical Illustrators. Secretaries. Portrait Artists. Sculptors.
Many Women, Many Voices celebrates the voices of women in all of those roles and many more. Shining a light on the untold stories of the women who have shaped McGill and Montreal, it offers illustrated vignettes from the ROAAr collections – Rare Books and Special Collections, the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, the Visual Arts Collection, and the McGill University Archives.
The Book Rescuer
From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a story of one man's heroic effort to save the world's Yiddish books in their Sydney Taylor Book Award-winning masterpiece.
Over the last forty years, Aaron Lansky has jumped into dumpsters, rummaged around musty basements, and crawled through cramped attics. He did all of this in pursuit of a particular kind of treasure, and he's found plenty. Lansky's treasure was any book written Yiddish, the language of generations of European Jews. When he started looking for Yiddish books, experts estimated there might be about 70,000 still in existence. Since then, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has collected close to 1.5 million books, and he's finding more every day.
Told in a folkloric voice reminiscent of Patricia Polacco, this story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture, while exploring timely themes of identity and immigration.
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019.
Bedtime Stories for Managers
In forty-two succinct, surprising essays, legendary scholar Henry Mintzberg brings management down from the clouds and onto solid ground.
If you're like most managers and things keep you up at night, now you can turn to a book that's designed especially for you! But you won't find talking rabbits or princesses here. (There is a cow, but it doesn't jump.) Henry Mintzberg has culled forty-two of the best posts from his widely read blog and turned them into a deceptively light, sneakily serious compendium of sometimes heretical reflections on management.
The moral here is this: managers need to leave their castles and find out what's actually going on in their kingdoms. And like real bedtime stories, these essays have metaphors galore. So prepare to grow strategies like weeds and organize like a cow. Discover the maestro myth of managing, find the soft underbelly of hard data, and learn why downsizing is bloodletting and your board should be a bee. Mintzberg writes, "Just try not to be outraged by anything you read, because some of my most outrageous ideas turn out to be my best. They just take a while to become obvious."
Business & Economics
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
On the brink of forty, Bea Rose has lost her lover, her business, and her bearings. When the opportunity arises to work on a summer production of King Lear to be staged in various parks around Montreal, she takes it, despite her utter lack of theatre experience.
Things get off to a rocky start when Bea meets the artistic director, Artie White, a childhood friend whose presence stirs up painful memories. Then, inadvertently attracting the attentions of the play's aging star, she learns that she must tread carefully among the egos and relationships of the company. At the same time, Bea's father begins behaving erratically, and her younger sister Cara discovers cracks in the foundation of an apparently perfect life.
The sisters do their best to care for their beloved, demanding father, but his deteriorating condition is more than they can handle. Meanwhile, the star of Lear is also faltering amidst the confusions of age, illness, and regret. When a raucous party whirls out of control, the various forces in Bea's life collide, culminating in a violent act that could destroy more than one life. But that act also reveals how lives might be united in new ways.
Tender, vivid, and powerful, Lear's Shadow is a richly satisfying meditation on love's power to bind and to liberate. It's a lyrical reminder that even in the face of grief, life's joy can be embraced.
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018
High Time: The Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada
Canada will become the first G7 country to legalize cannabis, and the world is watching. The primary concern facing the Liberal government as it seeks to fulfill its 2015 campaign promise to "legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana" is whether it can be done without making the situation worse. As the Liberal platform pointed out, the current regime lets illegal cannabis fall into the hands of minors, pours large profits into organized crime, and traps many people in the criminal justice system for what is arguably a victimless crime. While the legalization of marijuana in Canada begins with a straightforward change of the criminal code, its ramifications go far beyond this. Legalization will have a serious impact on the country's international treaty commitments, interprovincial relations, taxation and regulatory regimes, and social and health policies. The essays in this book address these outcomes from three main perspectives: the decades-long political path to legalization; the assumptions that underwrite the new policy, in particular the desire to stamp out the black market; and how legalization in Canada looks in an international context. Bringing together analysis by policy makers and scholars, including the architect of marijuana legislation in Portugal - a trailblazing jurisdiction - High Time provides an urgent and necessary overview of Canada's Cannabis Act.
Publication Date: March 4th, 2019
Reconfigurations of Philosophy of Religion
This collection addresses, as it exemplifies, an identity crisis in contemporary philosophy of religion. It represents a unique two-way dialogue between philosophers of religion and scholars of religion and broaches issues pertaining to the philosophy of religion and the philosophical tradition, on the one hand, and religious studies, theology, and the modern academy on the other. While each author manages the current challenges in philosophy of religion differently, one can nonetheless discern a polyphony of interests surrounding a postcritical, postsecular appreciation of religion. In part 1, contributors ask how philosophy of religion can accommodate both the strengths and weaknesses of Western analytic and continental traditions; incorporate developments in ideology critique, gender studies, and Asian philosophies; and negotiate the perceived stalemate in philosophy of religion. Part 2 addresses these questions in terms of a philosophy of religion that is postcolonial in intention and multidisciplinary in orientation and features scholarship from the fields of both religion and theology. An underlying theme is the importance of ushering philosophy of religion into a postphenomenological era of religious studies and theology. This is a neglected dimension in many laudable discussions about philosophy of religion that this volume hopes to emend.
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2019
Paul Broca made the most significant discovery in nineteenth-century human biology when he found that speech resides within the left frontal lobe of the human brain. As a young surgeon working at the hospice at Bicêtre on the outskirts of Paris - a repository for the criminal, the insane, the indigent, and the sick - Broca had to overcome derision, acrimony, personal attacks, vindictiveness, and prevailing doctrines before his findings were accepted. Based on a new reading and translation of original records by Broca, Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud, and Gustave Dax, Fearful Asymmetry recounts the story of this hard-won scientific discovery. Richard Leblanc describes the contentious process, beginning with Bouillaud, who laid the groundwork for the findings, that led Broca on the trail of discovery as he struggled to bring forward a fundamental truth of neurology and, ultimately, of the human condition. Finally, Leblanc connects the research of the three French scientists to the work of Wilder Penfield at the Montreal Neurological Institute in the twentieth century, when neurology moved beyond postmortem anatomical studies to direct observations of the conscious brain. Making many of the debates about localization available for the first time in English, Fearful Asymmetry provides a detailed account of one critical scientific success and the long history behind it.
Language Arts & Disciplines
Publication Date: August 01, 2017
Our Rural Selves
Life in the countryside, often perceived as either idyllic or depleted, has long been misrepresented. Challenging the stereotypes and myths that surround the idea of rurality, Our Rural Selves interrogates and represents individual and collective memories of childhood in rural landscapes and small towns. Drawing on visual artifacts whose origins range from the early twentieth century to today, such as photographs, films, objects, picture books, and digital games, contributors offer readings of childhood that are geographically, ethnically, and culturally diverse. They examine the memories of Indigenous children, the experiences of back-to-the-land youth, and boom-or-bust childhoods within the petroleum, farming, and fishing industries. Illustrating often neglected and overlooked aspects of adolescence, this collection suggests new ways of studying social connectedness and collective futures. Innovative and revealing in its use of visual studies, autoethnography, and memory-work, Our Rural Selves explores representation, imagination, and what it means to grow up rural in Canada.
Publication Date: April 26th, 2019
The facts are indisputable. When women get even a bit of education, the whole of society improves. When they get a bit of healthcare, everyone lives longer. In many ways, it has never been a better time to be a woman: a fundamental shift has been occurring. Yet from Toronto to Timbuktu the promise of equality still eludes half the world’s population.
In her 2019 CBC Massey Lectures, award-winning author, journalist, and human rights activist Sally Armstrong illustrates how the status of the female half of humanity is crucial to our collective surviving and thriving. Drawing on anthropology, social science, literature, politics, and economics, she examines the many beginnings of the role of women in society, and the evolutionary revisions over millennia in the realms of sex, religion, custom, culture, politics, and economics. What ultimately comes to light is that gender inequality comes at too high a cost to us all.
Publication date: September 17, 2019
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SALLY ARMSTRONG is an award-winning author, journalist, and human rights activist. She is the author of four bestselling books: Ascent of Women: A New Age Is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter, The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan, and Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women. Armstrong was the first journalist to bring the story of the women of Afghanistan to the world. She has also covered stories in conflict zones from Bosnia and Somalia to Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Jordan, and Israel. She is a four-time winner of the Amnesty International Canada media award, the recipient of ten honorary degrees, and an Officer of the Order of Canada. She was born and raised in Montreal, lives in Toronto, and spends the summer in New Brunswick.
A Grain of Salt
Bestselling popular science author Dr. Joe Schwarcz debunks the baloney and serves up the raw facts in this appetizing collection about the things we eat.
Eating has become a confusing experience. Should we follow a keto diet? Is sugar the next tobacco? Does fermented cabbage juice cure disease? Are lectins toxic? Is drinking poppy seed tea risky? What's with probiotics? Can packaging contaminate food? Should our nuts be activated? What is cockroach milk?
We all have questions, and Dr. Joe Schwarcz has the answers, some of which will astonish you. Guaranteed to satisfy your hunger for palatable and relevant scientific information, Dr. Joe separates fact from fiction in this collection of new and updated articles about what to eat, what not to eat, and how to recognize the scientific basis of food chemistry.
Health & Fitness
Diet & Nutrition
Publication Date: October 08, 2019
The Main Philosophical Writings and the Novel Allwill
A key figure in the German Enlightenment, Jacobi had an enormous impact on philosophical thought in the later part of the eighteenth century, notably the way Kant was received and the early development of post-Kantian idealism. This is an English translation of Jacobi's major literary and philosophical classics.
History & Surveys
Publication Date: September 09, 2009
Ascent of Women
From Africa to Asia, women are the key to progress on ending poverty, violence and conflict. In this #1 national bestseller, award-winning humanitarian and journalist Sally Armstrong shows us why women are the way forward and introduces us to the leading women who are making change happen, from Nobel Prize winners to little girls suing for justice.
This book is about the final frontier for women: having control over your own body, whether in zones of conflict, in rural villages, on university campuses or in your own kitchen.
Ascent of Women describes the perilous journey that brought women to this point. It is the story of a dawning of a new revolution, whose chapters are being written in mud-brick houses in Afghanistan; on Tahrir Square in Cairo; in the forests of the Congo, where women still hide from their attackers; and in a shelter in northern Kenya, where 160 girls between 3 and 17 are pursuing a historic court case against a government who did not protect them from rape. Sally Armstrong brings us these voices from the barricades, inspiring and brave.
Biography & Autobiography
Feminism & Feminist Theory
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Makeup Tips from Auschwitz
Tommy Schnurmacher has written a book that could change your life. It changed his.…
Makeup Tips from Auschwitz
Tommy Schnurmacher has written a book that could change your life. It changed his.
As a writer, Montreal media icon Schnurmacher is an intense force of nature, a seismic swell of visceral empathy, laser-sharp wit and courageous self-analysis.
Now meet Olga. Auschwitz prisoner A-25057, aka Mom, A fearless, dramatic and unpredictable maverick. An original.
Exposing the souls of a family for all to see, Make-up Tips from Auschwitz is an addictive page-turner. Schnurmacher's voice resonates with a lyrical cadence all his own and an unsettling candor reminiscent of humorist David Sedaris and essayist Augusten Burroughs.
Like the Oscar-winning film, Life is Beautiful, Schnurmacher revisits the Holocaust with rays of light in the darkness.
Sparkling with chutzpah and charm, this is a story of a family's cultural collision and delightful dysfunction. With the growing pains of Shtisel, the earthiness of The Simpsons and the fierce family loyalty of The Sopranos, these newcomers from Hungary defy authority. They figured out early on that conventional values were not enough. It was their moxie that allowed them to succeed.
Schmooze with the passing parade that includes John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor and Crystal Nacht. You will laugh out loud as you meet a cast of supporting characters who redefine eccentric: the 50-minute therapist, the psychic rabbi and a superstitious hypochondriac named Paris.
Once you get to know these mutineers from the mainstream, you will want to organize an intervention. Or at least a Passover Seder.
Publication date: August 15th, 2019
The Smart Palate
Proceeds from the sale of each book will benefit the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre.…
The Smart Palate
Proceeds from the sale of each book will benefit the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre.
Catering to those who want to be as health conscious as they are passionate about food, The Smart Palate is a delightful cookbook featuring over 180 triple-tested recipes, full-colour photographs, chef’s tips, smart food facts, and nutritional analyses for every meal from breakfast to dessert, covering everything from smoothies, soups, and salads to grains, meats, and sweets.
Providing information on how to incorporate wholesome, perhaps unfamiliar, ingredients into everyday menus, this book showcases novel methods for preparing traditional favourites in healthful ways. Sugars and fats are adjusted in the recipes to minimal amounts or substituted altogether with alternative ingredients without compromising taste. While fresh, local ingredients are emphasized, the need for frozen and canned goods in a fast-paced life is also taken into account. Popular Montreal chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz weighs in with science-based information on the health benefits of many of the foods featured here, as well as fascinating historical facts about their origins.
A fundraising project endorsed by the McGill University Faculty of Medicine that also honours the scientists at McGill’s Goodman Cancer Research Centre, The Smart Palate offers indispensable guidelines for choosing and preparing foods that sustain and enrich a healthy life.
Tina Landsman Abbey is a self-taught home cook and baker, and a co-editor of several cookbooks including Cooking with Love: The Best Recipes from Montreal’s Finest Cooks.
Gail Goldfarb Karp’s love of great food and keen sense of taste stems from the wonderful cooking of her paternal Polish grandmother and maternal Hungarian grandmother.
Joe Schwarcz is director of the McGill Office for Science and Society, a columnist for the Montreal Gazette, and host of The Dr. Joe Schwarcz Show on CJAD 800 in Montreal.
Scotty Bowman is recognized as the best coach in hockey history, and one of the greatest coaches in all of sports. He won more games and more Stanley Cups than anyone else. Remarkably, despite all the changes in hockey, he coached at the very top for more than four decades, his first Cup win and his last an astonishing thirty-nine years apart. Yet perhaps most uniquely, different from anyone else who has ever lived or ever will again, he has experienced the best of hockey continuously since he was fourteen years old. With his precious standing room pass to the Montreal Forum, he saw "Rocket" Richard play at his peak every Saturday night. He saw Gordie Howe as a seventeen-year-old just starting out. He scouted Bobby Orr as a thirteen-year-old in Parry Sound, Ontario. He coached Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux. He coached against Wayne Gretzky. For the past decade, as an advisor for the Chicago Blackhawks, he has watched Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and Connor McDavid. He has seen it all up close.
Ken Dryden was a Hall-of-Fame goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens. His critically acclaimed and bestselling books have shaped the way we read and think about hockey.
Now the player and coach who won five Stanley Cups together team up once again.
In Scotty, Dryden has given his coach a new test: Tell us about all these players and teams you've seen, but imagine yourself as their coach. Tell us about their weaknesses, not just their strengths. Tell us how you would coach them and coach against them. And then choose the top eight teams of all time, match them up against one another in a playoff series, and, separating the near-great from the great, tell us who would win. And why.
This book is about a life--a hockey life, a Canadian life, a life of achievement. It is Scotty Bowman in his natural element, behind the bench one more time.
Publication Life: October 29th, 2019
Managing the Myths of Health Care
"Health care is not failing but succeeding, expensively, and we don't want to pay for it. So the administrations, public and private alike, intervene to cut costs, and herein lies the failure."
In this sure-to-be-controversial book, leading management thinker Henry Mintzberg turns his attention to reframing the management and organization of health care. The problem is not management per se but a form of remote-control management detached from the operations yet determined to control them. It reorganizes relentlessly, measures like mad, promotes a heroic form of leadership, favors competition where the need is for cooperation, and pretends that the calling of health care should be managed like a business.
"Management in health care should be about dedicated and continuous care more than interventionist and episodic cures."
This professional form of organizing is the source of health care's great strength as well as its debilitating weakness. In its administration, as in its operations, it categorizes whatever it can to apply standardized practices whose results can be measured. When the categories fit, this works wonderfully well. The physician diagnoses appendicitis and operates; some administrator ticks the appropriate box and pays. But what happens when the fit fails--when patients fall outside the categories or across several categories or need to be treated as people beneath the categories or when the managers and professionals pass each other like ships in the night?
To cope with all this, Mintzberg says that we need to reorganize our heads instead of our institutions. He discusses how we can think differently about systems and strategies, sectors and scale, measurement and management, leadership and organization, competition and collaboration.
"Market control of health care is crass, state control is crude, professional control is closed. We need all three--in their place."
The overall message of Mintzberg's masterful analysis is that care, cure, control, and community have to work together, within health-care institutions and across them, to deliver quantity, quality, and equality simultaneously.
Health Care Delivery
Publication Date: May 15, 2017
The Flame is a stunning collection of Leonard Cohen's last poems, selected and ordered by the author in the final months of his life. Featuring lyrics, prose pieces, and illustrations, the book also contains an extensive selection from Cohen's notebooks, which he kept in poetic form throughout his life, and offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker.
An enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen's storied literary career, The Flame showcases the full range of Leonard Cohen's lyricism, from the exquisitely transcendent to the darkly funny. By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who set out to explore our darkest questions and came back wanting, yearning for more.
Publication Date: October 18th, 2018
The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel
Set in Montreal and New York between the wars, a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future, from the best-selling, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-short-listed author.
Exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told, The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. Set in the early part of the 20th century, it is an unparalleled tale of abandoned children, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose fortune hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to escape one's origins. It might also take true love.
Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long their true talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing for the rich, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.
Separated as teenagers, both escape into the city's underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs, and theft in order to survive. Ruthless and unforgiving, Montreal in the 1930s is no place for song and dance. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes, the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make those dreams come true. After Rose, Pierrot, and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls hit the stage and the alleys, the underworld will never look the same.
With extraordinary storytelling, musical language, and an extravagantly realized world, acclaimed author Heather O'Neill enchants us with her best novel yet - one so magical there is no escaping its spell.
Written by a McGill alumna.
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Across the world, democracies are suffering from a disconnect between the people and political elites. In communities where jobs and industry are scarce, many feel the government is incapable of understanding their needs or addressing their problems. The resulting frustration has fueled the success of destabilizing demagogues. To reverse this pattern and restore responsible government, we need to reinvigorate democracy at the local level. But what does that mean? Drawing on examples of successful community building in cities large and small, from a shrinking village in rural Austria to a neglected section of San Diego, Reconstructing Democracy makes a powerful case for re-engaging citizens. It highlights innovative grassroots projects and shows how local activists can form alliances and discover their own power to solve problems.
Publication Date: March 17th, 2020.