Like two roosters in a fighting arena, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are encircled by barriers of geography and poverty. They co-inhabit the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French-speaking and black, one Spanish-speaking and mulatto. Yet, despite their antagonism, the two countries share a national symbol in the rooster--and a fundamental activity and favorite sport in the cockfight. In this book, Michele Wucker asks: "If the symbols that dominate a culture accurately express a nation's character, what kind of a country draws so heavily on images of cockfighting and roosters, birds bred to be aggressive? What does it mean when not one but two countries that are neighbors choose these symbols? Why do the cocks fight, and why do humans watch and glorify them?"

Wucker studies the cockfight ritual in considerable detail, focusing as much on the customs and histories of these two nations as on their contemporary lifestyles and politics. Her well-cited and comprehensive volume also explores the relations of each nation toward the United States, which twice invaded both Haiti (in 1915 and 1994) and the Dominican Republic (in 1916 and 1965) during the twentieth century. Just as the owners of gamecocks contrive battles between their birds as a way of playing out human conflicts, Wucker argues, Haitian and Dominican leaders often stir up nationalist disputes and exaggerate their cultural and racial differences as a way of deflecting other kinds of turmoil. Thus Why the Cocks Fight highlights the factors in Caribbean history that still affect Hispaniola today, including the often contradictory policies of the U.S.

 Amazon.com商業理財百大暢銷書

路透社、世界經濟論壇董事長、800-CEO-Read一致推薦閱讀

你可能已經很熟悉什麼是「黑天鵝」,但你知道什麼是「灰犀牛」嗎?

灰犀牛是既存的威脅,顯而易見,卻被視而不見。舉凡金融危機、氣候變遷、重大政策、破壞性創新科技、個人生活上的小問題等,都可能是最後帶來重大後果或影響的灰犀牛。

當兩噸重的灰犀牛朝你衝過來時,如果你選擇原地站立不動,能夠全身而退嗎?

本書作者米歇爾‧渥克曾被遴選為世界經濟論壇全球青年領袖,長期為《紐約時報》、《華盛頓郵報》、《華爾街日報》、CNN等知名媒體撰稿,提出重要的趨勢觀察。

在本書,渥克為我們解釋什麼是灰犀牛。相較於極不可能發生、實際上卻會發生,而且發生後會帶來重大衝擊的黑天鵝事件,灰犀牛是既存的威脅,但我們卻因為種種因素而選擇毫無作為。

在生活中,各處皆可見到灰犀牛的蹤影,例如:

◆忽略牙醫的提醒——每天搭配使用牙線、每半年洗牙一次,結果換來必須接受口腔外科手術治療的結果。

◆2008年金融風暴之前,已有許多警訊出現,但投資人仍然樂觀投資房市,結果損失慘重,血本無歸。

無論是企業、政府、產業或個人,都會面臨許多灰犀牛事件,如果毫無防備、毫無作為,下場可能會很慘。渥克在本書提出面對灰犀牛的五階段常見反應,教我們打破迷思、正視問題。章末也有灰犀牛心法,幫助我們建立正確觀念,日後遇到明顯問題時,才能積極採取行動。

無論是哪種灰犀牛事件,其實都有跡可尋。渥克長年鑽研拉丁美洲經濟,曾在2001年阿根廷債務危機爆發九個月之前,就公開發表警示。本書適合企業及政界各階層的領導人閱讀,有大量實際案例,說明辨識常見且破壞性強的危機的重要性,不僅能幫助我們避免並減少損失,甚至進一步化危機為轉機,創造機會。

 

好評推薦

比黑天鵝更重要的是灰犀牛,也就是極有可能發生、我們卻往往沒能加以應對的高衝擊性事件。針對如何起而行動、創造競爭優勢,這本書提供了一些簡單的訣竅。

──保羅.波曼(Paul Polman),聯合利華執行長

渥克的見解十分正確,我們往往能夠預料到危機來臨:氣候變遷、恐怖主義、金融危機,卻沒能採取行動,而這本重要的書說明了個中原因。在各種挑戰無可避免愈來愈嚴苛的時代,本書對所有公私部門組織的領導人來說,都是非常值得一讀的好書。

──馬凱碩(Kishore Mahbubani),新加坡國立大學李光耀公共政策學院院長

渥克對當今社會面臨的各種有待解決、卻經常遭到忽略的挑戰,提供了一套全新的評估工具。公務體系若能積極辨識出已在外頭出沒的各種灰犀牛,而不是坐待下一場可預期的危機發生,將能更有效率地為人民服務。

──麥斯.貝澤曼(Max Bazerman),哈佛商學院企管講座教授、《覺察力》作者

要是黑天鵝令人感到無助,灰犀牛則讓我們知道,我們是有能力應變的。在這本獨創性十足的書中,渥克提醒我們,意識到逼近的情勢、應且好好決定如何即時應變,有多麼重要。

──諾瑞娜.赫茲(Noreena Hertz),《老虎、蛇和牧羊人的背後》作者
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