Kenichi Matsui is assistant professor, sustainable environmental studies, University of Tsukuba.
Peter, Ruth and Tom are trained historians, driven by new research and discovery. They are passionate about bringing period details to life, and they do that for us by comprehensively inhabiting the era for months, using only materials, tools and technology available at the time, to earn their living, celebrate their holidays, clothe and feed themselves and their families. Follow them as they discover how to build a pigsty, brew their own ale, forge their own machinery and keep a Tudor household.
Scrupulously researched, totally authentic and with its own contemporary narrative playing out within an accurate reconstruction of Tudor England, this is a fantastic glimpse into history, as it was lived. This is set to be Peter, Ruth and Tom’s most ambitious historical assignment yet.
A mostly overlooked chapter in Native American and labor histories, Native Students at Work deepens our understanding of the boarding school experience and sheds further light on Native American participation in the workforce.
"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.
Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.
Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.
If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.