Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star reviews Nature and Life: Essays on Deep Ecology and Applied Ethics

The Bangladeshi daily The Daily Star has published a superb open access review of Md. Munir Hossain Talukder’s book Nature and Life: Essays on Deep Ecology and Applied EthicsThe review is available open access here, and an indicative excerpt is below:

“How is a philosophical worldview of nature and life (in the sense of its totality) possible? The answer to this question can be found in the philosophical approach of Md. Munir Hossain Talukder who invites us to take the universe in its totality as a way of correcting the metaphysics of ‘self’ and its relation with the nature.Of all the far reaching insights, the one most relevant of Professor Talukder’s book is his engagement in exploring the issues of values, virtues and attitude towards life and nature through a common lens of culture in which the “quality of life” is emphasized not only as a logical outcome of “Self-realization” but also as a common denominator of (bio)ethical choice. This way of thinking as such would contribute profoundly to the ongoing dialogue about deep ecology and applied ethics, generated from the renewed interests in transforming the metaphysic of self into a philosophical worldview of life and nature.”

Muhammad A Sayeed, Jahangirnagar University, The Daily Star

The book is out now, and can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.


Highway Engineering Australia reviews Max Lay’s new book The Harnessing of Power

Dr Maxwell Gordon Lay’s new book with Cambridge Scholars, The Harnessing of Power: How 19th Century Transport Innovators Transformed the Way the World Operates, has been reviewed in the latest issue of the widely read Australian road magazine Highway Engineering Australia:

The Harnessing of Power: How 19th Century Transport Innovators Transformed the Way the World Operates is definitely recommended reading for industry professionals, or in deed for anyone with an interest in transportation, roads or history. […] The book adopts a broad, global perspective, but initially has a strong British focus as the Revolution was a process predominantly initiated and implemented in Britain. Nevertheless, when it lost momentum, Britain began to lose its leadership. By century’s end France and south-western Germany were the dominant changemakers and the USA was appearing on the horizon […] [the book] maintains his reputation for extremely high quality, well researchedcontent which is both informative and insightful.”

The book is available to purchase directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.

Open access review of John Andrew Morrow’s Islam and the People of the Book, Volumes 1-3

We are delighted to share an open access review in Reading Religion of John Andrew Morrow’s edited collection entitled Islam and the People of the Book, which was published by Cambridge Scholars in three volumes in 2017. The full review can be accessed here, and the three volumes can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.

Roger Wood’s new book reviewed in the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality

The Influence of Teacher-Student Relationships and Feedback on Students’ Engagement with Learning by Roger Wood has been reviewed in the latest issue of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality by Mark Plater. A positive and thoughtful review, Platerdraws attention to how the book draws together key points that have concerned him and colleagues for some time:

“Wood’s careful study adds to the growing weight of evidence to support the centrality of relationships and relatedness in human growth and flourishing. Those of us who are concerned with children’s spirituality have been arguing this point for decades, hoping to see more emphasis on such matters in education, medicine, parenting, social care and so on. Here then is further evidence to support our cause […] We would do well to take note of this study, and to acknowledge the implications for all of our children, and the many institutions that work with them.”

The full review is available here (subscription required). The book itself is available directly from Cambridge Scholars, and can be purchased by clicking here.

Understanding Steven Spielberg by Beatriz Peña-Acuña reviewed in summer issue of MovieMaker

We are delighted to share news that Beatriz Peña-Acuña’s recent book with Cambridge Scholars, entitled Understanding Steven Spielberg, has been reviewed in the summer issue of prominent film magazine MovieMaker. Please see below for an excerpt of the review.

Understanding Steven Spielberg can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.

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Book review: Heinz-Uwe Haus on Culture and Politics

In this book, Heinz-Uwe Haus charts the development of the unification and democratization processes, providing a unique narrative of the context before German unification, unification itself, and the aftermath of unification across the decades since. Furthermore, he widens the context from post-unification Germany to encompass issues of broader current relevance, such as Europe, America and Islam.  Theater provides the conceptual framework for this wide-ranging debate, and the selected texts document the interference of a theater maker with questions of politics and society.  In selecting the texts, he recalls how shortly before the decisive events of the peaceful revolution in autumn 1989, intellectual impulses from the West enriched the discussions and visions. Actually, Haus, as director, was professionally in the advantageous position of having to address the most conflicting opinions and interests of the spectators of a production.  This demands reflection in order to find the use value of representation for here and today. Haus’ wise and keen observation of the political scenarios and cultural development in recent decades would arouse great passion and the interests of a global readership.

All educated persons have gone through a process of education which has included a certain amount of historical thinking. But this does not qualify them to give an opinion about the nature, object, method, and value of historical thinking. So, we need a wise gray-haired thinker to guide the readers to grasp a better understanding of the historical thinking. In fact, German unification is also the basis of the peculiar importance of history. Whether something is successful or not not only determines the significance of a single event and is responsible for its producing a lasting effect or passing unnoticed, but success or failure causes a whole series of actions and events to be meaningful or meaningless.  The ontological structure of history itself, then, is teleological, although without a telos.  The concept of the event that is truly part of world history is defined by this. It is such if it ‘makes history,’ i.e. if it has an effect that lends it a continuing historical importance. German unification, for all thinkers, is a history making as well as a milestone in world history for generations to come.

Actually, if the thinkers engage in a temporal reflection of German unification, they can figure out “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens: …A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;…A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 ) The German unification will certainly make an everlasting and substantial contribution to world history, which has been predestined and arranged under the Absolute Supreme Spirit, Who controls the world situation. The rise and fall of a nation, in a teleological perspective, used to be vanity, though. Vanity of life is also a cyclical repetition.  Instead of being meaningful and progressive, the repetitious movement of human beings and phenomena across the face of the world is entirely without purpose—an endless striving without any goal.  As the order of things is always the same, neither humanity’s nor nature’s efforts accomplish anything. Without agape (divine brotherly love), the rise and fall of a nation means nothing.

Furthermore, the complete surrender to the contemplation of things, the epic attitude of a man who is seeking to tell ‘the tale of world history’ may in fact be called poetic, in that for the historian God is present in all things, not as a concept but as an ‘outward objectification.’ As W.B. Yeats said in “The Coming of Wisdom with Time” “Though leaves are many, the root is one;/Through all the lying days of my youth/I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;/Now I may wither into the truth.” Time may wither into the truth, and compassion and love is actually the truth, for love is everlasting and love conquers all.  And love heals the historical wounds. Also, as Du Fu (杜甫), a well-known poet in the Tang dynasty in China said in “A Spring View,” (春望) “As ever are hills and rills while my country crumbles;/When springtime comes over the Capital the grass scrambles./Blossoms invite my tears as in wild times they bloom;/the flitting birds stir my heart as I’m parted from home.”  (國破山河在/城春草木深/感時花濺淚/恨別鳥驚心)

From the standpoint of a Taiwanese professor, I would like to share the story of this area. A win by Taiwan’s pro-independence DPP will alter China relationship. After the 2016 presidential election, the China-friendly Kuomintang party lost power to the pro-independence opposition amid concerns that the island’s economy is under threat from China and broad opposition to Beijing’s demands for political unification. And a win for the DPP will introduce new uncertainty in the complicated relationship between Taiwan and mainland China, which claims the island as its own territory and threatens to use force if it declares formal independence. Tsia Ing-wen, the new president, has pledged to maintain the status quo of de-facto independence for the island of 23 million, although she has refused to endorse the principle that Taiwan and China are parts of a single nation to be unified eventually. Beijing has made that its baseline for continuing negotiations that have produced a series of pacts on trade, transport and exchanges. Observers say China is likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach to Tsai’s presidency, but might use diplomatic and economy pressure if she is seen as straying too far from its unification agenda.

In addition, in observing Taiwan’s political situation, February 28 Massacre, also known as 228 Incident should be understood. It was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan. Taking its name from the date of the incident, it began on February 27, 1947, and was violently suppressed by the Kumintang-led Republic of China government, which killed thousands of civilians beginning on February 28. Estimates of the number of deaths vary from 10,000 to 30,000 or more. The massacre marked the beginning of the Kuomintang’s White Terror period in Taiwan, in which thousands more inhabitants vanished, died, or were imprisoned. This incident is one of the most important events in Taiwan’s modern history, and is a critical impetus for the Taiwan independence movement. Like the changing situation of Germany, the struggle between China and Taiwan needs a spring, which is near when winter comes.

Actually, life is a walking shadow. It is full of sound and fury. However, the changing world situation deserves our prayers and understanding. Finally,  I am glad and honored to sincerely recommend this book to the whole globe, especially the Asian readers, who have been concerned about regional peace and the recent tension across the Taiwan Strait.

Reviewed by Paul Tseng, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Taipei University of Nursing and Healthy Sciences and Taipei University of Technology

Heinz-Uwe Haus on Culture and Politics can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.

New review of The Great War against Eastern European Jewry, 1914-1920 by Giuseppe Motta

Giuseppe Motta’s book, entitled The Great War against Eastern European Jewry, 1914-1920 and published last November by Cambridge Scholars, has been reviewed in the July edition of Slavonic and East European Review by Alexander V. Prusin. A wide ranging and occasionally critical review, an indicative excerpt can be viewed below. The full review can be read here (requires subscription):

“The book’s strengths lie in its rich historiographic foundation and abundance in factual details. Well-written and free of academic jargon, it should inspire interest not only amongst scholars, but also general readers. The author methodically describes the evolution of anti-Jewish prejudices from the nineteenth century to the deportations by the Russian army in World War One, when the existing negative stereotypes of Jews were reinforced by a ‘spyfever’, which permeated all war-zones. […] it will be a welcome addition to reading for courses on Jewish history, nationalism and wartime ethnic conflicts, in conjunction with more nuanced studies.”

The book can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.