Steven J. Alvarez: Selling War - A Critical Look at the Military's PR Machine
Today's conversation with retired US Army Major Steven J. Alvarez focuses on Steve's ideas of how the U.S. military lost the information war in Iraq by engaging the wrong audiences—that is, the Western media—by ignoring Iraqi citizens and the wider Arab population, and by paying mere lip service to the directive to “Put an Iraqi face on everything.” That in the absence of effective communication from the U.S. military, the information void was swiftly filled by Al Qaeda and, eventually,...
Will Atkinson: Class
Class is not only amongst the oldest and most controversial of all concepts in social science, but a topic which has fascinated, amused, incensed and galvanized the general public, too. But what exactly is a ‘class’? How do sociologists study and measure it, and how does it correspond to everyday understandings of social difference? Is it now dead or dying in today’s globalized and media-saturated world, or is it entering a new phase of significance on the world stage? In this book, Will...
Ernest Naylor: Moonstruck, How Lunar Cycles Affect Life
Throughout history, the influence of the full Moon on humans and animals has featured in folklore and myths. Yet it has become increasingly apparent that many organisms really are influenced indirectly, and in some cases directly, by the lunar cycle. In Moonstruck, Ernest Naylor dismisses the myths concerning the influence of the Moon, but shows through a range of fascinating examples the remarkable real effects that we are now finding through science. He suggests that since the advent of...
Jeremy Taylor: Body by Darwin, How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine
Jeremy Taylor argues in Body by Darwin, that we can trace the roots of many medical conditions through our evolutionary history, revealing what has made us susceptible to certain illnesses and ailments over time and how we can use that knowledge to help us treat or prevent problems in the future. He examines the evolutionary origins of some of our most common and serious health issues. To begin, he looks at the hygiene hypothesis, which argues that our obsession with anti-bacterial...
Julian Assange: The Wikileaks Files, The World According to US Empire
An interview with WikiLeaks cofounder Julian Assange. Wikileaks came to prominence in 2010 with the release of 251,287 top-secret State Department cables, which revealed to the world what the US government really thinks about national leaders, friendly dictators, and supposed allies. It brought to the surface the dark truths of crimes committed in our name: human rights violations, covert operations, and cover-ups. The WikiLeaks Files presents expert analysis on the most important cables...