McKillop Library was thrilled to receive a gift from the Salve Regina University Student Government Association to purchase books in honor of Dr. Peter Liotta. Dr. Liotta died on August 31st and was a beloved professor of political science and humanities and Director of The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy for six years.
The Student Government Association’s gift was used to purchase books that Dr. Liotta cited as major influences in his most recent book, The Real Population Bomb : Megacities, Global Security & the Map of the Future. The books improve the library’s collection in the areas of international relations, political science, and political theory.
Below are the titles added to the library’s collection, along with Dr. Liotta’s comments about them from The Real Population Bomb:
The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph A. Tainter
“Providing one of the most intriguing perspectives in the ABC News documentary, Earth 2100: The Final Century of Civilization?, the archaeologist Tainter offers a wealth of detail and background on how and why empires from the Roman to the Mayan and many others abruptly disappeared. Suggesting that collapse is perhaps a return to normalcy, Tainter lays the foundation that Jared Diamond covers in later books such as Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse.” (p. 228)
How the World Works by Noam Chomsky
“Named by the New York Times as ‘arguably the most important intellectual alive,’ Chomsky never fails to provoke – actually inflame is a more accurate phrasing. But his ideas have become only more prescient over time. He – along with his close friend and colleague, the Marxist historian Howard Zinn (with whom Liotta was also close) – has made a deep impact on American political culture and thought.” (p. 220)
How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna
“Praise and dispraise for this book tend toward the polar extremes, but Khanna does present a sweeping view of how – with the end of the American Century, we have entered a Middle Ages of decentralization where individuals, organizations (particularly NGOs), radicals, and even mercenaries wield influence in unprecedented ways. Arguing for a fresh dance among these elements to solve global problems on a local scale in a ‘fractured, fragmented, multipolar” (11) workd, Khanna covers a wide range of topics. His work on the Age of the City excerpted in Foreign Policy is especially useful.” (p. 225)
It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace by Rye Barcott
“Barcott is a terrible writer but a master storyteller. It Happened on the Way to War recounts his trials and triumphs as cofounder of the NGO Carolina for Kiberia. First visiting the Kiberia megaslum of Nairobi in 2000, Barcott tells how he successfully built a network of human inspiration, even as he later serves as a Marine in Iraq and then completes business studies at Harvard. The real heroes of this book, nonetheless (and the author clearly admits it), are the nurse Tabitha Atieno Festo and the community organizer Salim Mohamed. Despite many setbacks that ensue, Barcott’s is an optimistic work, in useful contrast to many of the bleaker assessments found in this list.” (p. 219)
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
“Davis is a hard-nosed scholar and MacArthur ‘genius’ recipient. This book, certainly not without controversy, provides a wealth of often devastating insight into the squalid conditions many urban dwellers are forced to live with in some of the most tenuous locations on earth.” (p. 222)
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Thanks to Dawn Emsellem, Outreach & Instructional Librarian, for the blog post.
Photo credit: Olga Verbeek, McKillop Library Associate Director, Collection and Research Services.