I am so glad I was encouraged to read this book. Many things were made clear to me that had previously had been murky and confused. Bell Hooks offersI am so glad I was encouraged to read this book. Many things were made clear to me that had previously had been murky and confused. Bell Hooks offers both a history and a clarification of Feminism that helps untangle the myth from the heart of the movement.
Reading this book helped me to examine the role that privilege has played in my own life, and to look for ways to reduce relationships based on power imbalances in my own experience. Both as a person benefiting from privilege, and as someone suffering from lack of it, this little book helped clarify how privilege is hard to see from the inside, and hard to see past from the outside.
There is much food for thought in this little book, and it is available online as a free PDF. Whether you think you already know all about feminism, or if you are pretty sure that you don't know much at all, really, check out this quick read and get ready to stir up your self-awareness for a little while.
This little gem of a book surprised me. I found it for free on Kindle, and thought I would give it a shot. The writing is engaging, entertaining, andThis little gem of a book surprised me. I found it for free on Kindle, and thought I would give it a shot. The writing is engaging, entertaining, and educational.
This book consists of a series of letters written by Ms. Elinore Pruitt Stewart to a friend of hers in town. These letters provide a wonderful view into the lives of rural Wyoming ranchers at the end of the 1800s. Several of the author's friends are widows running their own ranches, and these resourceful women are incredibly inspiring. Her style of writing had me laughing out loud at times. If you have a Kindle, or a smartphone app, give this one a try. It is worth the read....more
God's Hotel is the story of what may have been the last almshouse in America. Dr. Victoria Sweet writes a riveting account of her experience practicinGod's Hotel is the story of what may have been the last almshouse in America. Dr. Victoria Sweet writes a riveting account of her experience practicing medicine in a place that exists between what she calls 'premodern medicine' and our modern health care system. In such a place, she discovers that "Tincture of Time" and a bit of attention can have a profound effect on how well the patient fares.
Set up during the Gold Rush, Laguna Honda is a hospital from a different era. Wide hallways and open, separate wards from the days before antibiotics are set up in a way that would make Florence Nightingale proud. Staff was limited, and mostly used for patient care. Doctors would certainly take a patients' vital signs in person, possibly do their own x-rays, and perhaps even prepare slides in order to examine necessary fluids. Laguna Honda was a facility where people ended up who had no where else to go. Outside the modern health care customer base (and funding) the hospital was short on money but long on time.
At least, that is how it was when Dr Sweet arrived. Eventually, however, the modern notions of efficiency and bureaucratic accountability caught up with Laguna Honda. Outdated architecture succumbed to the pressure of modern earthquake regulations, and a new Laguna Honda was born.
Dr. Sweet came to Laguna Honda because she wished to practice as a part-time physician, a notion all but unheard of in modern times. Ironically, this was because she wanted to pursue her PhD in medical history, studying a period in which practioners of medicine were always part time, and had other roles in their communities. Like her historical counterparts, Sweet had other interests. Specifically, she was intrigued by Hildegaard of Bingen, a 12th century infirmarian who also happened to be a nun. On the journey toward her PhD, Sweet learns that Hildegaard's approach to medicine had some value and truth. She found herself approaching her more challenging cases with a new perspective that often had miraculous results.
With all of our modern equipment, testing, and pharmaceuticals, today's medicine still faces many challenges in helping people find wellness in their lives. Modern medicine relies on these technologies, often to the detriment of everyone involved. A new doctor admitted to Sweet that she didn't really know how to perform a complete physical workup on a new admission; there was so much else to learn that they didn't cover that in school anymore. Considering the amount of incorrect diagnoses that Dr. Sweet discovered, this does not bode well for the delivery of appropriate care.
If you are intrigued by the evolution of medicine, you will find this book fascinating. Finding the balance between modern technology and old-fashioned time and attention is essential to the future of medicine. If we can do this, we can create a better future, increasing wellness, reducing the cost of health care and most importantly, saving lives. ...more
Eisler reframes the age old idea of the 'war between the sexes' into something equally polarizing, yet more inclusive. Many people have examined the pEisler reframes the age old idea of the 'war between the sexes' into something equally polarizing, yet more inclusive. Many people have examined the problems of humanity as an inevitable outcome of our innate aggression and territoriality. Our history clearly how the forces of war, colonialism, nationalism and greed have shaped the world as we know it.
On closer inspection, however, the picture is less clear than we have long believed. I was surprised to learn that archaeology, as a science, only became serious after World War II. Before this time, Egyptology and the like were mostly a front for imperialistic grave robbers, vying for the shiniest addition to their national museums. Dating of artifacts was done through assumption until the advent of carbon 14 technology and dendrochronography. All of this combined created a vision of the past that was heavily tainted by the expectations and experience of those who unearthed ancient sites.
Proper dating technology has painted a new picture of the ancient past. It seems that in many parts of Old Europe, there were Goddess worshiping cultures that harnessed their intelligence towards creating healthy communities. In these cities, sometimes occupied for millenia, there is no evidence of weapons, ruler-kings, or the glorification of war. In fact, some sites were occupied for thousands of years without any evidence of war. These cultures showed a surprising equality between the sexes, as well as a lack of hierarchy. The concentration of wealth by the powerful that we take for granted is something that came much later.
As the nomadic herding tribes migrated into the regions occupied by these Neolithic culture, they found great wealth and little defensive technology. The cities were rather ripe for the plucking. Once this occurred, people reorganized their focus, working hard to develop weapons technology for offensive and defensive purposes. This arms race continues in the present day.
The unfortunate side effect of this race is that early technological advances in city planning, in art, and other technologies of peace were put aside in the face of this new human created danger. Earlier assumptions about the dates of some primitive looking artifacts turned out to be wrong; after war came to these cultures, their technological development came to a halt, and much technology was lost and forgotten.
These peaceful Neolithic cultures predate Sumer by millennia. Sumer is often recognized as the cradle of civilization; it would be better to describe it as the cradle of modern culture of warfare. Eisler calls these cultures "dominator cultures", whereas the earlier Goddess worshiping groups engaged in a partnership model. By the time that Sumer was in full swing, the partnership model had been overcome by the warrior culture of the nomadic steppes.
As we hurtle into the 21st century, we spend unthinkable amounts of resources coming with better ways to kill each other. The amount of resources spent on military budgets worldwide could transform our world if we put them to better use. We have the technology to feed, clothe, and house people, but as long as we surrender to the dominator model, resources will continue to be concentrated in the hands of the few while the many suffer from need and lack. Eisler urges us to give up the old ways of aggressive ranking and warfare, and create a new world in which we find solutions that work to build communities, create prosperity, and improve the quality of life for our entire human family. ...more
I found this young adult version of 'A People's History of the United States' to be a concise version of the original work. The editors have done a goI found this young adult version of 'A People's History of the United States' to be a concise version of the original work. The editors have done a good job of toning down some of the more horrific parts of our shared history, without whitewashing it completely. Reading this book helped me to gain a sense of perspective, and recognize that the economic, military, and class struggles we have now at the dawn of the 21st century have their roots in the first steps that Europeans took on this continent.
I found the book encouraging, in fact. The things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us. These divisions have been nurtured by the privileged few who gain from the lack of cohesion amongst the oppressed. When the poor of all races, colors, and regions can see through the smokescreen, we will become more powerful than we can imagine.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of American history. I am looking forward to sharing it with my children. ...more