Archives de catégorie : Anthropology/Sociology

NO ONE LEFT de Paul Morland

Why we face population collapse and what to do about it.

Why the World Needs More Children
by Paul Morland
Forum Press, September 2024
(via Randle Editorial & Literary Consultancy)

A population calamity is unfolding before our eyes. It started in parts of the developed world and is spreading to the four corners of the globe. There are just too few babies being born for humanity to replace itself. Before the end of the current century at the latest, and probably much sooner, the world’s population will start to decline.

Leading demographer Paul Morland argues that the consequences of this promise to be calamitous. Labour shortages, pensions crisis, ballooning debt: what is currently happening to South Korea – which faces population decline of more than 85% within just two generations – threatens to engulf us all, and sooner than we think. In time a ballooning number of elderly people will simply be left to their own devices as there will not be enough people of working age to meet all needs. Whole settlements will start to be abandoned. Social collapse may ensue.

NO ONE LEFT will chart this future, explain its causes and suggest what might be done. We can and must rise to this challenge.

Paul Morland is the UK’s and one of the world’s leading demographers. He has been an Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London and a Senior Member at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. His previous books include The Human Tide: How Population Shaped the Modern World and Tomorrow’s People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers.

SITO de Laurence Ralph

This heart-wrenching story of violence, grief and the American justice system, explores the systemic issues that perpetuate gang participation in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, as told through the story of one teenager.

An American Teenager and the City that Failed Him
by Laurence Ralph
Grand Central, February 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

In September of 2019, Luis Alberto Quiñonez—known as Sito— was shot to death as he sat in his car in the Mission District of San Francisco. He was nineteen. His killer, Julius Williams, was seventeen. It was the second time the teens had encountered one another. The first, five years before, also ended in tragedy, when Julius watched as his brother was stabbed to death by an acquaintance of Sito’s. The two murders merited a few local news stories, and then the rest of the world moved on. But for the families of the slain teenagers, it was impossible to move on. And for Laurence Ralph, the stepfather of Sito’s half-brother who had dedicated much of his academic career to studying gang-affiliated youth, Sito’s murder forced him to revisit a subject of scholarly inquiry in a deeply personal way. Written from Ralph’s perspective as both a person enmeshed in Sito’s family and expert on the entanglement of class and violence, SITO is an intimate story with an message about the lived experience of urban danger, and about anger, fear, grief, vengeance, and ultimately grace.

Laurence Ralph is a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University, where he is the Director for the Center on Transnational Policing. He is the author of Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago (2014) and The Torture Letters: Reckoning With Police Violence (2020), both published by University of Chicago Press. He is currently a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

THE GRIEF CURE de Cody Delistraty

In this lyrical and moving story of the world of Prolonged Grief, journalist Cody Delistraty reflects on his experience with loss and explores what modern science, history, and literature reveal about the nature of our relationship to grief and our changing attitudes toward its cure.

by Cody Delistraty
HarperCollins, June 2024
(via Frances Goldin Literary Agency)

When Cody Delistraty lost his mother to cancer in his early 20s, he found himself unsure how to move forward. Planning for her recovery, he and his family had a purpose. But after she was gone, there seemed to exist only the empty advice on grief: move through the five stages, achieve closure, get back to work, go back to normal. So begins a journey into the new frontiers of grief, where Delistraty seeks out the researchers, technologists, therapists, marketers, and communities around the world looking to cure the pain of loss in novel ways. From the neuroscience of memory deletion to book prescriptions, laughter therapy, psilocybin, and Breakup Bootcamp, what ultimately emerges is not so much a cure as a fresh understanding of what living with grief truly means.

As Delistraty followed the blueprint of his own ad hoc treatment plan, the question of whether the most painful kind of grief can and should be cured had also been taken up by the American Psychiatry Association, as they recently gave extended, intense, disruptive grief an official name: Prolonged Grief Disorder. Stamping this kind of grief with a diagnosis has opened innovative avenues of treatment and an important conversation about a debilitating form of grief, but it also raises the question of whether grief, no matter how severe, is best treated medically at all?

Rigorously researched and beautifully written, The Grief Cure is a moving and eye-opening chronicle of a new diagnosis and a wide-ranging cultural history of grief of all sorts as a human rite. Braiding deep, emotional resonance with sharp research and historical insight, Delistraty places his own experience in dialogue with great writers and thinkers throughout history who have puzzled over this eternal question: how might we best face loss?

Cody Delistraty is the culture editor at The Wall Street Journal Magazine. He has written essays and criticism for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic and, while living in Paris for several years, he was the European arts columnist for The Paris Review. He has degrees in politics from New York University and history from the University of Oxford, where he graduated with a double distinction (first class). He and his work have been featured on WNYC, France 5 and Arté; British Vogue named him a best young writer of the year; and he has given corporate talks about tragedy, art, and creativity to companies like PwC.

WHAT ARE CHILDREN FOR? d’Anastasia Berg & Rachel Wiseman

Aimed at philosophers and non-philosophers alike, this is a modern argument about the ambivalence towards childbearing and how to overcome it.

Affirming Life in an Age of Ambivalence
by Anastasia Berg & Rachel Wiseman
St. Martin’s Press, June 2024

Becoming a parent, once the expected outcome of adulthood, is increasingly viewed as a potential threat to the most basic goals and aspirations of modern life. We seek self-fulfillment; we want to liberate women to find meaning and self-worth outside the home; and we wish to protect the planet from the ravages of climate change. Weighing the pros and cons of having children, the Millennial and Gen Z generations are finding it increasingly hard to judge in its favor. WHAT ARE CHILDREN FOR? seeks to loosen the grip of the shallow narratives that either lament growing childlessness as a mark of cultural decline, or celebrate it as unambiguous evidence of social progress. Berg and Wiseman explore philosophical and cultural examples of this debate, whether from modernist writers like Virginia Woolf, second-wave feminists in the 1970s, or the current trend of dystopian novels and stories. In the tradition of Jenny Odell and Amia Srinivasan, Berg and Wiseman write with clear logic and passionate prose to offer those struggling the guidance necessary to move beyond their uncertainty. They argue that when we make the individual decision whether or not to have children we confront a profound philosophical question, that of the goodness of life itself. How can we justify perpetuating human life given the catastrophic harm and suffering of which we are always at once both victims and perpetrators? WHAT ARE CHILDREN FOR? concludes that we must embrace the fundamental goodness of human life—not only in theory, but in our everyday lives.

Anastasia Berg and Rachel Wiseman first explored these questions in an essay for The Point on choosing to have children, the rare work of philosophical inquiry to have gone viral; Berg recently discussed her own decision to pursue having a family in the context of the novel coronavirus in a widely read op-ed in the New York Times. Frequent collaborators and close friends, Anastasia Berg is currently based in Cambridge and will start as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University. She is expecting her first child. Rachel Wiseman lives in Chicago, where she is the managing editor of The Point, an award-winning nonfiction literary magazine.

FOUR MOTHERS d’Abigail Leonard

In the tradition of Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women and Robert Kolker’s Hidden Valley Road, FOUR MOTHERS follows four women—Anna from Finland, Tsukasa from Japan, Sarah from the U.S., and Chelsea from Kenya—through the first year of motherhood.

by Abigail Leonard
Algonquin, Fall 2025)
(via The Friedrich Agency)

Abigail blends reporting, research, and history to create an international portrait of new motherhood and the policies that scaffold this transitional phase of life. As debates surrounding paid leave, universal daycare, and national healthcare rage on across different corners of the globe, FOUR MOTHERS is an intimate narrative of what those policies mean in the everyday lives of four women—and a compelling argument for the necessity and urgency of supporting parents.

Abigail Leonard is an award-winning international reporter and news producer. Her work has appeared in NPR, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and Vox. She has written and produced long-form news documentaries for PBS, ABC and Al Jazeera America. Stories she reported have earned an Emmy Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, an Association of Health Care Journalists Award, a National Headliner Award, and a James Beard Foundation Media Award Nomination.