AThe list of recommendations with the greatest distribution in the German-speaking area is published here every month. Media partners are “Literarische Welt”, RBB Kultur, “NZZ” and Radio Österreich 1. Experts from an independent jury select ten non-fiction books of the month from the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and economics. Worthwhile in June:
1. Timothy Garton Ash:
Europa. A personal story. Translated by Andreas Wirthensohn. Hanser, 448 pages, 34 euros
The British publicist and historian has written a brilliant book about Europe. It begins with his grandfather, who took part in D-Day in Normandy in 1944, and extends to Ukraine today. Read a detailed review here.
2. Philippe Descola:
The Forms of the Visible. An anthropology of images. Translated by Christine Pries. Suhrkamp, 783 pages, 68 euros
What do we really see when we see images? From masks to mythical creatures to motifs from Dutch genre painting: Descola, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the Collège de France, has written an eye-opening book.
3. Have Sauer:
Moral. The invention of good and evil. Piper, 392 pages, 26 euros
Where does morality come from – and how is it shown today? The philosopher Hanno Sauer has researched the history of our customs, values and punishments from the beginning of history to the quarreled present. Read a detailed interview here.
4. Gabriel breeding bars:
From the magic of doom. What Pompeii tells about us. Propylaea, 238 pages, 29 euros
Gabriel Breeding Riegel, the German director of the Pompeii World Heritage Site, talks about the fascination of his excavation site. The year AD 79, when an entire city was submerged under volcanic ash and rubble, comes very close to us in this book. Read a detailed review here.
5. Marianna Mazzucato / Rosie Collington:
The big consulting show. How the consulting industry weakens our companies, infiltrates the state and appropriates the economy. Campus, 327 pages, 26 euros
In the past, only companies could be advised. Today, consultants influence legislation in many countries. The two authors write in their book that the outsourcing of state tasks has increased exorbitantly. And criticize the fact that huge sums of tax money flow into the consulting industry.
6. Eva Illouz:
undemocratic emotions. The example of Israel. Suhrkamp, 259 pages, 18 euros
The Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz has written a book about populism in her home country. Is the Netanyahu government cultivating “undemocratic emotions”? Or is the criticism of Israel itself populist? This book invites you to take a closer look. Read a detailed review here.
7. Martin Schröder:
When are women really satisfied? Surprising insights into partnership, career, children, household. C. Bertelsmann, 256 pages, 20 euros
The sociologist Martin Schröder believes that women are not as dissatisfied as feminism makes them believe. His proof: a long-term study that actually contains a few surprising numbers. Read a detailed review here.
Conversations. Retranslated and illustrated by Hans van Ess. CH Beck, 816 pages, 48 euros
Confucius knew what true courtesy was 2,500 years ago and criticizes those in power who lack the necessary strength of character for their office. With his commented new translation, the sinologist Hans van Ess goes far beyond the previous translations by reinterpreting the key concepts of Confucius.
9. Regina Scheer:
Bitter Wells. Hertha Gordon-Walcher and the dream of revolution. Penguin, 698 pages, 30 euros
Regina Scheer had known the Jewish exile and communist Hertha Walcher (1894-1990) since her childhood. Based on many conversations, her portrait creates a very personal view of an impressive woman who was surrounded by well-known companions such as Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, Wilhelm Pieck, Bertolt Brecht and Willy Brandt.
10. Susanne Lüdemann / Edith Seifert:
Beyond Oedipus? Psychoanalytic explorations of sex-political upheavals. Psychosozial-Verlag, 246 pages, 34.90 euros
Are Oedipus complex, incest taboo and symbolic castration obsolete categories today? The anthology comes to the conclusion that the most recent developments in sex politics – “marriage for all”, third sex, gender-appropriate language – have not made these questions superfluous, but have made them considerably more difficult.
The extra recommendation
In addition to the ten tips from the jury, there is a recommendation from a guest every month. This time by Prof. Naika Foroutan (Professor for integration research and social policy at the Humboldt University in Berlin). She recommends:
“Impoverishment, disenfranchisement and a lack of future are the living conditions against which people in Iran are revolting. At the same time, the sound of the Iranian revolution is young, feminist, multi-ethnic, digital and thus very compatible with global iconography and ideas of progressive social formations. The slogan of the revolution comes from Kurdistan. ‘Zan, Zendegi, Azadî – woman, life, freedom’ means that there will only be freedom when the women of this world can lead a self-determined life. Golineh Atai succeeds in her book ‘Iran. Freedom is female’ to capture this sound of revolution. She traces the current subject positions between courage and fear in a detailed and knowledgeable manner. She also addresses the emergence of new solidarity on the basis of a feminist consciousness that has the opportunity not only to change the Western view of this country, but also to readjust the ideas of feminism as a relationship of solidarity between the sexes.” (Naika foroutan)
The jury for the “Non-Fiction of the Month”
Tobias Becker, “Spiegel”; Natascha Freundel, RBB Culture; Eike Gebhardt, Berlin; Knud von Harbou, publicist, Feldafing; Prof. Jochen Hörisch, University of Mannheim; Günter Kaindlstorfer, Vienna; Otto Kallscheuer, Sassari, Italy; Petra Kammann, “Feuilleton Frankfurt”; Jörg-Dieter Kogel, Bremen; Wilhelm Krull, The New Institute, Hamburg; Marianna Lieder, freelance critic, Berlin; Lukas Meyer-Blankenburg, SWR 2 Knowledge; Prof. Herfried Münkler, Humboldt University; Gerlinde Pölsler, “Moth”; Marc Reichwein, WORLD; Thomas Ribi, “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”; Prof. Sandra Richter, German Literature Archive Marbach; Wolfgang Ritschl, ORF; Florian Rötzer, “Krass & Concrete”; Norbert Seitz, Berlin; Anne-Catherine Simon, “Die Presse”, Vienna; Prof. Philipp Theisohn, University of Zurich; Andreas Wang, Berlin; Harro Zimmermann, Bremen; Stefan Zweifel, Switzerland.
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