Six books to better understand the world to be put at the foot of the tree

Christmas is approaching, winter will be long and the planet is in upheaval. Three good reasons to offer these books for the holiday season, to fill your head as much as your stomach.

L’dose horribilis 2020 is coming to an end. She will still have offered a nice harvest of books, that anyone can order from their bookseller again since November 28. Let’s also remember the essential: a book is above all the gift that calls for the least effort in packaging.

Thinking Peace

After covering the biggest conflicts, Gary Knight, a British photographer, had an idea: to publish a book on peace. Bold approach. Usually it is what precedes peace that catches the eye: declarations of war, unleashing violence, and death. As soon as the arms are laid down, diplomats congratulate each other, journalists are called back to their editorial staff, and the G20 chanceries move on to the next crisis.

The post-conflict period is broken down here into six examples: Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Lebanon, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Colombia. On the menu: interviews with former warlords, testimonies from those who, after the horror, bet on reconstruction, and photos that are simply breathtaking.

Imagine: Thinking Peace Hemeria – The VIIF Foundation

Bright red

If we entered what many call the “Chinese century” twenty years ago, there is still some doubt as to when the shift in world leadership will take place. In the meantime: let’s find out! Alice Ekman, one of the best current sinologists, offers, in this book, a chilling dive into the China of Xi Jinping, where every stratum of society is patiently infiltrated by an omnipresent Communist Party, and firmly piloted by the most powerful since Mao.

With, from the first lines, a misunderstanding to be cleared up: despite its flexibility towards certain liberal economic rules, the country is still governed by an administration firmly anchored in a Marxist-Leninist philosophy.

Bright Red – The Chinese Communist Ideal. Observatory editions

A Promised Land

A true literary event of the fall, the first volume of Barack Obama’s memoirs was published on November 17, simultaneously in 25 languages. The 44e President of the United States delivers here a “personal story” of his first four years in the Oval Office, which began writing soon after his presidency ended, “with a pen and a notebook.” Note here that the object weighs more than 800 pages.

Barack Obama shares his thoughts and doubts about the crises that have shaken the world, without failing to sprinkle his chapters with salty observations on his then counterparts (Sarkozy, Poutine, Erdogan, Merkel…).

A Promised Land Fayard

Global Geopolitical Atlas

Iranian interference in the Middle East, the New Silk Roads undertaken by Beijing, the reality of the terrorist threat in the Sahel, water shortages in India, Russian investment in Africa… Whole pages of investigations and analyzes are sometimes less effective than a clear, precise and documented map for grasping the geopolitical complexity of a region.

This is the reasoning shared by a team of 29 authors, brought together under the direction of Alexis Bautzmann, who offer in this 2021 edition nearly 300 maps and graphics of a rare aestheticism.

Global Geopolitical Atlas 2021 Editions du Rocher

Joe Biden, America’s bet against Trump

Patience has been a good adviser to the dinosaur of American politics, who will rise to the supreme office at 78 years old. If the sites are numerous for the 46e President of the United States, the project manager retains an element of mystery. We often remember his repeated blunders, and this stuttering against which he has struggled since childhood. We sometimes forget that Joe Biden is one of the political figures who arouses the most empathy across the Atlantic. His political battles and his personal tragedies mingle in this biography, which is necessary to better understand the springs of the new “leader of the free world”.

Joe Biden – America’s Anti-Trump Bet Editions du Rocher


Do Nations Need Crises to Undertake Great Changes? A question shared, at the end of 2020, by almost the entire planet, and to which Jared Diamond sheds his light as a geographer.
Winner of a Pulitzer in 1998, this native of Boston summons History here, and chooses seven countries as subjects of study: Finland, Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Germany, Australia and the United States. Their crises will sometimes provoke resilience, sometimes collapse in the face of adversity, and these glances in the rearview mirror are so many precious objects of analysis, and indispensable for better discerning the contours of what will be the “world after”. “.

Upheaval Gallimard


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