Book reviews

Hedges, Chris, America: The Farewell Tour

 Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.com Any student of culture, who bothers to look from an unvarnished historical perspective, can see the roots of the US American “success story” clearly grounded in the prevailing values of white supremacy, cruel colonialism, perpetual racism and targeted genocides. “Westward ho!” (and every other direction, as well), these guarded truths are consciously avoided and covered by a narrative that demands we see the country’s history as God smiling upon a “Chosen People.” Disturbing elements of the American story then and now are not taught in school and continue to be carefully obscured...

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Küntzel, Bastian, The Learner’s Journey: Storytelling as a Design Principle to create powerful Learning Experiences

Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.comStorytelling is the doorway to human existence; it leads us to become who we are. Though stories may sometimes be dismissed as entertainment, they are never neutral. They are the pathway from past to present to future. Most likely, we take stories lightly as conversation pieces, part of everyday information exchange or, more seriously, we may see them as a normal means of imparting identity to a new generation, inculcating learnings, values, and directions meant to help them manage life in the present and in days to come. At worst, stories are the tools...

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Citkin, Fiona, How They Made It in America

Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.com Citkin, Fiona, How They Made It in America: Success Stories and Strategies of Immigrant Women: from Isabel Allende to Ivana Trump, to Fashion Designer Josie Natori, Plus More Discussion and conflict over the welcoming and acculturation of migrants and immigrants has reached new heights in many quarters and corners of the world. There is frequently a lack of appreciation of the contributions that newcomers make to a society, but there is as well a need for the kind of storytelling and experience-sharing that can motivate newcomers to overcome fresh obstacles and succeed in...

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Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees

  Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.com What is currently described as the refugee crisis has taken up much of our political, media, and social attention, given the sheer numbers of people who are moving about the world today. However, the phenomenon of human migration and acculturation to new environments is a constant, going all the way back to our hominid ancestors. This collection of very human stories is perhaps a strong reminder that we are all in some sense migrants, and even refugees, as we face the challenges of cohabiting with each other and living with ourselves., building...

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Heise, David R., Cultural Meanings and Social Institutions

Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at diversophy.com Social Organization Through Language Understanding the dynamics of language is an increasingly critical dimension of intercultural work, which makes it important for us to be in touch with research in the areas of sociology, language and linguistics. David Heise is a veteran of this field who has explored in depth foundational elements of identity and social interaction As our language defines the, delimits them, and presents them to us. For most interculturalists, interpreting the cataloging of institutional identities extensively explored in this small book will not seem to be of great interest, however...

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