JOSEPH STIGLITZ became a full professor at Yale in 1970 at the age of 27, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, as the economist under 40 who had made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and Oxford, and is now University Professor at Columbia University, Chair of Columbia's Committee on Global Thought, and co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue.
Stiglitz was a member and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration, and later Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
JOSEPH STIGLITZ is the author of, among other books, Globalization and Its Discontents, Fair Trade for All, Making Globalization Work, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, with Linda Bilmes, and his newest, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy.
When I received the book Power and Love, I was struck first by the ambition of anyone who would take on those two big notions. Then I read the subtitle A Theory and Practice of Social Change, and I was really curious. Its author Adam Kahane has been working for social change on a big scale all over the world. In the early 90s he facilitated the Mont Fleur Scenario Project, in which a diverse group of South Africans worked together to effect the transition to democracy. I’d let him tell you more about that, and he had learned some hard lessons that led to this book. Let me just read this quote:
Over the past twenty years of work, I have made two discoveries. I reported the first one in Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities. In that book I concluded that the key to creating new social relaites is to open ourselves up and connect: to our own true selves, to one anotherm and to our context and what it demands of us. Five years and many experiences later, I can see that this conclusion was right, but only half right and dangerously so.
That last phrase – "dangerously so" -- really caught my attention.
In Lester Brown's new book, PLAN B 4.0: MOBILIZING TO SAVE CIVILIZATION, Brown lays out the symptoms, the diagnosis, and the cure. He estimates that we could solve all the world's greatest problems for $200 billion a year - less than half the US defense budget.
PLAN B 4.0 is a comprehensive plan for reversing the trends that are undermining our future. Its four overriding goals are to stabilize climate, stabilize population, eradicate poverty, and restore the earth's damaged ecosystems. Failure to reach any one of these goals will likely mean failure to reach the others as well.
It is my privilege to have Latin America's most acclaimed writers, EDUARDO GALEANO. I confess I was not aware of him until Hugo Chavez presented Barack Obama with one of his books. For that introduction, I thank the Venzuelan President. GALEANO's works are a unique blend of history, fiction, journalism and political analysis, and his life is so much more than that.
Born in Uruguay in 1940, EDUARDO GALEANO began writing newspaper articles as a teenager, by the age of 20 he became Editor-in-Chief of LaMarcha. A few years later, he took the top post at Montevideo's daily newspaper Epocha. At 31, he wrote his most famous book - Chavez gift -- The Open Veins Of Latin America: Five Centuries Of The Pillage Of A Continent.
After the 1973 military coup in Uruguay, GALEANO was imprisoned and forced to leave the country. He settled in Argentina where he founded and edited a cultural magazine, Crisis. After the 1976 military coup there, he moved to Spain where he began his classic work Memory of Fire, a three-volume narrative of the history of America, North and South. He eventually returned home to his native Uruguay where he now lives.