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The Bookwatch

Volume 17, Number 3 March 2022 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Mythology Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Surviving Workplace Bullying... Strategies for Victims
Bruce Sherman
Independently Published
9798782115852, $12.95 Paper/$9.95 Kindle

Many books cover bullying, but typically are focused on school experiences; so it's refreshing to see an adult-oriented coverage that exposes one of the more common experiences adults face: workplace bullying. It's even more refreshing to see an approach that goes beyond providing examples of this experience to delve into what victims can do about it. Articles, reports, and studies form the basis of this analysis of workplace pressures. From definitions of workplace bullying to especially vulnerable workers (such as the elderly), these links to supporting articles drive and provide extensive references for defining, understanding, and alleviating bullying issues.

From financial impacts of workplace bullying to how workplace dysfunction often begins from the top and how workers and CEOs alike can instigate changes to eliminate it, Sherman has done all the legwork, providing powerful online references that cover all aspects of the issue. He organizes them into subject categories that make it easy for users to receive specific insights into everything from suicide and the psychology of bullies to legal approaches for handling workplace bullying.

Most of these references will not become dated over time, but will remain relevant, important keys to addressing workplace bullying on many different levels. Library collections strong in business and legal references will find this analysis of the presence and forms of workplace bullying and how to effectively neutralize them provides essential information that managers and workers alike will want to review.

The Social Issues Shelf

Dismantling Global White Privilege
Chandran Nair
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland, CA 94612
9781523000005, $24.95 Paper/$11.99 ebook

Plenty of books identify the problem, structure, and social impact of white privilege in Western society. Histories and social analyses abound in this subject area. Few, however, tackle the process of what to do about it. Dismantling Global White Privilege: Equity for a Post-Western World fills this gap in literature by providing a dedicated survey of uneven playing fields around the world in business, social, cultural, educational, and financial circles. Even more importantly, it accompanies each analysis with solutions and suggestions for revised attitudes, systems, and approaches.

The book is based on Chandran Nair's global travels and the resulting insights which stemmed from these encounters. He pinpoints many specific issues from these personal vantage points of experience. Another satisfying note is that Nair is candid about what this book does and does not represent: "It is also critically important to remind the reader that this book is not in any way arguing that all race-based injustices in the world are perpetrated by Western powers, White people, and the associated phenomena of White privilege. Neither is it suggesting that equity in a post-Western world is wholly dependent on dismantling global White privilege. That would be absurd and factually incorrect."

Nair's focus is on both perceived Western superiority and White privilege's incarnation and effects and what can be done about it today, although the problem has its origins over five hundred years ago. As readers journey through history, society, and changing attitudes, they receive a study that will especially interest concerned citizens, activists, scholars, those involved in business and government sectors, and organizations. Nair pinpoints the underlying motivation and purpose of his study: "...a key objective of this book is to address some very inconvenient truths and suggest practical ways forward. New narratives have to be the starting point for raising awareness."

From the processes of indoctrination and accepted forms of education and teachings about wealth, poverty, society, and business pursuits to observations about why Western white societies are more supported and promoted than others ("...selective programming of White Western literary and scientific brilliance perpetuates White privilege by explicitly valuing these achievements above the contributions of non-Western writers and scientists. This legitimizes Western people and nations as contemporary leaders in these spheres."), Nair provides much food for thought and details on how these established, accepted patterns of repression could be changed.

Dismantling Global White Privilege is a powerful discussion that needs to be a foundation title in any library collection strong in political and social theory and revised ideas of empowerment and transformation. It's very highly recommended as a standout blend of history and a call to action that will require much change on social, economic, and intellectual levels in order to fully address the issues of the privileged status quo that currently drives the world.

The Mythology Shelf

Occidental Mythology
Joseph Campbell
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608687299, $29.95, HC, 560pp

Fans of Joseph Campbell will appreciate this new edition, part of his Masks of God series and the third volume to explore the mythological connections between Western religion, anthropology, and psychology. As Campbell follows the evolution of the figure and perception of the Goddess in the archetypes of the West, he provides an astute blend of history, mythology, and spiritual reflection that examines the evolving interconnected history of these genres as the Goddess figure changed. This book originally appeared in 1964 as the third volume of a four-book series. It remains as essential to any collection looking to update its well-worn lending copy as to newcomers to Campbell's works.

The Philosophy Shelf

The Ultimate Supernatural and Philosophy
Richard Greene, Editor
Carus Books
9781637700105, $19.95

The Ultimate Supernatural and Philosophy: Saving People, Killing Things, the Family Business provides the third volume in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series that links modern times to traditional and modern philosophical thinking. It is highly recommended as a bridge to this discipline for readers who love the hit show Supernatural, and who want to better understand how philosophical thinking relates to the show. As chapters profile issues of free will, heroism, God's right to destroy the universe, and good versus evil, show followers will relish the opportunity to better understand philosophy's relevance to daily life and higher-level thinking through a through inspection of the show's underlying issues.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

C.L. Bluestein
C.L. Bluestein Books
9780996621014, $14.99,

Seduction is the first book in a thriller series and introduces the dance between rich (but dangerous) Ted X. Donovan and Rachel Allen, who has already been a victim and unwittingly falls prey to Ted's charm and his countenance as a philanthropist and caring man. All is not what it seems, as both spiral into a situation that involves international intrigue and threats, dangerous propositions, and murder and blackmail. As personal and political circles gone awry, Ted and Rachel become caught up not only with one another, but in circumstances beyond their control. Each character is called upon to tap their strengths, facing challenges to their ability to survive physically, psychologically, morally and ethically. Reluctant to embark on a journey with an older man who nonetheless holds the charm and power that Rachel has been lacking in her life, she finds herself in dangerous territory indeed.

Seduction is about the gray area between right and wrong decisions. It's also about characters who must look within to find the kinds of choices that reorient their lives towards making positive changes, both for themselves and for their country. The political thriller which evolves against a suspense backdrop brings readers into this world with a passion and power that makes every character choice thought-provoking and involving. Seduction belongs on the shelves of not just political thriller and suspense collections, but in the hearts and minds of women who look for moral and ethical conundrums, powerful women, and dangerous men who face ruthless choices and actions for the sake of the greater good... and themselves.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

To End in Fire
David Weber & Eric Flint
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
9781982125646, $27.00

To End in Fire chronicles an alliance that challenges the status quo of the Solarian League, which has been defeated by Manticore, Haven and Grayson's Grand Alliance. Charged with recreating new connections with new rules, the League's citizens aren't necessarily on board with their government's experiences and their future. From conspiracies to uncertain alliances, freedom and slavery, and a confrontation with ancient evil, To End in Fire provides a lively and complex story especially recommended for sci-fi fans who have appreciated Flint's ongoing Crown of Slaves Saga.

Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

Two new arrivals are top recommendations for sci-fi readers who enjoy fast-paced action and military confrontations.

Dave Bara's Trinity (9781982125660, $16.00) tells of a Rim rebellion that leads space captain Jared Clement to abandon his naval career to join the rebels. Ten years have passed since this decision, and Clement has a new opportunity to command a new vessel on a mission to Trinity, a star system which may hold a first contact alien encounter. Or war. And Clement is better at the latter than being dutiful, especially when it comes to revenge. The fast-paced events prove hard to put down.

Les Johnson's The Spacetime War (9781982125653, $16.00) contrasts two starship captains who were also former lovers and now find themselves on a quest to keep spacetime itself intact. Sworn to defend Earth and preserve humanity, the two find their interpersonal relationship complicates matters as much as it enhances their individual strengths. The story of love and war is inviting and action-packed.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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