Monday, March 14, 2011

Listening ideas for 14 March 2011

The History of Rome
Lost in Transition
Less than two years after Diocletian's abdication, the Tetrarchy was left in shambles following the power plays of Constantine and Maxentius.
(review, feed)

New Books In History
Hans Kundnani, “Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust”
In his enlightening Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust (Columbia UP, 2010), veteran journalist and policy analyst Hans Kundnani tells their story. It’s somewhere between a farce and a tragedy, at least in my reading. On the one hand, to think that West Germany was a fascist state, to classify Zionism as a kind of Nazism, and to believe that the leftist students were persecuted “new Jews” is of course absurd. At least some of the West German radicals were so out of touch with reality that it defies understanding. On the other hand, they were in fact surrounded by ex-fascists, keenly aware that Israel was (to put it delicately) “asserting itself” in the middle east, and constantly on the run from Federal authorities. In such a situation I might lose touch with reality too. For the terrorists, who never regained their senses, it all ended badly. But for those whose heads cleared (Joschka Fisher, for example), it ended in power, though a different power than they had imagined in 1968.
(review, feed)

Social Innovation Conversations
Jonathan Reckford - The Power of Leadership in Social Enterprise
Habitat for Humanity is an exemplary social enterprise that has helped build more than 350,000 houses for low-income people in thousands of communities worldwide. In this university podcast, Jonathan Reckford, the organization's CEO, talks about what it takes to be a great leader. He shares lessons learned from his own career, and how he put his knowledge to work in successfully guiding Habitat for Humanity since 2005.
(review, feed)

Townsend on Development, Poverty, and Financial Institutions
Robert Townsend of MIT and the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about development and the role of financial institutions in growth. Drawing on his research, particularly his surveys of households in Thailand, Townsend argues that both informal networks and arrangements and formal financial institutions play important roles in dealing with risk. Along the way, he discusses the role of microfinance in poor countries and the potential for better financial arrangements to lead to higher growth and the accumulation of wealth.
(review, feed)
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