Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Rediscovery of Society: A Post-Pandemic Reality

“Renowned scholar, Brij Mohan, is yet again at the forefront of contemporary issues in shaping a new society. Known for his critical and provocative thinking and outspokenness against injustices, he challenges the status quo of dysfunctional societies and institutional collapse. He proposes a new social contract and enlightenment that restore hope for a post-pandemic society where people have rediscovered their purpose in life. His wealth of knowledge and expertise is evident in his authoritative speaking on a new social contract that will contribute to a more just and sustainable society.” – Antoinette Lombard, Department of Social Work & Criminology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

“I always expect the best from Brij Mohan, and he always delivers. His prescient critique of the Great Society is a riveting reminder of our hubris and heresies. Search for a utopian civil society is a product of Brij Mohan’s Chekhovian imagination, which he finds globally shattered by ugly realities.” – Nayan Kanwal, Professor & Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Social Sciences and Artistic Innovations (IJSSAI), Singapore

“Social work’s philosophical maestro leads us through a sobering symphony of “institutional meltdown” of our social contract. While debilitating institutional dysfunctions in concert hit their notes to synchronize a broken society in the author’s acute unpacking of the historical erosion of American promises, he brilliantly brings readers out of despair with the post-pandemic hope of the rediscovery and reconstruction of society through social praxis and transformation. This book is a must-read for all contemporary critical thinkers and doers of social-human development who will lead our society to the “rediscovered” land of social, economic, and political freedom for all.” – Philip Hong, Professor, Loyola University Chicago

“It is clear that a reckoning is underway. After writing over twenty books on the topic, it is evident to [sic] Mohan that the current path of global social development is approaching a dead end. This book-length critique of the status quo opens a dialogue about the viability of alternate paths to sustainable and democratic models of social development that restore Enlightenment values.” – Mark W. Lusk, Professor Emeritus, IFSW Human Rights Commissioner, Department of Social Work, The University of Texas at El Paso

“Almost all political and social philosophers from Plato to Marx and beyond have dealt with various problems emanating from society in various countries with varied situations over centuries. Brij Mohan, a social analyst, theorist, and scientist has based his empirical work on two premises—that democracy is dying and there is an urgent need for a new social contract since our social institutions are faltering. The author has also used a political-historical approach to prove his point. He has discussed a case study of American and Indian societies and related them to various variables—state’s delivery of goods is the largesse trickling down to the poorest of poor, citizens facing xenophobia, oppression of various types, alienation, and so on. It is because of “fractured democratic institutions” that the post-pandemic issues began to threaten human survival. This led to economic drain at individual and state levels, fear of inequality, injustice, and a fall of economic freedom…The book was a wonderful read.” Read more here >>> – Priti Nath, Associate Professor of Political Science, Government Post Graduate College, Panchkula (affiliated to Kurukshetra University), India

The book is indeed a good piece of work which opens a dialogue about the possibility of alternate pathways to sustainable models of social development. In fact, this book is relevant and a ‘must read’ for all the educators, practitioners and scholars of social sciences who are interested to lead our society to bring about social change for social and human development in the post-pandemic situation.” Read more here >>> – Atul Pratap Singh, Professor, Department of Social Work, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Social Entrepreneurship: Perspectives, Management and Gender Differences

“A core question about social entrepreneurship is how to socially organize in a way that people—who may be at core selfish—can find ways to express their best selves and care about others. After all, living in society is about some level of social mutuality balanced against some level of personal space, free will, self-dignity, and independence. How can the needs of the many be balanced against the needs of the individual, at scale? What method of government best enables people to thrive, with equity and inclusion and social justice? What are the best ways to set up incentives constructively? And in terms of a country’s leadership, how can they best lead and signal to enable a competitive nation? Olga Agatova’s Social Entrepreneurship: Perspectives, Management and Gender Differences (2022) captures various ways different nations and societies try to meet the needs of their peoples while competing in a zero-sum world. Leaders of countries balance a number of interests and aims…Read more at >>>– Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University. Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2022 / Winter 2023)

Applications of Traditional Equestrian Sports in the World

“Through 20 chapters and 416 pages, this book, published by Nova Science Publishers Inc., provides a detailed description of traditional equestrian sports from a historical point of view and also shows current applications. History, anthropology, sociology, education, cinematography, and archaeology are some disciplines that dialogue harmoniously in this work….I hope you all enjoy reading this book as much as I have. ” To read the full review, CLICK HERE>>>. – Dr. Pere Lavega, President of the European Association of Traditional Games and Sports (AEJeST), Professor at National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida, Spain; President of the Worldwide Network of Teachers and Researchers in Traditional Sports and Games

Terminal Philosophy Syndrome – Ecology and the Imponderable

“A phenomenally thorough and insightful book that deserves to be read and re-read by everyone who has seriously contemplated the possibility that we are at the threshold of our own species-extinction…This is not an easy book to read, and it is even harder to put it down once I started reading it. But reading it is worth the effort. Not because it tells us what our fate will be, but because it clears the deck of our inquiring mind so we can try to find our way toward an answer we can reasonably believe in. I am grateful to Michael Tobias and Jane Morrison for a seminal book.” – Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Author, Philosopher and Systems Scientist

Terminal Philosophy Syndrome – Ecology and the Imponderable is an important book. It provides us with a clear roadmap of what we are doing to the world, what we are doing to each other, what we are doing to Nature. But the roadmap is couched in a velvet glove of intellectual delights about the views of philosophers, religious leaders, and power-hungry rulers who have placed human interests first, above Nature which sustains us and makes our lives possible. The book can be read on two levels. One is the level of admiration for the depth of scholarship and complex thought. The other level is a wake-up call: We can all change, or we can all die. A great book!” – Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, Author of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals (St. Martin’s Press, 2012); Professor Emeritus of Biology, Northern Arizona University, CEO of Zoolingua, CEO of Animal Communications Ltd., Director, Animal Language Institute; Lead Author, Prairie Dogs: Communication and Community in an Animal Society (Harvard University Press, 2009)

“Reading Tobias’ and Morrison’s tome brought to mind the English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley’s words, “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.” Cancel your appointments, avail yourself of a comfortable chair, and appreciate it as you might a slow walk in a dense forest, the ground of which is thick with acorns and buds, the air filled with the sound of birds talking about their experiences, each an “Other” that carries inside their being wisdom about life and how to live it as a part of the whole. It’s an awe-inspiring read.” – Ingrid Newkirk, Founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its international affiliates. A Forbes Person of the Year, Ms. Newkirk is the author of 14 books on animals, their abilities, language, and sentience, and the subject of the HBO Documentary, “I Am an Animal.”

“This staggering work of erudition and passion, Terminal Philosophy Syndrome – Ecology and the Imponderable, points the finger to the human as catalyst for countless ways of self-destruction and devastation of innumerable forms of non-humans. What can be done? How can we even recognize our complicity in so many tragedies, from the Holocaust and the many events before and since including the invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing slaughter of billions of animals each year to slake unquenched human hunger? Tobias and Morrison call for a mind shift, a radical move from passivity to bold changes in thinking and lifestyle. By itemizing the scope and scale of our current global emergency in the context of a long and brutal history, this book serves as a powerful incentive to stand up and be counted, and to commit oneself personally to be part of the needed solutions. Tobias and Morrison’s encounter with Putin underlines the fragility and limits and urgency of human agency. The question remains: will the examples of Jain austere living and Bhutan’s good government be enough to provide a roadmap into an uncertain future?” – Dr. Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA

Terminal Philosophy Syndrome is a timely work of genius – a culmination of the brilliant, methodological, visionary but most importantly, radically compassionate, highly attuned thinking of Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison. Their rarified yet devastating treatise explores the sobering, if terminal nexus between ecological conscience and our historical incapacity as a species to meaningfully reconfigure the nature of who we are as uncontrollable biodiversity and earth destroyers. Tobias and Morrison have, like the Webb telescope, implored the farthest reaches of an imponderable possibility for human consciousness to “exceed its grasp,” innovating paradigms beyond atavistic linguistic and philosophical bounds, and enjoin ourselves with Nature in selfless, biosemiospheric immanence. A must read for the deepest of deep ecologists!” – Michael Bostick, Artist, Freelance Writer and Senior Climate and Environmental Professional, San Francisco, CA, USA

“A central question Tobias and Morrison ask and seek to answer as it relates to the course of human thought and ecological outcomes is, “Instead of habituating ourselves to what we do and think, might we have thought and done differently?” Because they ask and ponder so many more thoughtful deep questions, this book is especially satisfying to read, e.g., “. . . How does one species commandeer [a planet] . . . 29.2% of which is land, the rest ocean? Why would we do that? Can philosophical traditions mean anything against the forefront of this unimaginable swath of pathologies that mark our kind?” The sweeping character of Terminal Philosophy Syndrome is stunning, engaging, and fulfilling, making it a mind-expanding tour de force worth reading.” – David J. Wagner, PhD, Author, American Wildlife Art; Guest Curator, and adjunct faculty at colleges and universities, and Curator of over fifty art exhibitions

To read these reviews in full, as well as additional commentaries, please CLICK HERE>>>>.

“The sobering new book, Terminal Philosophy Syndrome, will likely be discomforting. Climate change, while important to reduce and stop as soon as possible, is but one of many things that need close attention. An important message of hope: Everyone, no matter who you are or where you live, can do something to help our troubled planet right now.” – Marc Bekoff PhD, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
To read Dr. Bekoff’s full interview with the book’s authors, Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, that was recently published in Psychology Today, CLICK HERE>>>>

Gender Utopias for a Post-Apocalyptic World

“An outstanding collection of reflexions about SF, utopias and stories concerning gender and the possibility of going beyond the limits of the modern project. It’s a remarkable book!– Paula Cristina Pereira, Universidade do Port//University of Porto and founder of Philosophy & Public Space Research Group

“A fascinating, necessary, highly topical book that masterfully traces the close connections between utopia and gender from an innovative perspective.”– Leticia Flores Farfán, PhD, Coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Gender Studies, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México//National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

“A wonderful journey from modern utopias written by women in order to dream up new ways of understanding gender to post-apocalyptic utopias that strike at the heteropatriarchal and racialized modern system of creating these new worlds.” – Felipe Schwember, Universidad del Desarrollo//Development University (UDD), Chile

Positive Youth Development: Digital Game-Based Learning

This book explores the potential of gamification, that is, the application of game-design elements in an education context. It aims to improve student engagement and learning while providing in-depth feedback allowing students, teachers, parents, and youth workers to explore different topics relevant for older children and adolescents…” READ MORE >>> – Leopold Štefanič, published in Sodobna pedagogika/Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies Let./Vol. 73 (139)

Mining and Community in the South African Platinum Belt: A Decade after Marikana

This book is excellent in describing and analysing the mining and post-mining economics and challenges of Rustenburg and the Platinum Belt of South Africa.” – Professor Lucius Botes, North West University, South Africa

“This book by Lochner Marais and his colleagues is important in several ways. Not only does it highlight, through the in-depth analysis of the platinum mining town Rustenburg, the dilemmas of large-scale mining and dependent communities. It also reveals the complexities of the South African post-apartheid transition, which in turn can serve as inspiration for many other places going through or aspiring to a democratic reinvention and economic redistribution. In addition, the book reveals the often nefarious effects of globalisation and neoliberal reform on mining communities. Marais and his colleagues took great pains to demonstrate how old injustices can endure under new conditions, how new injustices can be the unintended consequence of seemingly benevolent decisions by governments and companies alike, and how every new and appealing rhetoric can be deployed to serve other purposes. Some of the examples are revealing about South Africa, others are recognisable in resource towns across the world: dismantling of exploitative structures such as company towns, and increased local autonomy and democracy can hide neglect and disinvestment by companies and governments alike. Nevertheless, the authors find not one but many sparkles of hope in their Rustenburg study, hope which will be welcomed in other resource-dependent regions.” – Professor Kristoff van Ache, University of Alberta, Canada

“A much-needed new understanding that is relevant for South Africa and its regional neighbours. Some of the results and insight are universal and can potentially be applied much wider.” – Professor Ernst Drewes, North West University, South Africa

Power Imbalance, Bullying and Harassment in Academia and the Glocal (Local and Global) Workplace

This book provides a much needed perspective and voice for those for whom victimization within the sphere of academia and the glocal workplace is commonplace. This topic would be of interest to those at both a national and international level given that while each case study presented is situated in a specific geopolitical context, the message conveyed has universal undertones illustrating the power and devastation caused by systemic and pervasive bullying and oppression.” READ MORE >>> – Dr. Karen Roland, Experiential Learning Specialist, University of Windsor (retired)

Power Imbalance, Bullying and Harassment in Academia and the Glocal (Local and Global) Workplace by Fay Patel provides a much needed perspective and voice for those targeted victims of bullying and harassment in academia and the global and local workplace through literature review and real-life case studies situated in a specific geopolitical and cultural context. Power imbalance, systemic and structural racism nurture the unethical organisational context and shape the experience and life of those working in the organization. It is important to break the ‘code of silence’ to tackle this universal reality, protect vulnerable employees from harms, and call out perpetrators who demonstrate incivility in their leadership roles.” To see the full review published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, click here – Mingsheng Li, PhD, School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing Massey University, Mt Cook, Wellington, New Zealand

Instructional Leadership and Effective Teaching and Learning

The monograph is a very well-argued case for giving even more attention to the school leadership, especially instructional leadership since it is identified as a key function in assuring quality in children’s education. Using a constructivist approach the author seeks to show how instructional leadership is a key tool in the creation of learning experiences that will enhance students to achieve knowledge, skills, and competencies to contribute to the development of society.” READ MORE >>> – Dr. Lazar Stošić, Research Associate, Institute of management and knowledge, Regional coordinator for Republic of Serbia, Senior Researcher, Skopje, Macedonia

“I rate the book very highly. It is a valuable publication, based on a review of the literature and the author’s own research. Nazmi Xhomara has demonstrated a high level of scientific integrity. The monograph may be particularly useful for researchers of educational policy, as well as in the training of educational managers. The publication may also become an item of obligatory literature in academic courses related to the training of teaching staff. I congratulate the author on a valuable book and at the same time recommend the manuscript for publication.” READ MORE >>> – PhDr inż. Łukasz Tomczyk PhD, Institute of Educational Studies, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland

Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness

This elegant treatise examines the nature of kindness through the fascinating lenses and contexts of ancient, medieval and contemporary philosophy, natural history, theories of mind, of natural selection, eco-psychology and sociobiology. It challenges the reader to consider the myriad potential consequences of human behavior, examining various iconographic moments from the history of art and science as a precursor to the concept and vital potentials for ecological conversion.” READ MORE>>> – Michael Pastore, Editorial Director, BookLovers Review, August 2021

“Ecological Reciprocity is a profound reminder of the fragile life support systems we receive from every ecosystem in this anthropogenic epoch of the planet. In their lifetime epic journey of ecological protection of nature, the Authors wonderfully portray their unparalleled creative conscience and emotional intelligence.” – Ugyen Tshewang, PhD, Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture, former Governor of Trashiyangtse and Secretary of the National Environment Commission

“Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison are well known around the world as outstanding scientists, researchers and educators in the field of ecology and environmental protection. They are not only theorists and authors of many books, articles and films on ecology, but also the founders of the Dancing Star International Ecological Foundation, whose main goal is to preserve biological diversity and develop ecological education around the world. The next new book by M. Tobias and J. Morrison, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness, is precisely aimed at solving just such problems. It is a logical continuation of the enormous research and educational activity to which the authors of the book have devoted their entire life. It is quite obvious that most people live, as a rule, “for today” and think, as a rule, “for short distances.” And only a small percentage of the world’s population is able to think in global categories. But even fewer are those who correlate their interests with the general tasks of social development. It is not surprising, therefore, that practically all over the world people have a poor idea of the real state of affairs with their environment, and, as a result, do not pay due attention to it. As a result, it is difficult to convey the humanistic ideas of ecological and nature protection content to the wide public consciousness. However, this must be done by all available means. At the same time, among the many publications on ecology, there are not so many books that can capture the attention of a wide audience regardless of countries and continents. The book, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness, which is written in an interesting and exciting way, is just such a generous gift to all of us, which makes a valuable contribution to the cause of universal environmental education and enlightenment.” – Alexander N. Chumakov, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of the Faculty of Global Processes of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, First Vice-President of the Russian Philosophical Society, Full member of the Russian Ecological Academy, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Age of Globalization

“Of the books I’ve read by Michael Tobias and Jane Morrison, all of which are as rich in detail as they are broad in scope, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness may be the most touching and rewarding. I say that because A Treatise on Kindness is like a Boléro of empathy — one contiguous crescendo of cognitive, emotional and compassionate empathy — from beginning to end, swirling the reader through time and space, emotion and reason — to join the authors in their forgone conclusion, that “the whole biological world functions in one symphonic unison,” and “that we, like every other organism, have a noble calling that is, generally speaking, in tune with all others.” Who could argue with that? Who wouldn’t feel touched? I certainly was.” – David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Author, Curator

“With their everpresent protean energy and optimism, even in the face of our dire planetary situation, Tobias and Morrison convincingly show that kindness has always been possible for humanity. Today we need this idea more than ever, and they teach us its beautiful history.” – David Rothenberg, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Music, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Author of Nightingales in Berlin and Survival of the Beautiful

“This is a very important book and should be read by everyone. Humans have gotten out of balance with the Natural World, and we see this lack of balance reflected everywhere in our efforts to destroy Nature. But as Tobias and Morrison elegantly point out, Nature works best through harmony, kindness, and reciprocity. We need to learn this lesson before it becomes too late for us to avoid our own destruction.” – Con Slobodchikoff, PhD, Author of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals

“Like all of the books authored by Tobias and Morrison, Ecological Reciprocity is thoroughly and impeccably researched. It shows that kindness and compassion are a part of human nature, long suppressed, but now increasingly emerging in an era that recognizes that humility must triumph over self-absorption and hubris if life on Earth is to survive and thrive….” READ FULL REVIEW>>> – Geoffrey B. Holland, Emmy-award winning producer, writer and director. Coordinator, Stanford University MAHB Dialogues