Global & Scientific Issues
Please check my web links pages for online suggestions.
Newspapers and Magazines
A lot of useful information on global and scientific issues comes from newspapers, magazines and periodicals. Newspapers which are readily available in English include The Japan Times, The Japan Times Weekly and Yomiuri Shimbun. Magazines you can find include Time, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek and Mangajin.there are also more specialised magazines, such as New Scientist, which you may have to order.
Various environmental groups, etc., have their own newspapers and magazines. Christian Aid News is probably the best newspaper on social problems and conditions in poor countries; it is written for everyone, not just Christians! Earth Matters, the Friends of the Earth magazine, is a good source of information on the environment.
British Cultural History
If you are looking for something other than the course textbook, here are one or two ideas:
Culture Shock! Britain by Terry Tan (published by Kuperard, London) - quite an interesting account of the British seen through foreign eyes, and with a useful appendix of 'recommended reading'.
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill (published by Hodder and Stoughton) - tells the story of how Ireland preserved Greek and Roman culture, and the Christian religion, at a time when all of Europe was in turmoil after the fall of Rome
Insight Guides: Great Britain edited by Roger Williams (published by APA Publications, Hong Kong) - a guidebook with a difference, including sections on history, culture, etc., and lots of photographs
The Story of England by Christopher Hibbert (published by Phaidon Press) - a good history of England
The range of topics students might be interested in is almost endless. All I can do here is list a few books which contain information that I consider basic for anyone who wants to consider themselves as being 'educated' in a general sense.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma by Whitney Stewart (published by Lerner, Minneapolis) - Burma (renamed Myanmar by its present rulers) is just one of Japan's Asian neighbours. It is controlled by a violent and corrupt military dictatorship. Aung San Suu Kyi's is a voice of hope for a country whose people suffer from the barbaric injustice of cruel and selfish leaders.
Freedom in Exile by the Dalai Lama (published by HarperPerennial, New York) - Perhaps the greatest spiritual leader alive today speaks of the invasion of his country by China, and his life's mission to continue to inspire the Tibetan people.
The Holocaust for Beginners by Haim Bresheeth and others (published by Icon Books) - What really happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s? How and why did the Nazis try to wipe out the Jewish people?
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (published by Macdonald Purnell, Randburg, South Africa) - The president of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison under the apartheid regime, tells his story in this remarkable book.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (published by Bantam Doubleday Dell) - One of the most readable accounts of developments in modern physics.
Sound and Fury: The Science and Politics of Global Warming by Patrick J. Michaels (Cato Publications) - A scientist who believes that global warming is not a problem. I disagree, but it's always healthy to read the other side of the argument!
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