The Talking Points Bundle includes Black Wave by Kim Ghattas, The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits and Extreme Economies by Richard Davies.
Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Rivalry that Unravelled the Middle East is a timely and unprecedented examination of how the modern Middle East unravelled, and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. When did the extremism, intolerance and bloodletting of today displace the region’s cultural promise and diversity? In Black Wave, award-winning journalist and author Kim Ghattas argues that the turning point in the modern history of the Middle East can be located in the toxic confluence of three major events in 1979: the Iranian revolution; the siege of the Holy Mosque in Mecca; and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In The Meritocracy Trap Daniel Markovits argues that upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle classes are now more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy now ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, requiring rich adults to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return. All this is not the result of deviations or retreats from meritocracy but rather stems directly from meritocracy’s successes. This is the radical argument that The Meritocracy Trap prosecutes with rare force, comprehensive research, and devastating persuasion.
From death-row prisoners trading in institutions where money is banned to flourishing entrepreneurs in the world’s largest refugee camp, from the unrealised potential of cities like Kinshasa to the hyper-modern economy of Estonia, every life in Extreme Economies has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or changed in some way. In his quest for a purer view of how economies succeed and fail, Richard Davies takes the reader off the beaten path to places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. He tells the personal stories of humans living in these extreme situations, and of the financial infrastructure they create. Far from the familiar stock reports, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages, Extreme Economies reveals the importance of human and social capital, and in so doing tells small stories that shed light on today’s biggest economic questions.
The book bundle comes beautifully wrapped in brown craft paper and a green Daunt Books ribbon, making it a perfect gift.