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For the person tuned into history and world politics, we recommend this trio of Massey Lectures. These books explore the past in order to help us understand the present.

A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright

Each time history repeats itself, so it's said, the price goes up. The twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology, placing a colossal load on all natural systems, especially earth, air, and water -- the very elements of life. The most urgent questions of the twenty-first century are: where will this growth lead? can it be consolidated or sustained? and what kind of world is our present bequeathing to our future?

Therefore Choose Life by George Wald

Using scientific fact as metaphor, Wald meditates on our place, and role, on Earth and in the universe. He urges us to therefore choose life — to invest in our capabilities as human beings, to heed the warnings of our own self-destruction, and above all to honour our humanity.

History's People (Paperback) by Margaret MacMillan

In History’s People internationally acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan gives her own personal selection of figures of the past, women and men, some famous and some little-known, who stand out for her. Some have changed the course of history and even directed the currents of their times. Others are memorable for being risk-takers, adventurers, or observers.