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Without Merit

Without Merit

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2017-10-03
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781501170638

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Book Without Merit Description/Summary:

From Colleen Hoover, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us, comes a moving and haunting novel of family, love, and the power of the truth. Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness. The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit. Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix. Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves. Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.

Without Merit

Without Merit

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2017-10-03
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781471171888

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Book Without Merit Description/Summary:

From the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us and November 9 comes a moving and haunting novel of family, love, and the power of the truth. 'Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.' The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit. Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her - until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix. Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves. Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth. 'Emotionally wrenching and utterly original, Without Merit’s characters stayed with me long after I finished' Sara Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

Without Merit

Without Merit

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2017-10-03
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781925640663

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Book Without Merit Description/Summary:

A moving and haunting story of family, love and the power of truth, from the bestselling author of It Ends With Us. ‘Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.’ The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, the once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then there’s Merit. Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. Then she meets Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her – until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix. Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves. Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth. Praise for Without Merit 'Emotionally wrenching and utterly original, Without Merit's characters stayed with me long after I finished.' Sara Shepard, New York Times Bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars 'Hoover does an excellent job of revealing the subtle differences between healthy teenage rebellion and clinical depression… This quirky, complex, and frustrating heroine will win hearts and challenge assumptions about family dysfunction and mental illness in a life-affirming story that redefines what's normal.' Kirkus (starred review) ‘Hoover joins the ranks of such luminaries as Jennifer Weiner and Jojo Moyes, with a dash of Gillian Flynn.’ Library Journal (starred review)

The Tyranny of Merit

The Tyranny of Merit

Author : Michael J. Sandel
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2020-09-15
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9780374720995

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Book The Tyranny of Merit Description/Summary:

A Times Literary Supplement’s Book of the Year 2020 A New Statesman's Best Book of 2020 A Bloomberg's Best Book of 2020 A Guardian Best Book About Ideas of 2020 The world-renowned philosopher and author of the bestselling Justice explores the central question of our time: What has become of the common good? These are dangerous times for democracy. We live in an age of winners and losers, where the odds are stacked in favor of the already fortunate. Stalled social mobility and entrenched inequality give the lie to the American credo that "you can make it if you try". The consequence is a brew of anger and frustration that has fueled populist protest and extreme polarization, and led to deep distrust of both government and our fellow citizens--leaving us morally unprepared to face the profound challenges of our time. World-renowned philosopher Michael J. Sandel argues that to overcome the crises that are upending our world, we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalization and rising inequality. Sandel shows the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind, and traces the dire consequences across a wide swath of American life. He offers an alternative way of thinking about success--more attentive to the role of luck in human affairs, more conducive to an ethic of humility and solidarity, and more affirming of the dignity of work. The Tyranny of Merit points us toward a hopeful vision of a new politics of the common good.

Too Late

Too Late

Author : C. Hoover
Publisher : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release : 2016-11-19
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 1540324168

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Book Too Late Description/Summary:

Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves. And she does, every single day. After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she's able to find a way out. Nothing will get in her way. Nothing except Carter. Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he'd say he's the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan's disapproval of Asa's sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan. Nothing will get in his way. Nothing except Carter. Recommended for readers 18+ due to scenes of graphic violence, including rape, murder and other sensitive issues.

Social Queue

Social Queue

Author : Kay Kerr
Publisher : Text Publishing
Release : 2021-09-28
Category : Young Adult Fiction
ISBN : 9781922459299

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Book Social Queue Description/Summary:

A funny and insightful novel about an autistic teen who realises she's been missing all the signs when it comes to her romantic life.

The British Knight

The British Knight

Author : Louise Bay
Publisher : Louise Bay
Release : 2022-06-26
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781910747506

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Book The British Knight Description/Summary:

When I'm offered the chance to leave New York to live in London for three months, I can't pack my suitcase fast enough. As soon as I touch down I'm obsessing over red telephone boxes, palaces and all the black cabs. But my favorite place is the tube. It's wall-to-wall hot British men in suits. When I'm offered a temporary job working for a barrister, I say, sign me up. On my first commute into work, it's a total accident when I lose my balance and fall against the most handsome Brit alive. He's as charming as James Bond and as suave as Mr. Darcy. I want to lick tea from his hard abs and listen to his accent all night long. Turns out Mr. Handsome is my new boss. And his attitude isn't as hot as his gorgeous face, broad shoulders and tight ass. He's brooding, short-tempered and the most arrogant man I've ever met. As we're fighting, out of nowhere he kisses me. And I'm pretty sure I see fireworks over Big Ben and hear God Save the Queen. I wasn't looking for the fairytale but I might have found my knight in shining armor. The problem is he lives an ocean away. A stand-alone, contemporary romance. What others are saying about Louise Bay: “A fabulous, smouldering love story” Katy Evans, NYT bestselling author "Insanely hot passion, and deliciously naughty and sweet characters. I devoured every page!" -New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones "Delivers both swoon-worthy and wickedly seductive moments that will have you desperate for more." -New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones “This book is deliciously HOT. I loved reading it.” Layla Hagen, USA Today bestselling Author "Off the charts sexual tension and chemistry...I ravished every page!" -Audrey Carlan, #1 NYT Bestselling Author “A swoony hero with a British accent and a heroine you will root for. Don’t miss this!” Jana Aston, NYT Bestselling Author "Hot sex, great banter, a cocky British boss and one of my favorite heroines to date. This book is a must-read and one of my favorite romances this year!" LJ Shen, USA Today Bestselling Author “Everything that a romance junkie could ever want in a contemporary romance. Once you start, there is not setting this sucker down. An absolute PAGE-TURNER.” Shayna’s Spicy Reads “Alexander and Violet stole my heart! Their chemistry rolls of the page. Seeing the broody and incredibly hot Brit falling for Violet made me swoon. If you love hot and romantic reads, then The British Knight is a MUST read.” Layla Hagen, USA Today Bestselling Author “A funny, hot, and expertly crafted romance that was a joy to read.” Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews “I loved every page. Red hot scenes, tender moments and the usual roller coaster of emotions Louise loves to instil in her works, that makes her books so exhilarating to read. A perfect 5 star read.” Two Girls and Their Kindle “A hilariously funny and heart wrenching story that will pull at your heartstrings.” Who Gives a Hoot Reviews “Beautifully written with the perfect balance of sugar and spice! Five beautiful stars!” Expresso Reviews “Like a really good rom-com movie except with really hot sex thrown in.” Kitty Kats Crazy about Books “A brilliant read. Full of angst, with bites of humor and lots of steam, it also has a real sweetness about it. Another MUST READ from a really talented storyteller.” Perusing Princesses “An amazing love story.” She’s a Lip Biter "Friends to lovers is a favorite trope of mine and this is right up there with the best of them." Tanja, KT Book Reviews "Just when I think her books can't get any better, she writes another one and it outshines the previous ones. This is a sweet and sexy, friends-to-lovers contemporary romance with all the feels -- heartwarming, breathtaking, and sexy all rolled into one interesting and intriguing plot." Tracey, Goodreads reviewer "If you love a good friends to lovers with a side helping of slow burn, this book is for you. Don't hesitate, grab it with both hands. Noah and Truly will steal your heart and you will let them gladly." Unbound Book Reviews ***** Topics: adult romance books, alpha, alpha hero, alpha male, American romance, British romance, beach reads, best romance, best seller series, books love stories, captivating romance, contemporary, contemporary adult romance, contemporary crush, friends to lovers, friends to lovers romance, contemporary romance, contemporary romance books, contemporary romance fiction, fiction for women, happily ever after, heart-warming, duke royalty, heartwarming, hot, hot guy, hot romance, laugh romance, literary fiction, romance box set, romance box sets, romance boxed set, romance boxed sets, literary romance, literature and fiction, love, love books, love story, modern romance, money, new adult, new adult romance, romance, rich, romance, romance and drama books, romance best seller, romance books, romance contemporary, romance fiction books, romance free, romance love, romance marriage, romance novels for women, romance novels free, sassy, sassy heroine, seduction, seduction romance, sensual, sensual romance, serial, series, sexy book, sexy novel, hot romance, modern romance, urban romance, wealthy, CEO romance, office romance, city romance, sensual romance, something hot to read, sensual romance, edgy romance, sexy romance, something hot to read, sparks, steamy, steamy romance, steamy romance novel, stories, story, strong alpha, female, stories, sensual, sensual romance, alpha male, dominant male, hot guy, racy, strong female lead, strong heroine, swoon, usa today, usa today bestseller, kindle book, contemporary romance, new adult, british hero, sexy british hero, american heroine, sassy american heroine, duke, knight, royal, royalty, royals, wealthy hero, wealthy heroes, sassy, captivating romance, hot, hot romance, forbidden love, sparks, loyalty, office romance, fake fiance, enemies to lovers, billionaire, billionaire romance, holiday, holiday romance, London, scotland, Manhattan, park avenue, british, earl, knightsbridge, mayfair, series, boxset, romance boxset, contemporary romance, contemporary romance box set, contemporary romance series, royals series, royals box set, series boxset, bestselling series, royal romance, duke romance, King, duke, earl, prince, knight, New York, International, Billionaire, millionaire, geek to gorgeous. Perfect for the fans of Vi Keeland, Corinne Michaels, Kendall Ryan, Tijan, Piper Rayne, Lexy Timms, Josie Silver, Robyn Carr, Beth O’leary, Natasha Madison, Laurelin Paige, Kate Aster, Elle Kennedy, Kennedy Fox, Layla Hagen, Helen Hardt, Meredith Wild, J.S. Scott, Nana Malone, T.L. Swan, Carrie Ann Ryan, Julia Quinn, LJ Shen, Layla Hagen, Penelope Ward, Kristen Proby, Tijan, Ilsa Madden-Mills, Emma Chase, Melanie Harlow, Carly Phillips, Emily Henry, Christina Lauren, and Lauren Blakely

The Meritocracy Trap

The Meritocracy Trap

Author : Daniel Markovits
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2020-09-08
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9780735222014

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Book The Meritocracy Trap Description/Summary:

A revolutionary new argument from eminent Yale Law professor Daniel Markovits attacking the false promise of meritocracy It is an axiom of American life that advantage should be earned through ability and effort. Even as the country divides itself at every turn, the meritocratic ideal – that social and economic rewards should follow achievement rather than breeding – reigns supreme. Both Democrats and Republicans insistently repeat meritocratic notions. Meritocracy cuts to the heart of who we are. It sustains the American dream. But what if, both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham? Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was conceived to resist: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. 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 Daniel Markovits prosecutes with rare force. Markovits is well placed to expose the sham of meritocracy. Having spent his life at elite universities, he knows from the inside the corrosive system we are trapped within. Markovits also knows that, if we understand that meritocratic inequality produces near-universal harm, we can cure it. When The Meritocracy Trap reveals the inner workings of the meritocratic machine, it also illuminates the first steps outward, towards a new world that might once again afford dignity and prosperity to the American people.

My Calamity Jane

My Calamity Jane

Author : Cynthia Hand,Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2020-06-02
Category : Young Adult Fiction
ISBN : 9780062652836

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Book My Calamity Jane Description/Summary:

Hold on to your hats: The authors who brought you the New York Times bestseller My Plain Jane, which Booklist praised as “delightfully deadpan” (starred review) and Publishers Weekly called “a clever, romantic farce” (starred review), are back with another irreverent historical adventure. Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou—better known as werewolves. And where there are garou, there’re hunters: the one and only Calamity Jane, to be precise, along with her fellow stars of Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, Annie Oakley and Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler. After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s talk of a garou cure. But rumors can be deceiving—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short. In this perfect next read for fans of A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, bestselling authors Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton bring their signature spark to the side-splittin’, whopper-filled (but actually kind of factual?) tale of Calamity Jane.

Maybe Not

Maybe Not

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2015-12-22
Category : FICTION
ISBN : 9781501125713

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Book Maybe Not Description/Summary:

When Warren becomes roommates with cold and calculating Bridgette, tempers flare, but Warren is intent on turning her passionate antagonism into passionate love.

Merit, Meaning, and Human Bondage

Merit  Meaning  and Human Bondage

Author : Nomy Arpaly
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Release : 2009-08-15
Category : Philosophy
ISBN : 9781400824502

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Book Merit, Meaning, and Human Bondage Description/Summary:

Perhaps everything we think, feel, and do is determined, and humans--like stones or clouds--are slaves to the laws of nature. Would that be a terrible state? Philosophers who take the incompatibilist position think so, arguing that a deterministic world would be one without moral responsibility and perhaps without true love, meaningful art, and real rationality. But compatibilists and semicompatibilists argue that determinism need not worry us. As long as our actions stem, in an appropriate way, from us, or respond in some way to reasons, our actions are meaningful and can be judged on their moral (or other) merit. In this highly original work, Nomy Arpaly argues that a deterministic world does not preclude moral responsibility, rationality, and love--in short, meaningful lives--but that there would still be something lamentable about a deterministic world. A person may respond well to reasons, and her actions may faithfully reflect her true self or values, but she may still feel that she is not free. Arpaly argues that compatibilists and semicompatibilists are wrong to dismiss this feeling--for which there are no philosophical consolations--as philosophically irrelevant. On the way to this bittersweet conclusion, Arpaly sets forth surprising theories about acting for reasons, the widely accepted idea that "ought implies can," moral blame, and more.

The Merit Birds

The Merit Birds

Author : Kelley Powell
Publisher : Dundurn
Release : 2015-05-02
Category : Young Adult Fiction
ISBN : 9781459729339

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Book The Merit Birds Description/Summary:

2015 Dewey Divas Pick 2016 Booklist Top Ten Multicultural Fiction List, Youth Spotlight Cam is finally settling into his new life in Laos when tragedy strikes and he’s wrongfully accused of murder. Eighteen-year-old Cam Scott is angry. He’s angry about his absent dad, he’s angry about being angry, and he’s angry that he has had to give up his Ottawa basketball team to follow his mom to her new job in Vientiane, Laos. However, Cam’s anger begins to melt under the Southeast Asian sun as he finds friendship with his neighbour, Somchai, and gradually falls in love with Nok, who teaches him about building merit, or karma, by doing good deeds, such as purchasing caged “merit birds.” Tragedy strikes and Cam finds himself falsely accused of a crime. His freedom depends on a person he’s never met. A person who knows that the only way to restore his merit is to confess. The Merit Birds blends action, suspense, and humour in a far-off land where things seem so different, yet deep down are so much the same.

Maybe Someday

Maybe Someday

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2014-03-18
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781476753164

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Book Maybe Someday Description/Summary:

When she discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her, Sydney, a 22-year-old college student, must decide what to do next, especially when she becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor Ridge. Original.

All Your Perfects

All Your Perfects

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2018-07-17
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781501171604

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Book All Your Perfects Description/Summary:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sara Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it. Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair. All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

Maybe Now

Maybe Now

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Independently Published
Release : 2019-04-09
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 1093389052

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Book Maybe Now Description/Summary:

What is more important? Friendship, loyalty or love? Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge Lawson and Sydney Blake. And Maggie. And Warren and Bridgette.This full length novel is a follow-up to the New York Times bestselling novel, Maybe Someday. For the best reading experience, Maybe Now should be read after Maybe Someday and the spin-off novella, Maybe Not. However, Maybe Now can also be read immediately following Maybe Someday.

This Girl

This Girl

Author : Colleen Hoover
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2013-04-30
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781476746548

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Book This Girl Description/Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover’s bestselling Slammed series comes to its gripping conclusion. There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s. Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances, and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas, and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met. In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

Dark Hours

Dark Hours

Author : Conchitina Cruz
Publisher : UP Press
Release : 2005
Category : Philippine poetry (English)
ISBN : 9715424953

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Book Dark Hours Description/Summary:

The Aristocracy of Talent

The Aristocracy of Talent

Author : Adrian Wooldridge
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2021-07-13
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781510768628

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Book The Aristocracy of Talent Description/Summary:

Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their birth. While this initially seemed like a novel concept, by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world's ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left? In The Aristocracy of Talent, esteemed journalist and historian Adrian Wooldridge traces the history of meritocracy forged by the politicians and officials who introduced the revolutionary principle of open competition, the psychologists who devised methods for measuring natural mental abilities, and the educationalists who built ladders of educational opportunity. He looks outside western cultures and shows what transformative effects it has had everywhere it has been adopted, especially once women were brought into the meritocratic system. Wooldridge also shows how meritocracy has now become corrupted and argues that the recent stalling of social mobility is the result of failure to complete the meritocratic revolution. Rather than abandoning meritocracy, he says, we should call for its renewal.

America and Iran

America and Iran

Author : John Ghazvinian
Publisher : Vintage
Release : 2021-01-26
Category : History
ISBN : 9780525659327

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Book America and Iran Description/Summary:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • A hugely ambitious, “delightfully readable, genuinely informative” portrait (The New York Times) of the two-centuries-long entwined histories of Iran and America—two powers who were once allies and now adversaries—by an admired historian and former journalist. In this rich, fascinating history, John Ghazvinian traces the complex story of the relations between these two nations back to the Persian Empire of the eighteenth century—the subject of great admiration by Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams—and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government. Drawing on years of archival research both in the United States and Iran—including access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars—the Iranian-born, Oxford-educated historian leads us through the four seasons of U.S.–Iran relations: the spring of mutual fascination; the summer of early interactions; the autumn of close strategic ties; and the long, dark winter of mutual hatred. Ghazvinian makes clear where, how, and when it all went wrong. America and Iran shows why two countries that once had such heartfelt admiration for each other became such committed enemies—and why it didn’t have to turn out this way.