Different faiths, shared hopes. Are we more alike than we know? In 30 first-person stories from eight different faith traditions, hear from people whose faith inspires acts of justice and love amidst our world’s violence and divisions. Gain a deeper understanding of the diverse beliefs practiced by your neighbors and our shared hopes for building a better world. Reflection questions with each chapter make this book perfect for small group study or read as a private devotional. Acting on Faith inspires hope and encourages personal action through concrete examples of faithfulness, justice, and love from those on the front lines of activism and advocacy.
In April 2020, the United States will embark on what has been called “the largest peacetime mobilization in American history”: the decennial population census. It is part of a long, if uneven, tradition of counting people that extends back at least three millennia. Tracing the remarkable history of the census from ancient China, through the Roman Empire, revolutionary America, and Nazi-occupied Europe, right up to today’s Supreme Court battles, The Sum of the People shows how the impulse to count ourselves is universal, how the census has evolved with time, and how it has always profoundly shaped the societies we have built.
As data scientist Andrew Whitby reveals, the earliest censuses in ancient China and the Fertile Crescent had purely extractive aims: taxation and conscription. Later, as Enlightenment-era governments began to answer to citizens, the census was reinvented to support political representation and to delimit the boundaries of new nation-states. As the role of government grew through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, censuses became more complex and scientific. Census bureaus spun out dozens of other surveys, which formed the statistical foundation of modern, technocratic, data-driven government. For the first time, counting every person on the planet became a real possibility-and debates about who was counted, who was not, and what questions they were asked became the subject of intense political controversy in places from Australia to South Africa to the United States. The census at its best is a marvel of democracy, but it has at times been an instrument of exclusion, and, as in the case of Nazi Germany, a tool of tyranny and genocide.
Today, governments and businesses alike now routinely collect “big data” that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago, prompting fears similar to those the census once provoked and leading to some to suggest that traditional censuses will soon be obsolete. The Sum of the People closes by making the case that, for all its past faults, the census can be an alternative and an antidote to a future of constant, invasive surveillance.
From the New York Times food editor and former restaurant critic Sam Sifton comes a cookbook to help us rediscover the art of Sunday supper and the joy of gathering with friends and family. It is a guide to preparing meals for groups larger than the average American family (though everything here can be scaled down, or up). The 200 recipes are mostly simple and inexpensive, and they derive from decades spent cooking for family and groups ranging from six to sixty.
David Warburg, newly minted director of the U.S. War Refugee Board, arrives in Rome at war’s end, determined to bring aid to the destitute European Jews streaming into the city. Marguerite d’Erasmo, a French-Italian Red Cross worker with a shadowed past, is initially Warburg’s guide to a complicated Rome; while a charismatic young American Catholic priest, Monsignor Kevin Deane, seems equally committed to aiding Italian Jews. But the city is a labyrinth of desperate fugitives, runaway Nazis, Jewish resisters, and criminal Church figures. Marguerite, caught between justice and revenge, is forced to play a double game. At the center of the maze, Warburg discovers one of history’s great scandals–the Vatican ratline, a clandestine escape route maintained by Church officials and providing scores of Nazi war criminals with secret passage to Argentina. Warburg’s disillusionment is complete when, turning to American intelligence officials, he learns that the dark secret is not so secret, and that even those he trusts may betray him.
James Carroll delivers an authoritative, stirring novel that reckons powerfully with the postwar complexities of good and evil in the Eternal City.