...you have to read this book. Joseph J. Ellis explains it all. In his clear and concise style, he dives deeply into four issues that have plagued our nation since our founding-- racism/slavery, economic inequality, American imperialism and the doctrine of original--explaining why these four issues have brought us to where we are today and how they have shaped our current political quagmire.
Emmy Noether was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th Century and the greatest algebraist (except, maybe, Andrew Wiles?). She revolutionised the approach to her field and, entirely by accident, proved a connection between symmetry laws and conservation laws which has profound consequences for physics. Despite this, she is much less famous than many of her contemporaries, such as Hilbert, Weyl and Klein. Proper recognition of her talents and acheivements, outside the abstract algebra community is only just beginning.
She lived at a time of widespread institutional and individual sexism and anti-Semetism and at that point in history, in the worst possible country for a female Jew - Germany. Anybody who came into close acquaintance with her realised her unique genius but, despite their best efforts, she was never able to obtain a proper, permanent academic post and, with the rise of the Nazis, she had to emigrate to the USA in order to carry on working in any academic capacity.
She died suddenly and unexpectedly of complications from what should have been a routine surgical procedure at the height of her mathematical powers, a very unusual state of affiars as most mathematicians do their best work before they are 30.
This biography seems to be written by a mathematician for other mathematicians. The details of Noether's life are sketchy, because there isn't much documentary evidence and there is no attempt to explain what Noether's acheivements were to people without a very advanced education in algebra. There are, however, reprints of three obituaries appended to the main text and one of these (Weyl's) takes on the task with moderate success - but still probably unintelligible to people without a significant mathematical background.
I think people should read this book regradless of their level of mathematical education and just skim the technical stuff if it seems like gibberish in order to understand what an extraordinary talent Noether had and what she, with unfailing positivity, had to put up with in order to do her lastingly influential, pioneering work.
How has the Christian faith shaped my life? Why did I pursue an education in America? Why did I marry an American woman? How did I get a break at CBS Network News? Why did I become an American citizen? How did I eventually become a professor, chair, and graduate director at an American university? Why did I become an author? Why am I writing Christian books in retirement? These are some of the questions the author answers in Life’s Passages: From Guyana to America.
Life’s Passages is a spiritual biography that traces my life as a member of the Thomas’ family up to the present time. Its theme captures the role of a loving and caring God in our lives. Readers will journey in the local environment of a small South American country - Guyana, and explore the realities of living in America as a student and professor.
Undoubtedly, Guyanese culture helped determine who I was to become. Social, political, and economic factors were the bedrock of the way I came to view the world. But it’s my belief that the hand of God was at work throughout my life. This was true from the day I was born, to my experiences in public school, colleges, and universities.
From my early days in North Road, Georgetown, I would join my siblings in prayer in our three-room home. I mainly attended Mass at St. George’s Cathedral, Guyana, and Church of the Holy Apostles, Virginia Beach, VA. These experiences were to have profound effects upon me. It was however by the grace of God working in my life that I was able to have the necessary breaks to progress in these communities.
Some unexpected opportunities led to fulfillment and happiness. I benefited from an excellent education, found wonderful jobs, was blessed with a caring family, and friends. There were trials along the way, when my life seemed as though it was falling apart. But, by the grace of God I was able to persevere, and overcome these setbacks. My story therefore is one of hope, love, grace, and above all, the triumph of the human spirit.
I have been watching Trevor Noah on The Daily Show for some time now and when I saw he had a book out, I had to have it. I checked it out from the library and I was not disappointed.
Cover Design: Greg Mollica
Publisher: Spiegil & Grau/Penguin Random House
Trevor Noah is a prime example that how you grow up is no excuse. He shows that you can be whatever you want to be. He is livingthe American Dream after growing up in Africa during Apartheid.
I couldn’t help but laugh at his childhood antics. I love that nothing crushed his personality, his ability to make fun of life. Him and his mother are an amazing pair. Their life was rich in love and experience.
“We had a very Tom and Jerry relationship, me and my mom. She was the strict disciplinarian, I was naughty as shit.”
His mom, Gotta love her. They laughed in the face of death. His mother is an amazing woman. Strong, stubborn, confident, determined. I love how she ‘worked the system and if you read these essays you will wonder if you could do the same.
I laughed with them, I was angry for them and I deeply respect their ability to rise above the horror they lived in.
You don’t want to miss these fabulous essays.