Lead successful projects

/ Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez. London : Penguin Business, 2019. xii, 164 pages.

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From the publisher:

Are you struggling to juggle multiple projects? Do you often lose control of your budget? Does communicating your progress to the rest of your team cause you undue stress?

Project management is an essential skill for anyone who needs to get things done in any organisation, and is absolutely critical for anyone leading strategic change. In Lead Successful Projects, the Penguin Business Expert guide, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez introduces a simplified but strategic approach to project management developed over the last 20 years coaching executives, managers and MBAs.

Learn how to break down your project into manageable elements, define smart goals and meet them in this concise and practical guide to project success.

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The stories were not told : Canada's First World War internment camps

/ Sandra Semchuk. Edmonton : University of Alberta Press, 2019. lxiii, 247 pages.

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From 1914-1920, immigrants to Canada from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and Germany were considered enemy aliens and imprisoned in internment camps under harsh conditions. Canadian photographer Sandra Semchuk, herself a descendant of Ukrainian immigrants in Canada, reveals the long-hidden stories of Ukrainians, Germans, Czechs, Bulgarians, Armenians, Romanians, Serbians, and Jews who were held in Canadian internment camps. In addition to presenting oral histories of internees and their descendants, she documents the camps in b&w historical photos juxtaposed with her own color photos of the locations now, along with her portraits of those interviewed and her photos of artifacts, documents, and family archives and photo albums.

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Leading from between : Indigenous participation and leadership in the public service

/ Catherine Althaus and Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh. Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019. xiv, 256 pages.

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Since the 1970s governments in Canada and Australia have introduced policies designed to recruit Indigenous people into public services. Today, there are thousands of Indigenous public servants in these countries, and hundreds in senior roles. Their presence raises numerous questions: How do Indigenous people experience public-sector employment? What perspectives do they bring to it? And how does Indigenous leadership enhance public policy making? A comparative study of Indigenous public servants in British Columbia and Queensland, Leading from Between addresses critical concerns about leadership, difference, and public service. Centring the voices, personal experiences, and understandings of Indigenous public servants, this book uses their stories and testimony to explore how Indigenous participation and leadership change the way policies are made. Articulating a new understanding of leadership and what it could mean in contemporary public service, Catherine Althaus and Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh challenge the public service sector to work towards a more personalized and responsive bureaucracy. At a time when Canada and Australia seek to advance reconciliation and self-determination agendas, Leading from Between shows how public servants who straddle the worlds of Western bureaucracy and Indigenous communities are key to helping governments meet the opportunities and challenges of growing diversity.

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Friends, foes, and furs : George Nelson's Lake Winnipeg journals, 1804-1822

/ edited by Harry W. Duckworth. Montreal ; Kingston : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019. lxiii, 503 pages.

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George Nelson (1786-1859) was a clerk for the North West Company whose unusually detailed and personal writings provide a compelling portrait of the people engaged in the golden age of the Canadian fur trade. Friends, Foes, and Furs is a critical edition of Nelson's daily journals, supplemented with exciting anecdotes from his "Reminiscences," which were written after his retirement to Lower Canada. An introduction and annotations by Harry Duckworth place Nelson's material securely within the established body of fur trade history. This series of journals gives readers a first-person account of Nelson's life and career, from his arrival at the age of eighteen in Lake Winnipeg, where he was stationed as an apprentice clerk from 1804 to 1813, to his second service from 1818 to 1819 and an 1822 canoe journey through the region. A keen and respectful observer, Nelson recorded in his daily journals not only the minutiae of his work, but also details about the lives of voyageurs, the Ojibwe and Swampy Cree communities, and others involved in the fur trade. His insights uncover an extraordinary view of the Lake Winnipeg region in the period just prior to European settlement. Making the full extent of George Nelson's journals available for the first time, Friends, Foes, and Furs is an intriguing account of one man's adventures in the fur trade in prairie Canada.

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Government information in Canada : access and stewardship

/ Amanda Wakaruk and Sam-chin Li, editors. First edition. Edmonton : The University of Alberta Press, 2019. xxxi, 341 pages.

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Public access to government information forms the foundation of a healthy liberal democracy. Because this information can be precarious, it needs stewardship. Government Information in Canada provides analysis about the state of Canadian government information publishing. Experts from across the country draw on decades of experience to offer a broad, well-founded survey of history, procedures, and emerging issues—particularly the challenges faced by practitioners during the transition of government information from print to digital access.

This is an indispensable book for librarians, archivists, researchers, journalists, and everyone who uses government information and wants to know more about its publication, circulation, and retention.

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Lost feast : culinary extinction and the future of food

/ Lenore Newman.
Toronto : ECW Press, 2019. ix, 300 pages.

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Review from ForeWord Magazine Reviews:

Ironically, just as many of us have become passionate foodies who enjoy global edibles and markets that groan with produce, much of this Rabelaisian banquet has become endangered. In the edifying and entertaining Lost Feast, Lenore Newman chronicles the unsustainability of our farming, fishing, and industrial practices and explains complex scientific concepts for a general audience with tales of the history of some of our favorite foods. Even the footnotes are engaging and conversational, as are the enthusiastic capsule reviews of suggested readings.

Newman's studies and travels as a cultural geographer frame the book, whether she is exploring how cows were bred from wild aurochs at an English ecodairy, or making connections about island ecologies, invasive species, and habitat defragmentation in Hawaii. Interviews with food producers and academic colleagues are full of vitality and dialogue, and while the topics are thoughtful, there is plenty of wry commentary, especially when Newman caps off her research subjects with thematic "extinction dinners."

Newman strides through eons of history and diverse global foodways with equal aplomb. Whether discussing the Paleolithic extinction of megafauna like the mammoth, or unraveling the massive amount of tasty New World species lost after European settlement, she dispenses intriguing, if dismaying, historical nuggets about how the once seemingly infinite natural larder of the planet has been raided. The downside of the Industrial Revolution and globalization has pushed local and global ecosystems to the brink with pollution, global warming, monoculture farming and livestock rearing, and decline of critical pollinators.

Never didactic and cautiously optimistic, Newman recognizes that there is hard work ahead to recalibrate the North American diet. She builds a compelling case for us human superpredators to rethink our food choices, and to be healthier for the environment and our fellow inhabitant species. Lost Feast is enjoyable reading about a serious topic.

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Course correction : a map for the distracted university

/ Paul W. Gooch.
Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2019. xvii, 291 pages.

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Course Correction engages in deliberation about what the twenty-first-century university needs to do in order to re-find its focus as a protected place for unfettered commitment to knowledge, not just as a space for creating employment or economic prosperity. The university’s business, Paul W. Gooch writes, is to generate and critique knowledge claims, and to transmit and certify the acquisition of knowledge. In order to achieve this, a university must have a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, and this, in turn, requires a diligent and respectful level of autonomy from state, religion, and other powerful influences. It also requires embracing the challenges of academic freedom and the effective governance of an academic community.

Course Correction raises three important questions about the twenty-first-century university. In discussing the dominant attention to student experience, the book asks, "Is it now all about students?" Secondly, in questioning "What knowledge should undergraduates gain?" it provides a critique of undergraduate experience, advocating a Socratic approach to education as interrogative conversation. Finally, by asking "What and where are well-placed universities?" the book makes the case against placeless education offered in the digital world, in favour of education that takes account of its place in time and space.

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The madness of crowds : gender, race, and identity

/ Douglas Murray.
London : Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019. 280 pages.

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Review from Choice Reviews:

In this bold and timely work, Murray (a prolific political columnist and debater based in the UK) exposes the madness in current social justice movements and the power of that madness in public discourse. Murray is no reactionary: he celebrates the extension of rights to women, the GLBTQ population, and racial minorities. He is a modern liberal who is satisfied with recent gains in equality. What bewilders and troubles him is the unrelenting push for more—for going from what he frames as equal to better. He criticizes the new and dense minefields of public discourse, which prevent critical, complex thought and self-reflection. Innocent comments can send one begging for mercy before the crowd. After documenting the excesses, contradictions, and unforgiving nastiness of these movements, he concludes that this madness is an instrument for a project of destruction, both societal and personal. Murray's account suggests the beginnings of a sort of Orwellian dystopia, one led by tech giants, hysterical college students, weak college administrators and faculty, and the Twitterati. Following Hannah Arendt, Murray advocates the rediscovery of forgiveness. Summing Up: Highly recommended.

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Women political leaders : the impact of gender on democracy

/ written by Minna Cowper-Coles.
London : King's College London, The Global Institute for Women's Leadership, 2020. 115 pages.

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When women take part in politics, the whole of society benefits. That is the main finding of a new report from Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London.

The report comes as many female-led countries have fared much better than some male-led nations in tackling Covid-19, raising questions about the potential positive impact of women’s political leadership.

Women political leaders: the impact of gender on democracy is based on an analysis of over 500 pieces of research into the impacts of women leaders in politics and public life.

The report shows that when women are able to exercise political leadership, there are gains not just for women and girls but for the whole of society. […]

Yet, the report shows, there are still significant barriers to women’s equality of participation in politics and public life. Predominantly: money, violence and cultural norms.

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Conformity : the power of social influences

/ Cass R. Sunstein.
New York : New York University Press, 2019. xiii, 183 pages.

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Review from Booklist Reviews:

Legal scholar Sunstein offers readers a crash course in the ways those around us influence our actions. A former administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, he points out the positive benefits of conformity while also exploring how following the crowd can easily take individuals down paths of extreme thinking. For example, "On Facebook and Twitter, we can see group polarization in action every hour, every minute, or every day." Like feuding families, online collectives can spend more time vilifying one another than in direct confrontation, exacerbating division and increasing potential cascades of misleading or inaccurate information. Diversity in thinking is essential, Sunstein explains, to the healthy functioning of any organized group. When the social benefits of conformity outweigh one's sense of responsibility to state the truth, problems inevitably follow. Drawing on scientific studies, Sunstein discusses the corrective effects of dissent for the common good and not simply out of contrarianism. Eminently relevant, Sunstein's clarifying discussion is a must-read.


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