Our book for August 2014 is Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, by Margaret Heffernan.
In Wilful Blindness, Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don’t see – not because they’re secret or invisible, but because we’re willfully blind. She examines the phenomenon and traces its imprint in our private and working lives, and within governments and organizations, and asks: What makes us prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid of? Why do some people see more than others? And how can we change?
Examining examples of willful blindness in the Catholic Church, the SEC, Nazi Germany, Bernard Madoff’s investors, BP’s safety record, the military in Afghanistan and the dog-eat-dog world of subprime mortgage lenders, the book demonstrates how failing to see—or admit to ourselves or our colleagues—the issues and problems in plain sight can ruin private lives and bring down corporations. The book explores how willful blindness develops and then goes on to outline some of the mechanisms, structures and strategies that institutions and individuals can use to combat it.
The Calgary Public Library has seven copies of Willful Blindness – plus an e-book copy. If you wish to purchase your own copy, identify yourself as a member of the WSKEO Book Club at Shelf Life Books to get a 10% discount!
WSKEO Book Club – Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 – 7:00-9:00 pm
Shelf Life Books, 1302 4 St SW
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We should know each other! That’s been established. But how do we meet people from distant countries, or separated by years of history? A timeworn answer, of course, is through books!
Every month, the We Should Know Each Other Book Club will explore thought-provoking literature, alternating between non-fiction and literary genres. Come for one session or all of them, and be ready for a stimulating discussion full of diverse perspectives.
If you want to suggest a book, or if you have any questions about the WSKEO Book Club, e-mail Mark Hopkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.