Books to get you ready for TEDGlobal 2014

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Can’t wait for TEDGlobal 2014? We’re here to help! Spend the next two weeks curling up with these books by the wonderful speakers who will grace the stage in Rio.


American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood, by Marie Arana. The writer’s classic, in which she shares her own experience growing up between Peru and the United States, which she describes as a “north-south collision.”

No Place to Hide, by Glenn Greenwald. In his new book, journalist Glenn Greenwald takes a detailed look at government snooping and tells the story of working with Edward Snowden to leak classified NSA documents.

Why Meditate: Working with Thoughts and Emotions, by Matthieu Ricard. Ricard, now a monk but once a biochemist, presents a clear guide to how to meditate.

Fascinating regions

Bolivar, by Marie Arana. The biographer and critic’s latest book follows Simón Bolívar’s career and life, from his campaign to liberate Colombia and Venezuela to his love affairs.

Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, by Elizabeth Pisani. Pisani’s new book explores Indonesia in all its richness and contradiction.

The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-2011, by Misha Glenny. Glenny offers a comprehensive look at the history of the Balkans.

Big global problems

Migration and Remittances During the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond, edited by Dilip Ratha, Ibrahim Sirkeci and Jeffrey H. Cohen. In their 2012 book, the authors investigate the impact of the financial crisis on migrants from developing countries.

The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS, by Elizabeth Pisani. Wielding wit and political incorrectness, Pisani takes a bold look at how governments are reluctant to fund effective HIV prevention.

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, by Misha Glenny. The journalist unleashes a shocking fact—that domestic trade accounts for an estimated one-fifth of the global gross domestic product. In a feat of reporting, he then takes us inside some of those illegal economies.

Global stability

Cops Across Borders, by Ethan Nadelmann. The drug policy reformer’s book, originally published in 1994, examines the United States’ role in international law enforcement.

Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention, by Séverine Autesserre. The political scientist’s book, which came out earlier this year, examines peacebuilding interventions.

Stabilization Operations, Security and Development: States of Fragility, edited by Robert Muggah. Muggah, a specialist in security and development, offers a review of international stabilization efforts.

Rights, Resources and the Politics of Accountability, edited by Joanna Wheeler and Peter Newell. This 2006 book examines ways in which marginalized groups mobilize to fight for their rights.


Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi. This debut novel, published last year, follows a long-dispersed family as they gather in Ghana following their father’s death.



Before They Pass Away, by Jimmy Nelson. The photographer documents over 30 remote tribes in more than 500 images.

Vik Muniz: Le Musée Imaginaire, by Vik Muniz and Eric Mézil. This volume accompanied a show in which Muniz, an artist, responded to the Collection Lambert in Avignon.

The Forces in Architecture, by Alejandro Aravena. The architect takes a technical look at his field in a book designed for architecture students and professionals.


Novel Plant Bioresources, by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. A biodiversity scientist presents a comprehensive resource for understanding under-utilized plant species.

Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines—and How It Will Change Our Lives, by Miguel Nicolelis. The neuroscientist explores how the brain creates thought, and the role machines will play in this process.

Measuring and Modeling the Universe, Volume 2, edited by Wendy L. Freedman. The astronomer’s 2010 textbook covers theories on the evolution of the universe.

Gastrointestinal Imaging Cases, by Jorge A. Soto, Stephen Anderson and Christine Menias. This 2013 textbook surveys more than 150 gastrointestinal cases.

The environment

Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Ocean, edited by Fabien Cousteau. This beautifully illustrated book dives into the ocean’s mysteries.

The Shaman’s Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest, by Mark Plotkin and Lynne Cherry. Plotkin and his coauthor focus on one boy’s quest to become a tribal shaman.

Antarctica 2041: My Quest to Save the Earth’s Last Wilderness, by Robert Swan. Swan, a polar explorer and environmentalist, looks at the state of the earth in light of the looming deadline of 2041, when the treaty protecting Antarctica is up for review.

Business and philanthropy

Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, and Simone Ahuja. Radjou and his coauthors examine how to drive innovation in an increasingly unpredictable business landscape via jugaad, Hindi for a clever improvised solution.

Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World, by Michael Green and Matthew Bishop. The social progress expert and his coauthor look at the way billionaires are reshaping philanthropy.

The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works, by Ricardo Semler. Semler argues for employee satisfaction over corporate goals in this classic book, published a decade ago.