The story of Mark Zuckerberg and his creation of Facebook, the global social network and revolution in personal communications, The Social Network is compelling viewing. Zuckerberg has become the youngest billionaire in history. But for this young entrepreneur, as this film laced with scathing wit and aching sadness vividly illustrates, success can also lead to dramatic personal and legal complications. Directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network was also Roger Ebert’s selection for the best film of the year. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. Available in the Silverman Library Multimedia Collection (DVD 2698: PN1997.2 .S63 2011).
The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West’s rise to power in the 19th century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the 20th century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?
Ian Morris’ Why the West Rules-For Now: the patterns of history, and what they reveal about the future is a timely selection reflecting today’s headlines. The book won several literary awards, including the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction, and was named as one of the books of the year by Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy,The New York Times, and a number of other newspapers. It has been translated into 13 languages. Available in the Lockwood Library Book Collection (CB251 .M68 2011) and also on circulating Kindle e-readers.
Both selections are part of our 48 Good Books and 48 Good Films initiatives; titles on these lists were chosen by UB faculty and staff members of the Undergraduate Academies Council to reflect the themes of the five Academies: Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Perspectives, Research Exploration and Sustainability. Think of them as “unrequired” reading and viewing suggestions.