Excerpts from the ten best books in our library this year.
By The Globalist, December 29, 2013
1. The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam by Akbar Ahmed (Brookings)
How U.S. Drones Miss Their Target
Just as the drone is an appropriate metaphor for the current age of globalization, the thistle captures the essence of tribal societies.
2. The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State by Zhang Weiwei (World Century)
America’s Consumer Democracy Versus China’s Modern Mandarinate
Could the Western democratic system only a transitory phenomenon in the long history of humankind?
3. The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig (Princeton)
The Emperors of Banking Have No Clothes
Why have bank lobbyists been so successful in stymieing efforts to rein in banking, despite the massive fallout from the global financial crisis?
4. Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century by Patrick Smith (Yale)
Was America Ever Exceptional?
How it hurts a nation that cannot distinguish between strength and power.
5. Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility by Robert Kuttner (Knopf)
Macroeconomic Mercy and German History
Why Germany should show more generosity toward eurozone countries in crisis.
6. The Locust and The Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism’s Future by Geoff Mulgan (Princeton)
Time Rather Than Money
What is the ultimate goal for economic life?
7. Inside Out, India and China: Local Politics Go Global by William J. Antholis (Brookings)
Forget Beijing and Delhi: When Diplomacy Goes Local
How to conduct global diplomacy with local power centers.
8. The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World by Kishore Mahbubani (PublicAffairs)
Why the United Nations Is Kept Weak
Is the West underestimating the value of the trust that the UN enjoys in the hearts and minds of the rest of the world’s population?
9. Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government by Joshua Kurlantzick (Yale)
Democracy Goes into Reverse
Western leaders more or less unthinkingly assume that democracy will eventually triumph worldwide. Are they wrong?
10. Keystone XL: Down the Line by Steven Mufson (TED Conferences/Washington Post)
Road Tripping Down the Keystone Pipeline
How do we reconcile the growth of oil sands with the fact that we’re entering a carbon-constrained future?