Summer 2021 Reading List
This summer, gain fresh perspectives through books by Fletcher authors. We've put together reviews of recent titles by Fletcher alumni to help you choose.
Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India
Though India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, talks a lot about his country’s emerging role in the global tech economy, the idea of Indian modernization of course goes back decades and is complicated by its use as a political tool. Arun Mohan Sukumar, F13, head of the Technology Initiative at the think tank Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi and a current doctoral student at Fletcher, dives deep into this largely failed history and its players in this erudite work. Sukumar takes as his starting point India’s 1947 independence from Great Britain.
In this book, ostensibly for children, Susan Banki, F01, F07, tells a story in rhyme of a “big orange lion” who one day appears in Catland to tinker with the cats’ “enormous machine,” a purple contraption that looks suspiciously like the U.S. Capitol. The lion believes the machine’s “a check on his power,” blocking the attention and control he seeks. “In no time he nearly destroyed the machine,” Banki writes, “declaring each day that his own paws were clean.” If this is starting to sound familiar, you won’t be surprised to find the lion had “partners to drum up great fear, with mad tweeting birds and a fox in his ear.” No spoilers here but suffice it to say Banki ends on a hopeful note. Her husband, Joshua McConnell, contributes colorful, spot-on illustrations.
Walking in Circles: Finding Happiness in Lost Japan
Every year, thousands of henro (pilgrims) travel the four prefectures of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, visiting 88 temples on a 750-mile route. Not many of them do it on foot, but this book chronicles the second time travel writer and international development pro Todd Wassel, F06, took on that challenge. At a crossroads in his life, having finished grad school with no clear idea of a career path, he slept outside during the rainy season to “find” himself. His account of the monthlong journey is filled with verbal snapshots of engaging characters, hardships, and small triumphs that he says have ultimately freed him from the expectations of Western culture.
Ignore the Hype: Financial Strategies Beyond the Media-Driven Mayhem
In his first book, From Piggybank to Portfolio, Brian Perry, F09, executive vice president at Pure Financial Advisors in California, introduced newbies to the concepts of money management. In this new one, he continues in the easygoing writing style that makes complicated concepts seem simple but talks to a larger audience, which includes not only novices but also those who have been in the markets for a while. He shows readers how to play even though the game is rigged, spot fallacies and biases that may be holding them back, and, perhaps most crucially, “survive a bear attack.”
RE:Constitutions: Connecting Citizens with the Rules of the Game
Beka Feathers, F10, a legal advisor who has worked in more than a dozen countries, often helping to draft constitutions, uses simple, conversational language and examples from around the globe to explain the bedrock of citizenship in graphic novel style. She conveys the ideas through the story of Marcus, a young American who must write a paper on “what citizenship means” in order to get college credit for his summer volunteer work. As he talks to the book’s many other characters, Marcus comes to understand how important a constitution is to so many aspects of daily life, including fair representation. With inviting illustrations of family and neighborhood life by Polish cartoonist and political activist Kasia Babis.
Strategy on the Sustainability Frontier: Creating Business Value and Contributing to a Better World
Gregory Unruh, F99, the sustainability editor at MIT Sloan Management Review and the Arison Endowed Professor of Values Leadership at George Mason University, traces the start of sustainability values driving business practices to 1995, when Greenpeace upended Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to scuttle an oil rig in the North Sea by raising a massive fuss. Now, he writes, pressures from both civil society and the market require businesses to innovate for a sustainable future. This book is a guide to making and keeping sustainable businesses profitable through six C’s, each the name of a chapter: clarity, commit, create, collaborate, capture, and contribute.
I Am Sophia
This first novel, from J.F. Alexander, F00, writer-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in San Jose, California, is set in a future extrapolated from current trends: Society is almost completely secular, with even greater income disparities and political fragmentation than we have today, more ecological challenges, and continued problems with addiction (to technology rather than opioids). The story follows Peter, the leader of a fringe religious group, as he contemplates what to make of Sophia, a woman who may be mentally ill or may be the messiah. A sci-fi twist takes the pair to a colony on the planet Meres, where their lives intersect with those of 10-year-old Russ and his family, who have emigrated to escape the troubles on Earth.
A Beard Cut Short: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Professor Clipped by a Slip of #MeToo
When writer Todd Neff, F00, was doing his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, he got to know John Rubadeau, an award-winning senior lecturer in English whom he describes on his website as his “writing teacher and eternal mentor and friend.” In 2018, the beloved but irreverent professor was fired after more than three decades of service, a controversial decision that the union for non-tenure-track faculty opposed. At the time, Neff and Rubadeau were beginning a collaboration on a Strunk and White–style book, which instead became YouTube’s Grammar Geezers, while Neff turned Rubadeau’s story into this thought-provoking biography/memoir of confrontational speech versus changing campus sensibilities.
Welcome to Blackwater: Mercenaries, Money and Mayhem in Iraq
In 2007, when 17 Iraqi civilians were killed and 20 more injured in Baghdad’s Nisour Square by four Blackwater Security Consulting employees, Americans were suddenly introduced to the shadowy world of private military contractors. Morgan Lerette, F13, who worked for Blackwater for 18 months starting in 2004, goes beyond the headlines in this memoir, which focuses less on the war on terror or the questions raised by hiring mercenaries and more on the day-to-day lives of Blackwater staff. The men bond over prostitutes, porn, getting wasted, and swearing a lot. There are some touching and horrifying moments and plenty of insight into the generally lawless atmosphere, but what the book really illuminates is how some men can act when polite society isn’t watching.
Populism and Trade: The Challenge to the Global Trading System
Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and smaller global economic shockwaves signal that trade liberalization, piloted by U.S.-led multilateral trade rules developed after World War II, “appears now to have run its course” for the time being, according to Kent Jones, F79, a professor of economics at Babson College. In this timely book, he explores the impact of protectionism and suggests the ways education and economic and institutional reforms may be able to “break the populist fever” and usher in a return to the more global policies needed to address issues like the pandemic, which are an unavoidable part of the modern world.
The Prophet’s Heir: The Life of Ali Ibn Abi Talib
Ali Ibn Abi Talib was a cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad as well as his “most trusted person and strongest defender,” according to Hassan Abbas, F02, F08. Ali would become caliph a quarter-century after Muhammad’s death, but the battle over whether he was the prophet’s true spiritual successor would cause a permanent rift—between Sunnis and Shiites—in the world’s second-largest religion. In this scholarly biography, which at times reads like a novel, Abbas looks at both sides of the argument and reveals Ali’s legacy and teachings amid the politics that often overtook them.
Have you published a book, directed a film, or launched a podcast recently? Or are you about to release one soon? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This winter, cozy up with a book by a Fletcher author, watch a film by a graduate of the school, or listen to podcasts produced by people with ties to our community of global affairs scholars and practitioners. We've put together reviews of a selection of recent books and other creations by Fletcher professors and alumni to help you choose.
Courting Migrants: How States Make Diasporas and Diasporas Make States
Turkey, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the Philippines all have long histories of migration, regime change, and democratic fragility. KATRINA BURGESS, an associate professor of political economy at Fletcher, uses the four countries’ cases to bring together these themes and examine the complex interplay between states and diasporas, asking how homeland conditions create dispersal and migrants, in turn, transform the state.
Before They Cut the Ivy
TATIANA ANDROSOV (F80) wrote this book in 1969 and 1970, right after she graduated from Mount Holyoke, and finally published it for her fiftieth reunion. It steps back in time to follow the fortunes of four friends from their first day at the Seven Sisters school until the day that three of them graduate. Also this year, Androsov released the novella Mangoes and Blood, which takes place on a single evening in the 1970s, when a young Austrian woman and her fellow partygoers are taken hostage at a fancy reception in an unnamed East African city.
Do Good at Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing
BEA BOCCALANDRO (F89) brings her experience as founder of a global consulting firm to this guide. In it, she shows how to get the most out of work by adding as little as five minutes a week of “social purpose” activity in ways as simple as mentoring other workers and being “kinder than necessary” to clients. Anecdotes from administrative assistants, Fed Ex drivers, celebrities, and the author’s own father help make this personal-fulfillment roadmap an easy read.
Homegrown: ISIS in America
Co-written by current Fletcher student BENNETT CLIFFORD (F21), this highly readable yet research-packed book—which draws from official documents, court cases, social media posts, and interviews with ISIS members and law enforcement officials—is key to understanding how so many Americans have gotten involved in jihadist activity in the past five years. It’s essential for anyone trying to understand the current moment.
Shocking the Conscience of Humanity: Gravity and the Legitimacy of International Criminal Law
In this erudite tome, MARGARET M. deGUZMAN (F96) a law professor at Temple University, asks what it takes to justify special rules of jurisdiction, process, and punishment for crimes so grave as to be shocking. The concept of gravity is insufficiently researched, she argues, though it permeates international criminal law, and reconceptualizing it to align the popular understanding of the term with its legal realities can “better support the long-term legitimacy” of such laws.
Two Thumbs Up: Hitching Rides from Southern California to East Berlin
This memoir of a hitchhiking trip two college kids—one of them author RAYMOND DUNCAN (F62 & F64)—embarked on in the mid-1950s is fun and fast-paced. The pair leave California with $300, their passports, tickets to cross the Atlantic by sea, and 10 days to get to New York. Their adventures—by motorcycle once they hit the continent—take them from small-town USA to the most storied cities of Europe and finally, to Cold War East Berlin, with several harrowing stops along the way.
Destined to Serve
This autobiography follows the life of two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and educator JOHN E. ENDICOTT (F73 & F74). The story moves from his birth in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1936, through World War II and his years in government service during the conflicts that followed it, to his current post as president of South Korea’s Woosong University, giving a behind-the-scenes perspective of both international events and academia.
Diversity and Inclusion in Global Higher Education: Lessons from Across Asia
Edited by NANCY W. GLEASON (F07 & F11) and Catherine Shea Sanger, these essays “detail significant trends in active learning pedagogy, writing programs, language acquisition, and implications for teaching in the liberal arts, adult learners, girls and women, and Confucian heritage communities.” A must-read for educators, administrators, policymakers, and development professionals in Asian countries.
To Rule Eurasia’s Waves: The New Great Power Competition at Sea
Climate change isn’t just about the environment. It’s also going to have wide-ranging implications for global politics, particularly as China, Russia, and India increasingly gain on the U.S. in terms of international commerce and military capabilities. In this carefully researched book, GEOFFREY F. GRESH (F07 & F11) points to maritime Eurasia as a center of strategic activity as the melting of the polar ice cap heats up the competition for newly exposed natural resources.
The World’s Westward March: Explorers, Warriors, and Statesmen
One of today’s hottest topics is China’s challenge to Western hegemony, but there was a time when the tables were turned. In this fascinating account of how commerce, communication, innovation, and political dominance moved from East to West, PETER F. KROGH (F61 & F66) covers a lot of ground, touching on Leif Ericson, Genghis Khan, the Medieval plague years, the age of exploration, and the Founding Fathers before coming full circle back to China and Deng Xiaoping.
So You Want to Be a Diplomat? An American Diplomat’s Progress from Vietnam to Iran, Fun, Warts and All
By GEORGE LAMBRAKIS (F69) a career diplomat who has worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, this book is less the how-to guide its title might suggest and more an inside peek into the Foreign Service life from one who lived it to its fullest. More than two dozen photographs and three appendices supplement the author’s tales of adventure and history-making world events.
Battle Tested! Gettysburg Leadership Lessons for 21st Century Leaders
JEFFREY D. McCAUSLAND (F81 & F84) and co-author Tom Vossler analyze crucial junctures in the strategy at Gettysburg—the largest battle ever fought in North America—not only for their place in history but for what contemporary business leaders can take from them. Vignettes come to life through photographs and maps, and each is followed by a group of “leadership moment” questions for readers to ponder and a detailed section on what can be learned by the actions of the men involved, providing a unique perspective for today’s executives.
Raising a Thief
This well-written memoir recounts the struggle PAUL PODOLSKY (F96) and his wife had with the daughter they adopted from a Russian orphanage as a toddler after the state removed her from her severely neglectful biological mother. From the beginning Sonya exhibited strange behaviors, and her eventual diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder explains her behavioral issues and inability to show love, empathy, or remorse, leaving the family no choice but to confront the most difficult decision of their lives.
Terror by Error? The Covid Chronicles
Since COVID-19 was first discovered, rumors have flown that it “escaped” from a Wuhan lab. WILLIAM SARGENT (F71) author of several books on science and the environment, considers the possibility through the lens of history, looking at times that medicine and biological warfare have intersected, from Native Americans encountering smallpox in the early 1600s to the early-2000s SARS epidemic. In the second part of the book he turns toward COVID-19 and its impacts.
Exploring the Philosophy of R. G. Collingwood: From History and Method to Art and Politics
This third book from PETER SKAGESTAD (F85) who has taught philosophy at several prestigious colleges and universities, is an astute analysis of the life and philosophy of R.G. Collingwood, the English philosopher, historian, and archaeologist. Collingwood died in 1943 at age 43 little known outside his fields of study but influential within them—and is still relevant today, Skagestad proposes, particularly for his “prescient warning of the rise of populism in the 21st century.”
Muskeget: Raw, Restless, Relentless Island
This updated edition of a beautifully illustrated coffee-table book originally published in 2015 explores every aspect of Muskeget, a speck of land off Nantucket. The father of former Murrow Center director CROCKER SNOW JR (F68) bought about half of the island’s 250 or so acres with two friends in the late 1940s, so no one is more qualified to dissect its terrain, endemic and native species, and quirky recent human history.
A Delinquent’s Detour
Talk about turning your life around. This autobiography from ROY A. STACY (F70) starts dramatically, with his witnessing, as a child growing up in Oahu, the attack on Pearl Harbor. Several years later his family left Hawaii for California, where life was difficult and despite his mother’s best efforts, Stacy was heading for a life of crime. When he joined the Air Force to avoid going to jail, it changed his life, turning him toward academics and eventually a career in international development.
The Biosphere Rules: Nature's Five Circularity Secrets to Sustainable Profits
In the past few decades we’ve come to see the value of sustainability in business, but it’s hard for successful companies to “break free from the linear, take-make-waste industrial model,” says GREGORY UNRUH (F99). He proposes using principles that account for the sustainability of the earth’s biosphere—materials parsimony, value cycling, power autonomy, sustainable product platforms, and function over form—as a basis for a new business model, proactively pursuing creative destruction to get a jump on the changes to come.
Regional Renaissance: How New York’s Capital Region Became a Nanotechnology Powerhouse
For decades upstate New York—prosperous until the mid-20th century—suffered an economic decline that was beginning to seem immutable. But in this scholarly work CHARLES W. WESSNER (F70 & F81), and co-author Thomas R. Howell use Albany and its surrounding towns as a case study in how technology can combine with entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment to spur economies and transform development.
Living on Little
The genesis of this book was a project JULIE ZOLLMAN (F10) worked on in Kenya in 2012 using the “financial diaries” method, which gathers data on the economic lives of poor households through bimonthly interviews for a year. She presents her research on the topic by broadening individual Kenyans’ case studies into chapters encompassing “looking for money,” “managing money,” healthcare, interactions with government, the financial situations of women and children, and “stories of achievement and aspiration.”
Letters to Eloísa
This film, from independent documentary maker ADRIANA BOSCH (F80 & F84) tied for the Audience Achievement Award at the Miami International Film Festival and was one of the highlights of Latino international film festivals in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Diego. It tells the story of the Cuban poet, novelist, and essayist José Lezama Lima, who died in 1976 a legend among Latin American writers. The documentary includes film clips, interviews, and letters he wrote to his sister (read by Alfred Molina). With music by Arturo Sandoval, the film is, according to Bosch, “a manifesto about freedom.” It is expected to air on PBS sometime in 2021.
African Voices, African Arguments
ALEX DE WAAL, research professor and executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Fletcher, hosts this podcast, which “features African scholars, writers, policymakers, and activists on issues of peace, justice, and democracy.” It is presented in partnership with African Arguments and Tufts' Institute for Global Leadership. (online)
Hosted by MICHAEL KLEIN, William L. Clayton Professor of International Economic Affairs at Fletcher, this weekly podcast on key economic issues is an offshoot of the online publication EconoFact, of which Klein is executive editor. Guests have included members of the Council of Economic Advisers and the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, the chief economist at the IMF, and reporters on the economics beat, such as Binyamin Appelbaum. “Many of the people I have interviewed are friends, and it has been really nice to get a chance to make public the kind of discussions we often have in private,” says Klein. (Apple, Google, Spotify, SoundCloud, online)
KRISTEN RAINEY (F06) based in Bozeman, Montana, hosts this podcast “about rest and rejuvenation, unplugging from technology, transitions, and transformations, and spending time and energy on the things that really matter to you.” (Apple, Google, Spotify, online)
Revolution at Sea
Fletcher Professor Emeritus JOHN PERRY'S podcast is based on his popular Global Maritime History class. “Revolution at Sea invites listeners to embark on a wondrous exploration of the human history of the sea as a resource, avenue, and arena.” JAMIE ROSENBERG (F13) and ALBERT BUIXADE FARRE (F13) assisted in the development of the podcast. (Apple, Google, Spotify, and online)
TwentyTwenty: Your Podcast for (Un)Precedented Times
This eight-episode podcast, the first from the geopolitical risk-assessment publication Foreign Brief (in partnership with the Fletcher Forum), is about “how the events of 2020 have accelerated global trends, and made the world’s challenges, like authoritarianism, soft power, data privacy, and the future of work, more visible.” ELIZABETH DYKSTRA McCARTHY (F21) is the podcast’s creator and executive director and MAX KLAVER (A19 & F21) its managing editor, but a half-dozen other Tufts students and alumni have worked on it too. Well worth a listen. (Apple, Breaker, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Radio Public, Pocket Cats, online)
Have you published a book, directed a film, or launched a podcast recently? Or are you about to release one soon? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.
As summer winds down and you look for ways to extend those warm days on the beach or the porch, we've put together reviews of a selection of recent books by Fletcher professors and alumni to keep you reading.
Red Dress in Black and White
Award-winning writer ELLIOTT ACKERMAN, A03, F03, served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and has said he’s “always been interested in the intersection between the political and the personal.” In this, his third novel and fourth book, he revisits twenty-four hours in that space through the story of Catherine, an American looking to divorce her Turkish husband, Murat, a real estate developer, and move back to the U.S. with her son and her photographer lover. When Murat attempts to prevent her, he unwittingly exposes a web of deception and corruption in this intricately suspenseful yarn.
Transforming US Intelligence for Irregular War
How could the U.S. dismantle a terror organization of multiple independently operating networks that harnessed cutting-edge information technologies? U.S. intelligence operatives faced just this challenge when confronting Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In his latest book, Professor RICHARD SHULTZ, director of Fletcher's International Security Studies Program, traces the origin and rise of the Joint Special Operations Task Force (known as Task Force 714) and its cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies in tracking and eliminating Al-Qaeda’s leadership, destroying its infrastructure, and suppressing its insurgency through covert means. Shultz also explores the new challenges of the information era in intelligence collection and how U.S. intelligence agencies have evolved to meet them.
Toddler in Chief: What Donald Trump Teaches Us About the Modern Presidency
In this volume inspired by a Twitter thread, DANIEL DREZNER, a professor of international politics at Fletcher, comments on reports of President Trump’s behavior by his own staff and supporters. On Twitter, Drezner collected more than 1,000 instances in which an ally or subordinate of the president described him as if he were a toddler, with a short attention span, little self-control, and similar attributes. Such behavior is particularly troublesome in the nation’s chief executive now, Drezner argues, because presidential power has increased as the legislative and judicial branches have ceded authority to the White House since the 1980s. Drezner’s analysis will interest anyone concerned with the erosion of formal and informal checks on the presidency.
China and Intervention at the UN Security Council
In this scholarly work, COURTNEY J. FUNG, F12, an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Hong Kong and member of Fletcher’s Board of Advisors, focuses on China’s status, or standing in the international system. She argues that status is an often overlooked factor motivating the country’s foreign policy and its views on regime change and humanitarian intervention by the United Nations. By parsing Beijing’s behavior regarding interventions in Sudan, Libya, and Syria, Fung shows that status is not only a cause for conflict, as is commonly assumed, but also a “determinant for cooperation.” Her ideas provide an important foundation for anyone interested in the international relations of this rising global superpower.
Chosen: The First Book of The Beautiful Ones trilogy
Comprised of the volumes "Chosen," "Torn," and "United," the entire Beautiful Ones trilogy was released in June 2019, so you won’t have to wait to find out what happens next. Set more than a half-century in the future, the fast-paced adventure thrillers alternate chapters in the voices of Olivia, a British lawyer, and DeAnn, an American geneticist, rivals in a strange competition run by an organization called the Cassandra Programme. Tension builds as the two women realize their lives are at stake—and eventually that if they fail, millions of others will die as well—in this series by OM FAURE, F99, a futures expert and principal at SAMI Consulting in Newbury, England.
The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un
“The North Korean story isn’t just about nuclear weapons and long-range missiles,” writes CHUNG MIN LEE, F84, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an expert on Korean and East Asian security affairs. “It’s about 25 million people incarcerated in the world’s biggest jail.” Kim Jong Un is a figure of endless fascination for Americans—and has taken on even greater prominence in the age of Trump—partly because his actions and motivations are shrouded in mystery. Lee helps shed light on them here, concluding that all of the possible futures of Kim’s isolated, constrained, and despondent country “may end in a global humanitarian crisis.”
Breaking Protocol: America's First Female Ambassadors, 1933-1964
John Adams became the first ambassador for the newly formed United States in 1785, and for nearly a century and a half after that it was unthinkable that a woman could step into the role. Women were considered too emotional, unprepared for the potential dangers inherent in a foreign posting, and lacking the social contacts necessary for the job. Then, in 1933, the famously progressive Franklin Delano Roosevelt took a chance and appointed filmmaker and Florida Congresswoman Ruth Bryan Owen ambassador to Denmark and Iceland as part of his “new deal for women.” PHILIP NASH, F88, an associate professor of history at Penn State Shenango, ably tells her story, and those of five other pioneering women, here in engaging mini-biographies.
Re-Imagining America: Finding Hope in Difficult Times
America has become a place many no longer recognize, with democracy and the environment under siege and plutocrats running the show, argues CHRISTOPHER SCHAEFER, F65, F67, F69, a consultant and the founder of the Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts. Schaefer calls the current moment “the long emergency,” and has written this book of essays to analyze and solve, through radical social reform, the problems he says are destroying the earth and human well-being. Among his topics: 9/11, the crisis of Western capitalism, toxic excess, income inequality, oppression, and Donald Trump. With a foreword by writer and entrepreneur Eric Utne.
Partner with Purpose: Solving 21st Century Business Problems Through Cross-Sector Collaboration
In the 21st century, businesses are increasingly faced with complex, "wicked" problems--challenges with social and environmental dimensions they cannot solve on their own. This is especially common in the frontier markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet bloc. In many cases, the best solution is to create cross-sector partnerships with organizations from outside the business world--foundations, nonprofits, government agencies, and more. The resulting partnerships can generate business value as well as positive social impact, thereby benefiting companies and communities alike. "Partner With Purpose" by Steve Schmida, F04, is a step-by-step guide to planning, launching, and successfully maintaining cross-sector partnerships, illustrated with vivid real-life stories from the author's work with companies around the world.
What Remains: Bringing America’s Missing Home from the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War remains an unfinished chapter in the lives of 1,600 American families whose loved ones—along with more than 300,000 Vietnamese—were never accounted for when the fighting stopped. In this, her third war-related book, SARAH E. WAGNER, F02, an associate professor of anthropology at George Washington University, brings to life the stories of some of these young men, seen in poignant photographs. She also describes the work of the forensic scientists still working to identify the missing from bare slivers of remains, and visits the families grappling with their return a half-century after their loved ones left home to risk the ultimate sacrifice.
How Luxury Conquered the World: The Inside Story of its Pioneers
As a former European luxury goods correspondent for Reuters, ASTRID WENDLANDT, F99, author of two previous books published in French, is in a unique position to observe and analyze a world many readers will only ever dream about. The luxury industry would not exist, the author writes, “if we did not nurture irrational needs,” yet it generates $1.3 trillion in worldwide sales. Here, Wendlandt profiles legendary luxury goods executives—along with the late Karl Lagerfeld, longtime creative director of Chanel—to gain insights into leadership and the origins, symbolism, and future of luxury.
Turkey and America: East & West - Where the Twain Meet
In this exhaustive, 600-page volume, investment banker, historian, and noted expert on Turkey and the Middle East HENRY P. WILLIAMS III, F74, an adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, distills his lecture series and transports the reader “from East to West, across the centuries, juxtaposing geography and discovery, politics and war, religion and arts, terrorism, key figures, and human triumph,” as he writes in his preface. The book starts with the Pentateuch and the Koran and goes right up to 2016, touching on religion, history, commerce, law, leadership, nationalism, civil rights and minorities in both countries, immigration, and more. It’s a lot to cover, but for those interested in the two countries, it’s a must read.
Have you published a book this year? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As 2019 comes to a close, we've put together reviews of a selection of recent books, authored by alumni and staff, to add to your Fletcher-inspired holiday reading list.
Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success
John Shalikashvili may not be a household name, but his story of becoming the first foreign-born chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—among several other career “firsts” he achieved—is one of the U.S. military’s more impressive. Andrew Marble (F94) gives that story its due in this nearly 400-page biography. “Shali,” as the general was called, was born to an aristocratic family that fled Poland after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, eventually landing in Illinois, penniless. How he rose to become such a powerful force in the U.S. military while somehow maintaining his humility and nice-guy status is the focus of this highly readable book, and Marble, who clearly spent thousands of hours researching his subject, makes the journey suspenseful and fun.
China’s Global Influence: Perspectives and Recommendations
Edited and with an introduction and a summary by current Fletcher Ph.D. student Scott D. McDonald and Michael C. Burgoyne, a military professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, this volume brings together ideas from a 2019 workshop at the center titled China’s Global Reach: A Security Assessment. It looks at the worldwide foreign policy strategies of the People’s Republic, as well as its “tools of influence”—including economic coercion, military diplomacy, technological innovation, and propaganda—and how they affect the U.S. The editors offer half a dozen policy recommendations.
Dad and Dunk in the Great War
This engaging story of two ordinary men who developed a lifelong friendship working side by side behind the front lines during World War I is told largely in their own words through diaries and letters. Jenifer Burckett-Picker, director of Fletcher's Ph.D. and MA programs in international relations, began uncovering this part of her late father’s life after opening a trunk of his WWI memorabilia that was stored in her basement. The result is a charming portrait of her father, Douglas Mellon Burckett, then an MIT student, and George Wylie Duncan, a young Montana Forest Service employee, as they go from basic training through their service in France and back to their post-war lives in the U.S.
The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth
Despite its somewhat depressing subtitle, this 23rd book from economist and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin (F68) offers hope in the form of a “parallel movement emerging within the business community” that isn’t waiting for politicians to catch up or for climate controversy to die down. “The marketplace is speaking,” Rifkin writes, and governments will soon have no choice but to adapt, when the fossil fuel bubble bursts. The Green New Deal, he concludes, is “the first call for a new kind of peer political movement and commons governance that can empower entire communities to take direct charge of their futures.”
Kissinger on Kissinger: Reflections on Diplomacy, Grand Strategy, and Leadership
In 2015 and 2016, former U.S. ambassador to China and NGO leader Winston Lord (F60) and former deputy national security advisor K.T. McFarland sat down with Henry Kissinger six times for videotaped interviews. The result of those sessions with the man who served as U.S. secretary of state and national security advisor under presidents Nixon and Ford is published here as a wide-ranging oral history covering statesmanship; relations with China, Russia, Vietnam, and the Middle East during the Nixon era; and foreign policy and strategy in general. Brief introductions to each chapter by Lord provide context. It’s a must-read for historical perspective on today’s international political situation.
Fletcher alum Ambassador Lord joined former interim Dean Ian Johnstone to discuss how his time at Fletcher prepared him for his experiences as a life-long diplomat, helping to inform his book about Kissinger. Watch here.
Red Star Over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy
This revised edition of a well-written, comprehensively researched book originally published in 2011 examines how the sea power of the People’s Republic will affect U.S. maritime strategy in light of what Chinese President Xi Jinping called his nation’s “greatest dream:” domestic and international prosperity, collective effort, and prominence on the world stage. Authors Toshi Yoshihara (F04) and James Holmes (F98) include Chinese-language sources and bring complementary experience to the table—Yoshihara’s as former chair of Asia-Pacific studies at the Naval War College and Holmes’s as the college’s chair of maritime strategy—to conclude that “China now presents a challenge to America’s strategic position of such magnitude that Washington must compete in earnest” or lose its advantage.
Reviews by Elizabeth Gehrman
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