Book Reviews

  • Susan Moeller
    Blackwell Publishing, 2009
    ISBN:

    “Packaging Terrorism” investigates how American media have identified and covered international terrorism and violence since September 11, 2001.  It compares US coverage with that of British and Arab media and discusses the priorities, assumptions, political debates, deadline pressures and bottom-line considerations that will continue to influence coverage in the future. The author also suggests how terrorism could be better covered by the media in the future.

  • Amar Bhidé
    Princeton University Press, 2008
    ISBN:978-0-691-13517-5

    An old saying goes, “It doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, but how we play the game,” and the same goes for policymakers and business executives who hope to spur innovation. Innovation that sustains prosperity is more likely in a connected rather than an isolated or restricted world, explains Columbia professor Amar Bhidé in “The Venturesome Economy.” Trying too hard, limiting options, competing by excluding others - all can backfire. Like it or not, businesses and users are in a great adventure in pursuit of easy and best practices, otherwise known as innovation. In her review, Susan Froetschel notes that globalization and innovation go hand in hand.

  • Kishore Mahbubani
    New York: Public Affairs, 2008
    ISBN:978-1-58648-466-8

    Rapid modernization contributes to the rise of Asia in terms of economic and social power, and Kishore Mahbubani’s book, “The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East,” documents that rise. Mahbubani, dean and professor with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the National University of Singapore, explains why it’s in the best interest of the democratic West and global institutions to accommodate additional power centers and even celebrate an increasing number of responsible stakeholders in world affairs. Fair distribution of power and global democracy can contribute to a more stable and peaceful world.

  • Olivier Roy
    New York: Columbia University Press, 2008
    ISBN:978-0-231-70032-0

    The vision of a Muslim world united under the banner of Islam and storming the West makes no sense, posits Olivier Roy, research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research, in his book “The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East.” And any policy that presumes such a plan is in play makes no sense either. By declaring a global war on terror, the West inadvertently raised the status of terrorists and failed to prioritize the Middle East’s many separate conflicts. Citizens of the West repeatedly fall prey to politicians who inflate enemies as a distraction for other problems or support groups that work against the long-term interests of democracy or stability - and in her review, Susan Froetschel notes that Roy must be more explicit in explaining the reasons behind the chaos of the Middle East for those readers.

  • Bruce Mazlish, Nayan Chanda and Kenneth Weisbrode
    Stanford University Press, 2007
    ISBN:978-0-8047-5156-8

    The US presided over much of the technological innovation that spurred globalization throughout the 20th century. Yet Americans remain wary about the international influence and global governance. “The Paradox of a Global US,” edited by Bruce Mazlish, Nayan Chanda and Kenneth Weisbrode analyzes the simultaneous US pursuit and hesitation about global connections in politics, religion, media, foreign affairs and security. In her review, Susan Froetschel suggests that the US might have more to fear from its own way of handling globalization than the phenomenon itself.

  • Peter Chapman
    New York: Canongate, 2007
    ISBN:978-1-84195-881-1

    The United Fruit Company was one of the world’s most controversial multinational companies and journalist Peter Chapman explores the company’s dramatic history, politics and cultural influence in his book “Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World.” Chapman targets not only the reckless corporate leaders and corrupt politicians who boosted the company’s stature - but also blames globalization. In her review, Susan Froetschel suggests that the public that becomes fascinated with certain products - then takes them for granted, regardless of political or environmental costs - also bears some responsibility.

  • Nayan Chanda
    New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007
    ISBN:978-0-3001-1201-6

    Globalization, the process of growing interconnectedness, is not a new phenomenon. All that’s new is the ease and speed of the connections. In his book, Nayan Chanda, editor of YaleGlobal Online, follows the exploits of historical traders, preachers, adventurers and warriors in shaping our world, and identifies their modern counterparts at work today. The categories provide insights into globalization’s ongoing process, and Paul Freedman, chair of the Department of History at Yale University, points out how Chanda’s background as an international journalist allows for perceptive observations at both the personal and global levels. Describing Chanda’s analysis as both exciting and sobering, Freedman also ponders why globalization has failed to penetrate some of the poorest places of the world, emphasizing that, despite unprecedented opportunities, the world is still inequitable.

  • in the New Global Economy
    London: Zed Books, 2007
    ISBN:978-I-84277-852-4

    Unprecedented flows of migrant workers, a result of economic liberalization, characterize the start of the 21st century. Toby Shelley, journalist with the Financial Times, documents how a global economy has come to depend on a work force that endures low wages as well as abuse from employers and governments in his book, “Exploited: Migrant Labour in the New Global Economy.” Shelley argues that a tough “law and order” approach sanctions the abuse, and this review points to the need for a long and specific plan of action that touches many social bases.

  • William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm
    New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007
    ISBN:978-0-300-10941-2

    Capitalism is not a simple monolithic system and comes in more than one form: entrepreneurial, big firms, state-directed and oligarchic. Some forms are better than others at delivering innovation, opportunity, economic growth and wealth, argue authors William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm in their book “Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity.” In a review, Susan Froetschel points out how nations must take care to avoid the forms that encourage greed, inequality and complacency rather than the passion for innovation and solving problems that confront the globe.

  • Chris Alden
    London: Zed Books, with the International African Institute, Royal African Society, Social Science Research Council, 2007
    ISBN:978-1-84277-864-7

    China as an emerging power has focused foreign-policy attention on Africa - in search of natural resources and markets for its manufactured goods. Yet the continent is complex and China is not limited to one role, explains Morgan Robinson in her review of “China in Africa,” written by Chris Alden, a senior lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Robinson concludes that the relationships between governments and people have evolved in multiple ways, and points out how grassroots interactions, rather than symbolic gestures, will determine China’s destiny in Africa.