Book Reviews

  • Michael Mandelbaum
    New York: Public Affairs, 2007
    ISBN:978-1-58648-514-6

    Democracy spread rapidly throughout the world during the 20th century. But that does not mean the system is free of risks. Michael Mandelbaum, a leading US foreign policy thinker, explores the history of democracy and the necessary conditions for its establishment in his book, “Democracy’s Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World’s Most Popular Form of Government.” In the book, Mandelbaum focuses on leadership and institutions. In her review, Susan Froetschel keys in on another remarkable aspect of democracy - the fact that large groups of people live with decisions that do not go their way.

  • 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.

  • Stephen Kinzer
    New York: Times Books, 2006
    ISBN:987-0-8050-7861-9

    Regime change has been an integral part of US foreign policy for more than 100 years. Stephen Kinzer tells the story of 14 interventions and coups, from deposing the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 to the Iraq invasion in 2003. Susan Froetschel examines the author’s narrative style, emphasizing how the expensive and disruptive operations may achieve US economic or political goals for the short term, but can pose devastating consequences generations later.

  • Michael Mandelbaum
    New York: Public Affairs, 2005
    ISBN:978-I-58648-360-9

    Michael Mandelbaum analyzes the US role as the world’s sole superpower, providing global security as a government service. The US may not continue that role for long though. The biggest threat comes not from rival countries but rather the US public, no longer willing to pay the costs. In this review, Susan Froetschel highlights the author’s approach to understanding the US role in the world order.

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz
    New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2003
    ISBN:0-393-05124-2

    “This book recounts Stiglitz’s experiences, opening a window on previously unseen aspects of global economic policy. It is designed to provoke a healthy debate and… shows us in poignant terms why developing nations feel the economic deck is stacked against them.”

    Click here for a critique from the IMF

  • Amy Chua
    New York: Doubleday, 2003
    ISBN:0-385-50302-4

    In her recent book, World on Fire, Yale University professor Amy Chua argues that it is the resentment of long-standing minority domination that has so much of the world’s citizens ready to take up arms. Pat Sewell examines the author’s contentions and assesses her sweeping proposals for solving the most challenging problem facing global society since the Second World War.

  • Niall Ferguson
    New York: Basic Books, 2003
    ISBN:0-465-02328-2

    In the lead up to the invasion of Iraq - and especially with the difficulties the US has encountered since - there is a renewed interest in the historical experience of past imperial efforts. Not surprisingly, the publication of British historian Niall Ferguson’s provocative history of the British Empire has aroused special interest. In this review of the book, noted historian and World Systems theorist Immanuel Wallerstein focuses on Ferguson’s defense of the British Empire.

  • Stan Liebowitz
    New York: Amacom, 2003
    ISBN:0814406491

    Rethinking the Network Economy examines exactly where, how, and why so many e-commerce firms went wrong, and how, utilizing traditional economic concepts, businesses can build the foundation for success in the future.

  • Medard Gabel & Henry Bruner
    New York: The New Press, 2003
    ISBN:1-56584-727-X

    One of the major agents of globalization - the multinational corporation - has been alternately portrayed as global villain and global economic booster. In “Global Inc.”, a new “atlas of the multinational corporation” by Medard Gabel and Henry Bruner, companies with an extensive global reach are subjected to a more objective critical eye. In this review article, Nayan Chanda highlights the authors’ somewhat surprising data and assesses the book’s significance for globalization studies.