New Books Of Interest, March/April 2017.

Author:Pearson, Margaret
Position:Books of Interest - Book review

March/April 2017

Global Adventures on Less Traveled Roads: A Foreign Service Memoir By James R. Billington

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order

By Richard Haass

Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power

By Howard W. French

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

By Rosa Brooks

The EURO: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe

By Joseph E. Stiglitz

A Year at the Edge of the Jungle, A Congo Memoir: 1963-1964

By Frederic Hunter

A Great Place to Have a War

By Joshua Kurlantzick

Global Adventures on Less Traveled Roads: A Foreign Service Memoir

James R. Billington

January 10, 2017

334 pages

ISBN/EAN13: 1540790398/ 978-1540790392

This autobiographical memoir traces Foreign Service Officer Jim Bullington's journey along less-traveled roads from redneck roots to a career as a diplomat and U.S. Ambassador. His adventures include challenging segregation as a college newspaper editor in Alabama; three tours of duty as a "warrior diplomat" in Vietnam; service in exotic posts in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa; a job as municipal Foreign Minister for the City of Dallas; six years as Peace Corps Director in Niger; and post-retirement recall to diplomatic duty in Senegal to help end a 30-year insurgency. The book recounts his personal as well as professional life, including his marriage to Tuy-Cam following their narrow escape from behind North Vietnamese lines during the 1968 Tet Offensive. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at the practice of American diplomacy, featuring struggles with Washington bureaucrats as well as hostile foreign leaders.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jim Bullington is a graduate of Auburn, Harvard, and the Army War College. His 45-year career in diplomacy and international affairs included 22 years working abroad. In retirement, he is a writer, speaker in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order

Richard Haass

Penguin Press, January 10, 2017, 352 pages

[Text unreadable in original source.]

ISBN: 978-03995-62365

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world's strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China's rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world's most stable region, is now anything but. As Richard Haass explains, the election of Donald Trump and the unexpected vote for "Brexit" signals that many in modern democracies reject important aspects of globalization, including borders open to trade and immigrants.

In A World in Disarray, Haass argues for an updated global operating system "call it world order 2.0" that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. One critical element of this adjustment will be adopting a new approach to sovereignty, one that embraces its obligations and responsibilities as well as its rights and protections. Haass also details how the U.S. should act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He suggests, too, what the country should do to address...

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