A History of Iran; Empire of the Mind. Michael Axeworthy, Basic Books, 2008. Reviewed by Graham Mulligan The division between nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples and settled, crop-growing agriculturalists, created a tension that drives history. Nomadic wealth was in livestock, which meant it was moveable and they could escape threats or attack. By contrast peasant farmers were vulnerable, especially at harvest time, when the accumulated value of a year’s work could
India; The Road Ahead, Mark Tully, Random House, 2011 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan The author was born in India and worked as the BBC Bureau Chief for twenty-two years. This book examines a number of themes ranging form politics, caste, religion, culture, business, history and tigers. Each chapter begins with a short essay introduction to a theme, setting a context for the personal stories that follow, as Tully
Shock of Gray, Ted C. Fishman, Scribner, 2010 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan The subtitle to this book describes the broad themes as: ‘The aging of the world’s population and how it pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and nation against nation”. The world’s population is getting older and as it does it is bringing new challenges for all societies. Fishman warns, “the
Country Driving, A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory, Peter Hessler, Harper Collins, 2010 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan This is a book inspired by solitude and yearning. After leaving the Peace Corps (Rivertown) and moving to Beijing as a journalist (New Yorker and National Geographic) the author gets his Chinese driver’s license and starts a road-trip. The route is defined by its proximity to an icon of
China’s Megatrends, The 8 Pillars of a New Society John and Doris Naisbitt Harper Collins, 2010 Opinions about this book fall into two very separate categories, those who see in it an explanation of how China has achieved such great change in a short time, and those who see it as merely propaganda for the government.
When China Rules the World; The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World Martin Jacques; Penguin Books, 2009 Summary by Graham Mulligan Martin Jacques writes from a scholarly perspective, and has a solid background that gives substance to his voice. His website description says ‘He is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics, IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs,