The Price of Civilization – Economics and Ethics After the Fall

The Price of Civilization – Economics and Ethics After the Fall Jeffrey Sachs, Random House, 2011   Sachs says, “Much of this book is about the social responsibility of the rich” and about society’s shared values and the need to plan ahead to achieve common goals. The book is also a diagnosis of the failure of the American economy to achieve society’s common goals since the 1970’s and makes recommendations

A History of Iran; Empire of the Mind

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

The Persistence of Caste

The Persistence of Caste; The Khairlanji Murders & India’s Hidden Appartheid. Anand Teltumbde, Zed Books, 2010 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan The introduction section of this short book (192 pages) is important. It is a condensed history of Caste in India. The word ‘caste’ is from Latin castus, and in Portugese means ‘pure’ or ‘chaste’. The early Portugese explorers thought it was like ‘race’ or lineage (blood based). They were wrong;

India; The Road Ahead

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

Country Driving

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

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

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,

Post Cards From Tomorrow Square

Post Cards From Tomorrow Square; Reports From China. James Fallows, 2009 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan Fallows is the Atlantic Monthly correspondent for China. In his introduction to the book he categorizes some of the collection of essays as ‘policy’ oriented explorations of the tremendous variety of cultural developments that so frequently lead Western observers to take positions about ‘China’ as though it were one, indivisible reality. His portraits of individuals

China’s Megatrends

China’s Megatrends, The 8 Pillars of a New Society John and Doris Naisbitt Harper Collins, 2010 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan 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. Here is are the Chapter titles: Emancipating the Mind Balancing