Books

Books2017-12-02T22:53:48+00:00

I spend a lot of time with books. I have written a few of them. More importantly, I read a lot of them. Usually two non-fiction books a week.

A few years ago, a friend took a look at the list of books on my iPad/Kindle and asked why I didn’t share my thoughts about what I was reading. She was right in suggesting that I should. However, I didn’t have a way of doing so other than posting reviews on Amazon and, now, Goodreads.

With the launch of this website, I now have a way of writing short reviews of books in comparative politics and peacebuilding, especially those that are written from a systems or complexity approach and/or that focus on wicked problems. As with Amazon, I will only review books I really liked and recommend reading. Only giving five star reviews hurts my rating on Amazon, but that’s not an issue here. I will add titles as I read them and, when time permits, add others from my “backlist.”

As with everything else on this site, I’d welcome suggestion(s), especially if they come with reasons why your choice(s) should be at the top of my very large virtual stack of books to read.

To read these short summaries and reviews, just hover over the book’s image below and click.

2018-11-19T14:02:39+00:00

Adding Up To Peace

I don’t usually review books that are aimed at specialized audience. I made an exception for Diana Chigas and Peter Woodrow’s Adding Up To Peace a) because they are friend and b) more importantly, they take on the toughest challenge we peacebuilders face. How do we build on what we accomplish in a particular community and turn it into lasting peace that holds for an entire society.

2018-10-22T17:21:21+00:00

Does Your Rabbi Know Where You Are

Anthony Clavane's book has been on my radar screen for a long time. I finally got around to reading it now because I am helping an Oberlin student with her application to get a Watson Fellowship to study the link between soccer, peacebuilding, and social justice. Like me, Julie Schreiber is Jewish, so the joy of working with her also gave me the joy of reading this book. Like all good books about sports--at least for me--Does Your Rabbi Know Where You Are? has as much to say about British politics and society as it does about soccer (oops, I mean football).

2018-10-15T14:29:32+00:00

Dare to Lead

I'm a recent convert to the work of Brené Brown. After years of focusing on such things as shame and vulnerability, she has flipped the hierarchy and dealt with leadership in her most recent book with its intriguing title, Dare to Lead. What's unusual about the book is that she does not focus on traditional forms in which I exert leadership over you. Instead, she explores how I lead with you but also how I lead within myself. For all of those reasons, it is a book worth reading.