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.

2018-12-10T13:28:58+00:00

A Savage Order

I met Rachel Kleinfeld at a conference on technology and peacebuilding a couple of years ago and learned immediately that she is a force of nature whose youth belies her wisdom and impact. When we met, she was already working on this book, so I’ve been waiting for it and dug into it the day it was published. I wasn’t disappointed. It is bound to have a huge impact on the way we peacebuilders conceive of our work in at least two ways.

2018-12-03T13:50:31+00:00

The New Handshake

A friend told me about Colin Rule's work a few weeks ago. At first, the systems he developed to help resolve conflicts on e-commerce sites didn't seem all that relevant to my work. After all, my own work focuses on the toughest conflicts we face as a society, not how online businesses and their customers work out their differences. I was wrong. In fact, there is a lot of value here. What Rule and his co-author Amy Schmitz have already done and what they propose companies implement in the future is critical for the future of conflict resolution in general.

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.