Publications by Council Members

 


 

Mike Chinoy, The Last P.O.W.
December 2013 - How did an 85-year old grandfather from Palo Alto, California end up a prisoner in North Korea? "The Last POW" is the true story of Merrill Newman, a retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran who was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang airport as he was about to return home at the end of a tourist trip in late 2013. For nearly two months, he was held by North Korea’s fearsome security services, subjected to intensive interrogation, and repeatedly warned that if he did not confess his “crimes,” he might never be allowed to return home.


 

Francis Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay: From The Industrial Revolution To The Globalization of Democracy
September 2014 - The second volume of the bestselling landmark work on the history of the modern state is finally here, completing the most important work of political thought in at least a generation. Taking up the essential question of how societies develop strong, impersonal, and accountable political institutions, Fukuyama follows the story from the French Revolution to the so-called Arab Spring and the deep dysfunctions of contemporary American politics. He examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West. A sweeping, masterful account of the struggle to create a well-functioning modern state, Political Order and Political Decay is destined to be a classic..


 

Paul R. Viotti, The Dollar and National Security: The Monetary Component of Hard Power
July 2014 - In The Dollar and National Security, Paul Viotti explores the links between global capital flows, these policy elites, and national security. After establishing the historical link between currency, gold, and security, he continues the monetary-security story by examining the instrumental role the dollar has played in American economic and national security over the past seven decades. He reveals how perceived individual and collective interests are the key drivers toward building the kind of durable consensus necessary to sustain the external financing of American foreign and national security policy, and addresses the future implications for national security as decision-makers in the BRICs and other countries position themselves to assume an even larger policy presence in global commercial, monetary, and security matters.


 

Agnia Grigas, The Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia
July 2013 - Since the 1990s, Baltic-Russian relations have been amongst the most contentious on the European continent. Energy security concerns, historical legacies, and the status of Russian minorities have all proved key flash points. Baltic-Russian relations have been described as a 'litmus test' of Russia's willingness to leave behind its imperialist ambitions; simultaneously the policies of Tallinn, Riga or Vilnius towards Russia can have a direct impact on EU-Russian and NATO-Russian relations. Supported by case studies on the oil and gas sectors as well as the tug of history, this book is an invaluable resource for scholars and policy makers.


 

Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
July 2013 - The person and work of Jesus of Nazareth has been a topic of constant interest since he lived and died some 2,000 years ago. Much speculation about who he was and what he taught has led to confusion and doubt. Aslan offers a compelling argument for a fresh look at the Nazarene, focusing on how Jesus the man evolved into Jesus the Christ. Approaching the subject from a purely academic perspective, the author parts an important curtain that has long hidden from view the man Jesus, who “is every bit as compelling, charismatic, and praiseworthy as Jesus the Christ.” Carefully comparing extra-biblical historical records with the New Testament accounts, Aslan develops a convincing and coherent story of how the Christian church, and in particular Paul, reshaped Christianity’s essence, obscuring the very real man who was Jesus of Nazareth.


 

Henry A. Crumpton, The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service
May 2012 - Mr. Crumpton's memoir is a compelling account of the changes that have allowed the CIA to fight the war on terror with unprecedented resources and success. There is no doubt that the CIA will in the future have to devote more resources to intelligence gathering. The agency should apply to its traditional operations the same ruthless, results-oriented ethos that Mr. Crumpton and his colleagues applied to fighting al Qaeda.


 

Philp Seib, Real-Time Diplomacy: Politics and Power in the Social Media Era
April 2012 - The 2011 uprisings in the Middle East proved that democracy retains its appeal, and in a high-speed, media-centric world, conventional diplomacy has become a thing of the past. Events and the public reactions to these events move quickly – giving policymakers even less time to gather information and weigh alternatives. Real-Time Diplomacy analyzes the essential, but often unhappy, relationship between diplomacy and new media, evaluating media's reach and influence, and determining how policy makers might take advantage of media's real-time capabilities rather than being driven by them.


 

Howard Gordon, Hard Target
January 2012 - Hard Target, the follow-up to Council member Gordon's Gideon's War, involves a harrowing attempt to stop a homegrown terrorist plot to destroy the U.S. government.


 

Kim Andreasson, Cybersecurity: Public Sector Threats and Responses
December 2011 - An accessible primer, Cybersecurity: Public Sector Threats and Responses focuses on the convergence of globalization, connectivity, and the migration of public sector functions online. It identifies the challenges you need to be aware of and examines emerging trends and strategies from around the world.


 

Barry A. Sanders, American Avatar: The United States in the Global Imagination
October 2011 - Since September 11, 2001, the extensive literature on the United States’s image abroad, by popular pundits and academics alike, leaves the reader with a false impression that foreigners’ views of America are normally negative and impervious to change. In fact they are complex, emotional, frequently internally contradictory, and often change quickly.Barry A. Sanders corrects this misimpression with a rigorous and insightful textual analysis of the roots of people’s views of the United States and what can be done to alter them.

 

Amy Zegart, Eyes on Spies
September 2011 - Ten years after 9/11, the least reformed part of America's intelligence system is not the CIA or FBI but the US Congress. In Eyes on Spies, Amy Zegart examines the weaknesses of U.S. intelligence oversight and why those deficiencies have persisted, despite the unprecedented importance of intelligence in today's environment. She argues that many of the biggest oversight problems lie with Congress—the institution, not the parties or personalities—showing how Congress has collectively and persistently tied its own hands in overseeing intelligence.

 

Reza Aslan, Muslims and Jews in America
April 2011 - Pacific Council Member Reza Aslan explores the sometimes contentious, sometimes conciliatory, and often complex relationship between Jews and Muslims in the United States.

 

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Theodore J. Piccone and Laurence Whitehead, Obama y las Américas: Esperanza o Decepción?
November 2010 - Pacific Council Members Abraham F. Lowenthal, Theodore J. Piccone and Laurence Whitehead co-edit Obama y las Américas: Esperanza o Decepción?, a book that examines the Obama administration’s policies toward the Americas.

Available in English December 2010
 

Reza Aslan, Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East
October 2010 - Pacific Council Member Reza Aslan discusses his role as editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, an enormous and impressive anthology of 20th-century Middle Eastern literature.


 

Patrick Del Duca, Choosing the Language of Transnational Deals: Practicalities, Policy and Law Reform
May 2010 - Pacific Council member Patrick Del Duca integrates investigations of national legal systems, the European Union, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, to illustrate the new institutional dynamics through which the languages of transnational commerce and finance are being defined. Del Duca’s book, Choosing the Language of Transnational Deals: Practicalities, Policy and Law Reform, will appeal to those who make deals across borders and lawyers who litigate them, those interested to learn how to navigate the challenges and opportunities of language as it relates to law, and anyone simply passionate about language.


 

Thomas Plate, Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation (Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew)
May 2010 - The first in the Giants of Asia series, this succinct, penetrating, richly detailed and candid book on Lee Kuan Yew represents the Asian legend's first extended conversation with a Western journalist. The result is often surprising, sometimes startling, occasionally humorous — and never dull. Enter into the mind of this controversial but internationally respected political leader and pioneer, through the eyes and ears of one of America's leading journalists on Asia, Council member Tom Plate.


 

Richard Baum, China Watcher: Confessions of a Peking Tom
March 2010 - This audacious and illuminating memoir by Pacific Council member Richard Baum, a senior China scholar and sometime policy advisor, reflects on forty years of learning about and interacting with the People's Republic of China, from the height of Maoism during the author's UC Berkeley student days in the volatile 1960s through globalization.

 

Rob Asghar, Lessons from the Holy Wars: A Pakistani-American Odyssey
January 2010 - Pacific Council member Rob Asghar describes his new book about a Pakistani immigrant family's experience as "a hybrid of personal narrative and political analysis." The volume provides readers with insights into the collision of Islam and the West, the sources of conflict among individuals and societies, and the grand American immigrant experience.
Read Asghar's LA Daily News op-ed on the book's main themes.

 Abraham F. Lowenthal, Global California: Rising to the Cosmopolitan Challenge
March 2009 - In Global California, Pacific Council President Emeritus Abraham Lowenthal addresses an important subject: how the citizens of a state with the dimensions and power of a nation are affected by international trends, and what they can do to identify and promote their own interests in a rapidly changing world. Lowenthal argues that Californians need to build "cosmopolitan capacity" to understand and respond to global challenges and opportunities.


 

Mike Chinoy, Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis
August 2008 - Pacific Council member and Edgerton Senior Fellow Mike Chinoy details in this volume the sequence of events that led to North Korea's explosion of an atomic bomb in 2006. US administration hardliners like John Bolton and Dick Cheney pushed through an intransigent North Korea policy, replacing negotiations with Axis-of-Evil rhetoric and unilateral demands, and their approach backfired disastrously.

 

Please feel encouraged to alert us to books and reports recently published by Pacific Council Members via email: engage@pacificcouncil.org.

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