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PROVOCATIVE BOOKS ON 21ST CENTURY GLOBALISM & CULTURE
Please see Amazon.com for detailed information and reviews of the books below.
GLOBALISM & CAPITALISM
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, by
Hernando de Soto. The definitive analysis of why private property rights and deeds are the key to
successful capitalism and the only solution to economic under-development.
Turbo-Capitalism, by Edward Luttwak. Scholarly, but relevant and readable, analysis of the
economic and social damage wrought by neo-capitalism (profit-maximizing, single stake-holder
corporations) taken to its extremes since the 1980s.
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, by George Friedman. Non-conventional,
stimulating forecasts about imminent and long-run geopolitical changes in the 21st century world.
Provides a scholarly, but highly practical, past/present/future analysis of how geography drives
foreign policy and nationalism.
Flat, Hot, and Crowded, by Thomas Friedman. Easy-to-understand analysis of how the convergence
of global warming, over-population, and middle class consumers in the developing world call for a
global “green” revolution.
The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria. Models the likely “third shift” of Western history: the
post-American world—the “rise of the rest.” “The real challenges for the 21st century world comes
from who the new winners will be.”
What Do We Know About Globalization? by Guillermo de la Dehesa. A timely statistical and
conceptual assessment of global economics, including poverty, income inequality, income
distribution, foreign investment, migration, and corporate power.
In Defense of Globalization, by Jagdish Bhagwati. How global business is delivering a higher
standard of living around the world
In Search of the Good Life: The Ethics of Globalization, by Rebecca Todd Peters. An analysis of
the economics and politics of global business and economics from the standpoint of Christian ethics
20:21 Vision: Twentieth Century Lessons for the Twenty-First Century, by Bill Emmott. What the
world can take from the 20th century to bolster the 21st century
The Economist magazine (www.economist.com). The world’s best source of weekly news about
business and political current events
GLOBAL INSTITUTIONS
The WTO: Whose Trade Organization? by Lori Wallach and Patrick Woodall. How the World Trade
Organization is dominated and exploited by the industrialized West to the detriment of the rest of the
world
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Globalization and its Discontents, by Joseph Stiglitz. A prominent American economist criticizes
the World Bank and its negative impacts on the developing world
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins. The controversial memoirs of a former “hit
man” for a Washington consulting firm that provides global government organizations with the
technical loan analysis for developing nations desinged to put them under Western control.
The World Trade Organization: A Citizen’s Guide, by Steven Shrybman. An analysis of the
WTO’s neo-liberal ideology & alleged domination by Western governments.
NAFTA Revisited, by Gary Hufbauer & Jeffrey Schott. A comprehensive & technical guide on the
achievements & challenges of NAFTA through 2005.
UNITED STATES
The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, Roger Stone & Mike Colapietro. The
best investigative reporting available concerning the heinous politics of the United States during the
1960s. Monumental. Don’t read this book if you don’t want your perception of reality permanently
altered.
Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the
Middle Class, Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker. A history of what has grown wrong economically and
socially in America since the 1980s. The title is explained via sound statistics and analysis.
How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead, by
Dambisa Moyo. Excellent overview of the cause and effects of the serious 21st century economic
problems of the United States and Western Europe.
All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of Financial Crisis, by Bethany McLean and Joe
Nocera. A sound and thorough analysis of the institutional, political, and capitalistic making of
America’s 21st investment banking meltdown.
The Rise of the Rogue Executive: How Good Companies Go Bad and How to Stop the
Destruction, by Leonard Sayles and Cynthia J. Smith. Shows how “agency”-driven” (self-serving)
executives have taken fullest advantage of the lower ethical accountability enabled by industry
deregulation and the decline of professional standards in America.
Hegemony of Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, by Noam Chomsky. A highly
insightful and objective overview of America’s imperialist foreign policy since 1950, and particularly in
the 21st century. This book is “for anyone wanting to find out more about the world we live in.”
The Limits of Power: The End Of American Exceptionalism, by Andrew Bacevich. Probably the
most insightful and accurate analysis of America’s ebbing global power from the post-Vietnam era
through the George W. Bush administration. Traces the historical and contemporary antecedents of
America’s 21st “century triangle of national crisis”: cultural profligacy, paralyzed politics, and
dysfunctional military strategy.
The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Highjacked by
Crackpot Economists, by Jonathan Chait. How Reaganomics, supply side economics, and budget
deficits have crippled the U.S.
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The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God, by David Ray. Addresses the ideological
and practical evidence and consequences of what the authors see as an often disguised imperial
agenda inherent in the founding and development of the United States. The authors’ share the
conviction that the United States "is seeking to become the world's first borderless empire" whose
imperialist policies constitute "the primary threat to the survival of the human species.”
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money, by
Kevin Phillips. A bold historical analysis of the 3 main causes of declining American power in the 21 st
century.
Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism,
by Kevin Phillips. A detailed statistical analysis of the financial and political crisis wrought by the
2008 investment banking collapse.
God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, by Jim Wallis.
Bestselling breakthrough book on how misguided American politicians are using bad Christian
theology in the quest for votes and power.
The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, by Dan Kimball. The definitive
analysis of the fast-growing “post-modern” non-institutional church and its break from 20th century
organized religion
Rogue State, 3rd edition: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, by William Blum. An
investigative reporter’s chilling summary of American imperialism in the post-War World II era.
There Are No Children There, by Alex Kotlowitz. The best book ever written on American poverty &
racial discrimination.
The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. What war is really like.
The free Weekly Spin email letter from the Center for Media and Democracy keeps tabs on media
abuse by politicians and corporations: http://www.prwatch.org/cmd/subscribe_sotd.html
The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves, and the Looting of America, by
Jonathan Tasini. “Examines the reasons and exposes the people responsible for the looting of America—from Wall
Street executives who funded their lavish lifestyles at the public's expense to the politicians who let it happen.”
Corporate Scandals: The Many Faces of Greed, by Gray, Frieder, Clark. The “encyclopedia of
corporate scandals” over the past 20 years.
EUROPE
Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction, by John McCormick. An easy-tofollow intro to the EU, its history, structure, & politics. This is the best introductory book available.
The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American
Dream, by Jeremy Rifkin. How the EU’s progress is raising their standard of living above America’s
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The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, by
T.R. Reid. How EU progress is challenging America’s political dominance in the world
The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, by William Hitchcock.
An excellent historical overview of European nations from 1945-2000
The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God, by George Weigel.
Looks at the economic, intellectual, and motivational impacts of contemporary Europe’s on-going
religious decline and spiritual malaise.
JAPAN
The Japanese Have a Word for It: The Complete Guide to Japanese Thought and Culture, by
Boye Lafayette De Mente. Provides rich, colorful insight into Japanese culture through analysis of
idiomatic Japanese phrases and sayings
Shutting Out the Sun, by Michael Zielenziger. A look at “a society on the verge of a nervous
breakdown,” caused by contemporary Japan’s dysfunctional families, young male workforce hermits,
& changing expectations of women. The book analyzes the dilemma face by Japanese culture that is
“suspended between two worlds”: communalism & individualism.
Japan Unbound: A Volatile Nation’s quest for Pride and Purpose, by John Nathan.
Contemporary Japan’s struggle for identity and cultural change
CHINA
The New Chinese Economy: Dynamic Transitions into the Future, by Elias C. Grivoyannis. An
overview of “what is presently going on in the Chinese economy and the type of economy from which
China is transitioning.”
The Chinese Century, by Oded Shenkar. The meteoric economic rise of capitalist China and its
implications for world economics and politics over the next generation
Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China, by Rachel DeWoskin. A young
American woman describes her experiences living in contemporary capitalist China and working as
the lead character in the pioneering Chinese soap opera, “Foreign Babes in China.” Provides subtle
insights on mutating Chinese culture and how Americans are perceived by the Chinese.
Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today, by Jasper Becker. A veteran journalist in Asia
portrays the revolutionary change currently sweeping through China all the way down to the grass
roots level.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Islam vs. Islamism, by Peter Demant. Explains the contemporary tensions within the Islamic world
from an historical & cultural perspective. Tremendous insight & clarity.
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Understanding Islam: An Introduction, by C.T.R. Hewer. A new, comprehensive, easy-tounderstand overview of Islam. An outstanding introduction to the topic.
Why They Don’t Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil, by Mark LeVine. Focuses on how
contemporary Middle Eastern cultures have much in common with the West and that the “clash of
civilizations” mentality isn’t really valid or accurate.
America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests? by Fawaz Gerges. An
analysis of political vs. cultural differences between the Middle East and the West.
Islam for the Western Mind, by Richard Henry. A good up-to-date and easy-to-understand
introduction to Islam, the Koran, and Middle Eatern culture.
The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity, by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. A respected ArabAmerican scholar puts the beliefs and culture of Islam in a positive light.
GLOBAL ECOLOGY
The Winners and Losers in Global Competition: Why Eco-Efficiency Reinforces
Competitiveness: A Study of 44 Nations, by Andreas Sturm, Mathis Wackernagel, and Kaspar
Muller. A path breaking study of how the ecological performance of nations helps or hurts their
economic competitiveness in the world
Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, by Lester B. Brown.
Discusses what’s wrong with our way of sustaining global economic growth (“Plan A”) and presents
an alternative “Plan B” for reversing environmental decline. Provides crystal clear insights into global
ecological problems and realistic solutions.
Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, by James Gustave
Speth. The best available overview of global ecological problems
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond. A fascinating history of
the ecological collapse of major civilizations
WorldWatch magazine (www.worldwatch.org). An objective quarterly magazine about global
ecological problems and realities. Its annual Vital Signs publication is the best available source of
relevant, up-to-date ecological statistics.
AdBusters magazine (www.adbusters.org). An extremely hard-hitting, counter-culture anticonsumerism quarterly magazine
MISCELLANEOUS CULTURES
Dictionary of Mexican Cultural Code Words, by Boye Lafayette De Mente. Provides rich, colorful
insight into Mexican culture through analysis of idiomatic Spanish phrases and sayings
Dictionary of Korea’s Business and Cultural Code Words, by Boye Lafayette De Mente. Provides
rich, colorful insight into Korean culture through analysis of idiomatic Korean phrases and sayings
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The Central Liberal Truth, by Lawrence Harrison. How positive political leadership can have a
positive impact on cultures.
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