What We Are Reading Today: To Build a Better World

Updated 01 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: To Build a Better World

Authors: Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice

Timed for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, To Build a Better World is an authoritative depiction of contemporary statecraft. 
Two of America’s leading scholar-diplomats, Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice, have combed sources in several languages, interviewed leading figures, and drawn on their own firsthand experience to bring to life the choices that molded the contemporary world.
Beginning in the late 1970s and carrying into the present, they focus on the momentous period between 1988 and 1992, when an entire world system changed, states broke apart, and societies were transformed.
“It lets readers in on the strategies and negotiations, nerve-racking risks, last-minute decisions, and deep deliberations behind the dramas that changed the face of Europe — and the world — forever,” said a review in goodreads.com.
In a review for The New York Times, James Traub said: “In the run-up to the war in Iraq, Rice ignored warnings from the same veterans of 1989 whom she praises so lavishly in To Build a Better World.”


What We Are Reading Today: Texas Flood

Updated 10 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Texas Flood

AUTHORS: Alan Paul & Andy Aledort

Texas Flood by Alan Paul and Andy Aledort is a phenomenal biography of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan that hits on every level, including interviews with those closest to him.

A review in The New York Times said: “An oral history is only as good as its sources, and Texas Flood is thorough and far-reaching, with Vaughan’s bandmates, crew and family taking center stage.”  It added: “Especially fascinating is Vaughan’s complicated relationship with his older brother, Jimmie,  and Vaughan’s ill-fated role in David Bowie’s band, an apparent big break that he quit because he was told he could not promote his debut album.”

The review said: “If there’s a disappointment in the book, it’s the lack of Vaughan’s own voice. Aledort interviewed him several times during his lifetime, but since those conversations were focused on specific projects, the quotes pulled for Texas Flood don’t leave much impression. Both authors are accomplished musicians and longtime contributors to Guitar World magazine, so occasionally things get a little gear-heavy.”