What We Are Reading Today: The World: A Brief Introduction

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Updated 05 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The World: A Brief Introduction

Author: Richard Haass

The ambition of Richard Haass’ new book is clear from its title: The World: A Brief Introduction.
In just 400 pages, Haass, who has been the president of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations since 2003, offers a primer on world affairs.
“The whole lesson of this pandemic, and the whole lesson of 9/11, is we can’t ignore the world, or if we do ignore the world, it’s at our peril,” Haass says.
“These oceans that surround us are not moats. We’ve got to pay attention to the world and we’ve got to fix things here at home.”
Mark Atwood Lawrence said in a review for The New York Times that the book eschews any interest in academic theories, which Haass gratuitously dismisses as “too abstract and too far removed from what is happening to be of value to most of us.”
Instead, Haass promises a practical guide to help everyday people understand global forces in which their lives are increasingly enmeshed, even if they do not always know it or like it.
The author’s “restrained approach does not mean that the book lacks big takeaways,” said the review.


What We Are Reading Today: After the Last Border

Updated 09 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: After the Last Border

Author: Jessica Goudreau

After the Last Border — written by Jessica Goudreau — is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the 21st century American dream, having won the “golden ticket” to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas.
The book casts a light on the history of the refugee relocation process, and how it has changed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
The writer “tracks the human impacts of America’s ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin — a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer,” said said a review in goodreads.com.
“These women are so empowering. Their stories can give others a lot of inspiration,” it added.
After the Last Border “offers a crash course in how shifts in public attitudes and, in turn, US policy have helped and hindered people desperate to escape the poverty or violence in their homelands,” Mimi Swartz said in a review for The New York Times.