Contemporary Social Issues: Analyzing Critically, Arguing Persuasively

Fall and Winter, 2004-05

Books for Winter Quarter (in the order assigned)

David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East

Avon Books, 1990
ISBN: 0380713004
A great history of British foreign policy in the context of WWI, the “great game” and the division of the Ottoman Empire. It shows the origins of the Middle Eastern nation states and contains lots of lessons and analogies for US foreign policy in the contemporary Middle East. (560 pages)

Zbigniew Brzezinski. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives

Basic Books, 1998
ISBN: 0465027261
Published in the pre-911 world, Brzezinski argues that the US should take advantage of its superpower status to reorganize global governance in the next 20 years. This book illustrates a multilateral, diplomatic approach to global governance. (210 pages).

Chalmers Johnson. The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic

Henry Holt, 2004
ISBN: 0805077979
Chalmers Johnson, the author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire. He argues that, unintentional as it may have been, the US is now dominated by militarism, an empire of bases with its own logic, institutions and command structure ready not to fight wars, but police an empire. He critiques the “globalization” of the 90s and identifies its replacement as unilateral military policy. (2004 310 pages).

David Frum and Richard Perle. An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror

Random House, 2003
ISBN: 0345477170
Both of the authors are key advisors to the Bush Administration and write in a post 911 context. They identify key targets for both The War at Home and The War Abroad (260 pages).

Sayyid Qutb. Social Justice in Islam

Islamic Publications International (revized edition), 2000
ISBN: 188999113
As many see Leo Strauss’ philosophy behind US neo-conservatives, so the ideas of Sayyid Qutb are seen as the foundation of contemporary, militant Islam. Qutb published this work in 1949 and was subsequently hanged in 1966 for his alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood and for his opposition to the western oriented regime of Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. (1949, 318 pages)

Anonymous. Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror

R.R. Bowker LLC, 2004
ISBN: 1574888498
Written by a CIA desk officer with two decades of experience in national security issues related to Afghanistan and South Asia, this author critiques the notion of basing foreign policy on the 8notion of “terror” and calls for analysis based on the dynamics of specific US policies in the Middle East. (262 pages)

Anne Norton, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire

Yale University Press, 2004
ISBN: 0300104367
Professor Norton traces the philosophical underpinnings of neo-conservative policy makers such as Paul Wolfowitz, Leon Krass, Carnes Lord, Irving Kristol and other “Straussians” who help shape the Bush administration’s foreign policy. (228 pages).


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