Books address hot-button issues


This time every year a free community discussion series takes place called Great Decisions. The series discusses United States Foreign Policy issues that are relevant to our lives today.

Posters, book displays, and an additional list of suggested titles will be on display at your local library throughout the series, which runs through April 7. In a booklet that describes many of the topics for this year, the Foreign Policy Association president and CEO, Noel Lateef, gives some reasons why this series and these issues are so important.

One fact, confirmed by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), states that 85 percent of American CEOs surveyed believe that a global perspective is vital for their workforce at both the management and entry levels.

Whether you are a community leader or an interested citizen, this series is relative to all. The discussions are held at noon on Fridays at the William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St. This Friday, February 17, kicks off with “The Future of Europe” as presented by Goran Skosples, a professor in the economics department of Ohio Wesleyan University.

The books I recommend to you this week come as thoroughly researched titles by our librarians about foreign policy and international “hot-button” issues. Many of these are in conjunction with and expand upon the 2017 Great Decisions Free Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy.

“The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China-and How America Can Win” by Geoff Dyer. A former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief presents a wide-reaching analysis of the emerging competition between China and America and how it will dominate 21st-century world affairs, documenting Beijing’s ongoing pursuit of influence and how America can stay on top.

“The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World” by Russell Gold. Presents an unstinting exploration of controversial fracking technologies to consider the arguments of its supporters and detractors, profiling key contributors while explaining how the practice is changing the way energy is used.

“Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America” by Ioan Grillo. A look into the new criminal kingpins in Central and South America, who took over a large portion of the world’s trafficking of narcotics, guns and humans and have cultivated mystiques that are equal parts terrorist, rock star and CEO.

“Right of Boom: The Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism” by Benjamin Schwartz. National security specialist Schwartz looks at what could happen after a nuclear explosion takes place in the United States, the event that Presidents Obama and Bush, as well as would-be Presidents Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton, have acknowledged as the greatest single national security threat we face.

“America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Order” by Bret Stephens. Argues that growing trends in American isolationism will have significant global consequences for national security and prosperity, citing examples from the 1930s that led to war and genocide.

“Europe’s Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union” by Guy Verhofstadt. The former prime minister of Belgium, who also served in the European Parliament, explains why he has fought to increase the power and authority of Europe’s federal institutions and why he thinks Europe should embrace unified democracy on a continental scale.

Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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