Glad You Asked: Great books to go along with Great Decisions

Yesterday kicked off the first meeting of the annual Great Decisions Program in Delaware. This fabulous series is a direct result of the Foreign Policy Association’s decision to inspire the American public to learn more about the world. The Great Decisions program was developed in 1954 and soon came to Delaware through the Delaware County League of Women Voters in the early ‘80s.

The original format of the series presentations still prevails — a Friday brown-bag lunch where guest experts provide a basis for community discussion. The discussions are held weekly at 12 o’clock in the William Street United Methodist Church fellowship hall, 28 W. William St. Sponsors for this year include the American Association of University Women, Kiwanis, League of Women Voters, International Studies Program, OWU, William Street UMC, Willow Brook Christian Communities, Anchor & Away Travel, and other private donors.

Always free and open to the public, these discussions touch on modern political topics, changes and hot-button conversations that affect both the United States and our greater world. Upcoming topics include Media and Foreign Policy (Feb. 9), South Africa’s Fragile Democracy (Feb. 16), Global Engagement and the Military (Feb. 23) and more through the end of March.

The Delaware County District Library has a Great Decisions Booklet at our Main and Orange Branch libraries, which provides further knowledge and historical context on each subject. We’ll also provide extended reading lists at each branch and on our website, which include books to give even more insight into the topics.

If you’re interested in attending the series or learning more, visit the group’s Facebook page at I hope you enjoy some of these books that our reference librarians have found to accompany the series.

“Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why?” by Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar. Discusses the importance of partnerships in global health governance, which not only help in combating infectious diseases around the world — including AIDS, SARS, malaria and Ebola — but also provide models for creating solutions for other large-scale, global challenges.

“Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World” by Suzy Hansen. A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine describes how her post-9-11 move to Istanbul has taught her a great deal about the region’s culture, history and politics, but also how it taught her a great deal about America.

“The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace” by Alexander Klimburg. A cybersecurity expert explores how the Internet has become a tool of warfare and exploitation, sharing cautionary insights into how global powers are creating and disseminating distorted versions of reality to advance national interests.

“Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War” by Peter Conradi. The Cold War ended twenty-five years ago, but tensions between Russia and the West are as bad as ever. What happened? Argues that we have consistently failed to understand Russia and its motives, and in doing so, have made a powerful enemy.

By 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!