Julian Birkinshaw and Gita Piramal, editors, Sumantra Ghoshal on Management: A Force for Good (New York: Prentice Hall, 2005). A useful counter to a pervasive anti-capitalization attitude. Corporations are regarded as “versatile and creative amplifiers of human effort across natural and cultural boundaries” (inner flap).
* Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam (New York: Ballantine Books, 1984). Four case histories of an often noted phenomena in history where governments relentlessly pursue policies at odds with their own interests.
* Charles Mackay, LL.D., Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (New York: Harmony Books, 1980; first published in 1841). “In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught be some new folly more captivating than the first.” Mackay, xix.
* Michael Casey, An Unexciting Life: Reflections on Benedictine Spirituality (Petersham, MA: St Bede’s Publications, 2005). An introduction to the demands and practices of giving priority to interiority over more tangible benefits and priorities in opening up one’s life to channels of communication with the Divine. Particularly interesting section on monastic formation, actualizing our potential for freedom and liberty.
Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved (New York: translated from the Italian by Raymond Rosenthan, Vintage Books, 1989). If you think you are free from the pressures of a totalitarian mindset, think again. “Its weapons are substantially three: direct propaganda or propaganda camouflaged as upbringing, instruction, and popular culture; the barrier erected against pluralism of information; and terror” (p. 29).
Henry Kissinger, World Order (New York: Penguin Press, 2014). Our world is dominated by questions of international harmony and global disorder. Divergent histories, violent conflict and extreme ideologies are prevalent. There are many conceptions of global harmony now coming into conflict with each other as powerful international actors seek to guide.
* Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men/Last Men in London (New York: Penguin Books, 1972, first published respectively 1930, 1932). A grand all-encompassing story of the human race over millions upon millions of years, a tale that explores in fiction a number of ethical and scientific possibilities.
* Doris Lessing, Canopus in Argos: Archives (New York: Vintage Books, 1992). The complete and unabridged collection of the five novels “ . . .a realm where the petty fates of planets, let alone individuals, are only aspects of cosmic evolution expressed in the rivalries and interactions of great galactic Empires: Canopus, Sirius, and their enemy, the Empire Puttiora, with its criminal planet Shammat” (p. xi). Gaining a wider perspective on our affairs of the moment by someone not affiliated with any religion but caught up in spiritual matters of what it means to be human.
Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (New York: The Free Press, 1998). As we lose our knowledge of the Greeks, we lose the foundational knowledge of who we are, where we came from, and where we might be going Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (New York: Penguin Books2005). “I am penning this report at a time of global security concerns, when military force is being considered or actually used in a wide range of scenarios, often with allies. Even a few examples reflect the complexity of these scenarios: terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, peace making, peacekeeping, control of the mass movement of people, environmental protection, or the protection of availability of some scarce resource, be it energy, water, or food. There are many more, possible less obvious examples, but the point remains the same: military force is considered a solution, or part of a solution in a wide range of problems for which it was not originally intended or configured” (. xii).
* David P. Goldman (Spengler), It’s Not the End of the World, It’s Just the End of You: The Great Extinction of the Nations (New York: RVP Publishers, 2011). “Why do cultures commit suicide? Why are we witnessing a new great extinction of peoples? Why is the economic crisis really a spiritual crisis? Spengler argues that Europe’s postnational, secular dystopia is a death trap, that the onslaught of modernity has plunged Islam into an even greater crisis, and that the destiny of nations is decided in the human heart, by religion” (rear cover).
* Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1962). A lesson from the past: an historical case study of the problem of separating signal from noise in planning and policy making.
* Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2006).
* Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (New York: Random House, 1971). A must read if you want to understand the strategies and tactics of those major American political figures who have taken up his community activist cause.
Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics: An Introduction (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1978, first published 1952). Cosmological, anthropological and soteriological symbolizations of truth, contrasted with gnosticism; the transcendental in human politics.`