The challenges facing the world are multiplex; the global financial crisis, costly and exhausting conflicts, and cracks appearing in the fabric of the gigantic political institutions. This compilation of new and recent current affairs books from Yale University Press covers all these issues and more. The titles listed here are deftly composed books written by authors who are experts in their fields.
Investment in Blood by Frank Ledwidge
Investment in Blood analyses both the human and financial cost of the Afghanistan war. Frank Ledwidge, who is a former military officer and civilian adviser to the British government in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, estimates that the total cost of the conflict will have reached £40 billion by 2020, the equivalent to £2,000 per UK household. A follow up to the devastating Losing Small Wars, which was a most read book by British MPs in 2012, Investment in Blood is an unflinching appraisal of the price paid by the British Army in Afghanistan.
When the Money Runs Out by Stephen D. King
The Western world has experienced extraordinary economic progress throughout the last six decades, a prosperous period so extended that continuous economic growth has come to seem normal. But such an era of constantly rising living standards is an historical anomaly, economist Stephen D. King warns, and the current stagnation of Western economies threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future.
Praised for the ‘dose of realism’ he provided in the much-praised Losing Control, King follows up in this volume with a plain-spoken assessment of where the West stands today. The future benefits we expect – pensions, healthcare and social security, for example – may be larger than tomorrow’s resources.
Fragile Empire by Ben Judah
How did a KGB Lieutenant Colonel move to Moscow in 1996 and find himself Acting President of Russia by the end of the millennium? Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin sees his regime as a triumph – one that has turned a bankrupt state into an energy superpower, built a new middle class out of post-Soviet wreckage, and defeated NATO expansion. However, in this riveting new analysis, Ben Judah argues that Russia’s leader is not the strongman he appears. Written with rare access to the oligarchs and officials who made the Putin era and the new opposition who are trying to destroy it, Fragile Empire is a journey through a frenzied Moscow and beyond.
The Passage to Europe by Luuk van Middelaar
Casting a long term lens over the history of the European Union, The Passage to Europe tells a story of unexpected events and twists of fate, bold vision and sheer necessity, told from the perspective of the keyplayers – from de Gaulle to Havel, Thatcher to Merkel.
Luuk van Middelaar is a Dutch political philosopher and historian with intricate knowledge of, and unparalleled access to, the inner-workings of the European Union by virtue of his role as adviser and speechwriter to Herman Van Pompuy, the first long-term President of the European Council.
Syria by David W. Lesch
In this timely book, David W. Lesch explores Assad’s failed leadership, his transformation from bearer of hope to reactionary tyrant, and his regime’s violent response to the uprising of his people in the wake of the Arab Spring. Lesch charts Assad’s turn toward repression and the inexorable steps toward the violence of 2011 and 2012. Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad recounts the causes of the Syrian uprising, the regime’s tactics to remain in power, the responses of other nations to the bloodshed, and the determined efforts of regime opponents.
Europe’s Deadlock by David Marsh
In this devastating analysis, David Marsh asks why five years of continuous crisis management have not only failed to resolve the Eurozone’s problems but actually made things worse. Marsh argues that constructive dialogue has collapsed as EU decision-making descends into a state of terrified paralysis, and that although there are potential paths out of the impasse, all are blocked by indecision and timidity at the top.
Marsh warns that the current succession of complex technical fixes cannot sustain the Eurozone on life support indefinitely, and that without radical reform not just the Euro but the future of Europe itself is at risk.
Restless Valley by Philip Shishkin
It sounds like the stuff of a fiction thriller; two revolutions, a massacre of unarmed civilians, a civil war, a drug-smuggling highway, brazen corruption schemes, contract hits, and larger-than-life characters who may be villains…or heroes…or possibly both. Yet this book is not a work of fiction. It is instead a gripping, first-hand account of Central Asia’s unfolding history from 2005 to the present.