Saturday, June 04, 2005

Great Books

There are a couple of books that I have read recently that have really clarified my view of the world. The first is The Pentagon's New Map by Thomas P. M. Barnett. He is a long time security policy wonk who has developed a view of international security concerns that makes sense to me. He states that the world has divided itself into an "Integrated Core" and the "Gap." The intigrated core are those parts of the world that have joined the global economy and have become in effect a part of a larger economic system that requires peace and the rule of law to function. The gap is what's left and has been largely left out of the process and is the source most international security concerns. Today the main visible arena for this is the middle-east but it could be any where in the gap. The only way to solve these problems are in the end to integrate these areas into the Core.

Barnett's book really made sense to me in regard to international relations and security. I am just finishing Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. This book dovetails almost perfectly with Barnett's, though I am not sure that either of them would think so. What Friedman does is explain how the core integrates and how it works on a micro as well as a macro level. As I read the book I kept saying (to myself to avoid being considered a nutcase by my fellow Delta passengers) "So this is how the core works!"

You should all read both books right now. If you think I'm nuts say so and we can discuss it.


Anonymous Brad said...

Um, I'm studying for the bar exam. I think you're wrong. Besides, I've decided that I simply can't stand reading non-fiction, after all the philosophy and other policy crap I had to read for my seminars the last couple of semesters. Nah, I'll make my way through Something Happened, though it's certainly not the book that The Milagro Beanfield War was (which is the last book I read). Now that is a book that you need to get out and read right now, if you haven't already (which I think is unlikely, but who knows).

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Oh yeah, read Lucky Jim, too -- though Milagro Beanfield War is probably better.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Mental Meanderings said...

I must admit that I am a great fan of fiction of a wide variety. I read a great deal of it. I was commenting on two books that I have read recently that had a particular impact on me and how I view the world we live in.

I liked them and thought I would share.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous piglet said...

Hm. I'm intrigued about reading these sequentially, because the thought of reading one might help me make it through the other. Have you made it through Born Fighting yet?

11:23 AM  
Blogger Mental Meanderings said...

Born fighting has not made it onto my list yet. It is checked out of the library and I don't know if I want to buy it.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous piglet said...

I'd say wait on buying it until you've given it a chance. I'll be interested to see if the "personal history" aspects make it more, or less, of an enjoyable read for you. (I couldn't read it all at once because of the constant infuriating shocks of recognition. YMMV.)

5:31 PM  

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