• BOOKS

    Africa’s War Problem

    by  • July 12, 2016 • BOOKS • 

    Too much of Africa is a mess. While there are, of course, great success stories, many countries continue, despite the end of colonialism and the Cold War, to suffer wildly from poverty, illness, corruption, coups and wars — too many compared with the rest of the world. Even as an outsized slice of United...

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    Ancient Rome: An Empire With Surprising Relevance Today

    by  • April 2, 2016 • BOOKS • 

    Who isn’t fascinated by ancient Rome, which continues to engage our imaginations: how did the Romans have the engineering skills to construct those enormous buildings, and entertain us with statues, plays and art and inform our politics? The Cambridge University professor of classics and blogger Mary Beard’s “SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome,” which...

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    Falling Flat in Syria: How Not to Fight Jihad

    by  • February 20, 2016 • BOOKS • 

    Sun Tzu’s classic work on the art of war advises would-be warriors to “know your enemy.” What were Western powers and the United Nations thinking when they first pondered ways to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from beating, torturing, bombing and even gassing his own people after the first hesitant protests against his rigid...

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    The UN Security Council, Functioning Amid Disasters

    by  • January 9, 2016 • BOOKS • 

    There is no easy way to describe a book about the United Nations that is nearly 1,000 pages long, with dozens of authors, all experts in their fields. “The UN Security Council in the 21st Century” is that book, a collection of situation reports, analyses and prophesies published as the 70th anniversary year of the UN...

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    UN Peacekeeping: A Portrait of More Than 50 Years

    by  • December 28, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    For many people in the world, the United Nations is often associated with peacekeeping, one of the most visible activities of the world body in its efforts to maintain international peace and security. Peacekeeping was created in the late 1940s and developed over decades into an ambitious instrument to contain severe political and military...

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    What Can Save Unesco? Advice From an Insider

    by  • December 15, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    Founded in 1946 with noble goals, namely “to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has in fact achieved considerable progress, above all in assisting its member nations in providing quality basic education for children, youth...

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    The Surprising Confessions of a Peacemaker

    by  • July 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    When war breaks out, you would think the easy answer would be to send in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, right? In fact, it is fairly rare and extraordinarily challenging to pull such a mission together. Even then, the mission can end up a flop, making little or no difference as the years crawl...

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    What We’re Reading This Summer

    by  • July 11, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    Enjoying your summer but still looking for something good to read? There are lots of reading choices, of course, starting with all those backed up New Yorker magazines, McKinsey reports and NPR’s Summer Romance List. Or you can get a peek at what some of PassBlue’s editors and correspondents — Barbara Crossette, Irwin Arieff, Laura...

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    If Africa Is So Rich, Why Is It So Poor?

    by  • May 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 30 Comments

    They call it the Curse of Riches. Although the African continent is blessed with gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, iron ore and other valuable resources, its inhabitants have long numbered among the world’s poorest. While a few sub-Saharan African nations are doing relatively well, most are mired in poverty. That a continent’s abundant...

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