If I was at our International Studies Association (ISA) booth right now, I’d probably be fielding a dozen questions like, “What do you have about [insert current event here]?’ The great thing about this field is that you folks are always writing, pumping out relevant books at a truly impressive speed, and we never have to go long without important new material on the latest current events.
From Columbia, I have a few timely recommendations. First: Bob McNally’s Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices, now out in paperback, in our Center on Global Energy Policy series with Jason Bordoff. It’s been buried under a thousand terrifying news stories, but we are facing major upheavals in the global oil markets, and this book is a great place to start to understand what’s going on and why.
Second, hot off the press: Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy, edited by Kaeten Mistry and Hannah Gurman. Eons ago, in January, our country was abuzz with startling revelations from national security whistleblowers, and this book traces the political history of these moments in the United States.
Third, forthcoming in May: a translation of the latest work from Gilles Kepel, Away from Chaos: The Middle East and the Challenge to the West. Gilles is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the politics of the Middle East, and his take on the modern history of conflict in the region is one you should be sure not to miss.
And lastly, as everyone starts to reflect on global capitalism during the world’s response to COVID-19, a new addition to Amy Allen’s New Directions in Critical Theory series, Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia by Albena Azmanova, is especially pertinent. This book provides a thought-provoking look at how modern capitalism’s reliance on precarity can be overcome.
As I said in our intro post: no, we don’t have anything about global pandemics. Sorry! (Or am I? I’m not sorry. If you are looking for more pandemic content, I’d like to introduce you to “all of the news right now,” which is a great resource.)