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Chat & Chowder Series: 2011 – Present

March 13: The World in Your Workplace


As globalization goes forward, how do we adapt workplace behavior to new cultural contexts, while staying true to our authentic selves? What personal and cultural skills does the new worldwide workplace need? We were joined at the beautiful location of our new hosts, McDermott, Will & Emery, for a stimulating conversation with Dr. Andy Molinsky, an expert on behavior in the global business world, as he discussed these and other questions raised in his two books.

February 21: China in the Time of Trump


China has become the world’s second-largest economy and biggest trading nation. Much of its success has stemmed from friendly relations with the United States, where Republican and Democratic administrations alike saw the rise of a stable, prosperous China as serving the national interest.

But things have changed.  In the U.S., a Trump administration is likely to be less friendly.  And in China, challenges are multiplying.  The country is in a long-run growth slowdown, while trying to shift to a consumer-based economy and manage a rapidly aging population.  Will China continue its rise towards superpower status, or fall victim to financial crisis? And will the U.S. and China find a modus vivendi in Asia, or start a new cold war?

Arthur R. Kroeber, one of the world’s leading commentators on the Chinese economy and author of the recent book China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2016), provided insight into these crucial questions. He is managing director of GaveKal Dragonomics, an independent global economic research firm, and has worked for 15 years as a financial journalist and economic analyst in China, Taiwan and India, writing for Foreign Policy, Economist, Far Eastern Economic Review, Fortune and Wired. He is a contributor to the opinion pages of Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

December 7: To the Secretary: Leaked Embassy Cables and America’s Foreign Policy Disconnect

To the Secretary explores the most fascinating of the leaked State Department cables to offer an unparalleled window into the work of U.S. diplomats, demystifying the lives of those who implement America’s foreign policy. Mary Thompson-Jones offered a fresh look at the U.S. Foreign Service and revealed the disconnect that diplomats face at home. Thompson-Jones showed what policymakers can learn from diplomats abroad―and how this can strengthen America’s place in an unstable world.

November 1: Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers from the Experts About Our Presidents

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As a civil litigator for almost four decades, Talmage Boston’s business has been to seek the truth from witnesses and use it to bring focus toward final resolution. Knowing ultimate credibility can only be derived following cross-examination, over a three-year period, he interrogated those who have performed the heavy lifting of research and analysis about our commanders-in-chief.

Cross-Examining History delivered the answers to Boston’s questions with many of today’s most renowned presidential historians, and some esteemed high-level Oval Office insiders. The results expanded our knowledge of the most important aspects in our presidents’ lives.

October 11: Peace Through Entrepreneurship: Investing in a Startup Culture for Peace and Development

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In Peace Through Entrepreneurship, Steven R. Koltai argues that joblessness – not religious or cultural conflict – is the root cause of the unrest, extremism, and terror that vexes American foreign policy and threatens American security. And he offers a new solution based on a quintessentially American value and underutilized foreign policy tool: entrepreneurship.

As the first Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship under Secretary Hillary Clinton at the State Department, Koltai not only sets forth why this is good policy, but how the US Government can do it better.

September 20: Why Presidents Fail and How They Can Succeed Again

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From the botched attempt to rescue the U.S. diplomats held hostage by Iran in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter and the missed intelligence on Al Qaeda before 9-11 under George W. Bush to, most recently, the computer meltdown that marked the arrival of health care reform under Barack Obama, the American presidency has been a profile in failure.

In Why Presidents Fail and How They Can Succeed Again, Elaine Kamarck surveys these and other recent presidential failures to understand why Americans have lost faith in their leaders—and how they can get it back.

June 1: Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine

In February 2014, Russia initiated a war in Ukraine, its reasons for aggression unclear. Each of this volume’s authors offers a distinct interpretation of Russia’s motivations, untangling the social, historical, and political factors that created this war and continually reignite its tensions.

Elizabeth Wood talked through the following questions: What prompted President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea? Why did the conflict spread to eastern Ukraine with Russian support? What does the war say about Russia’s political, economic, and social priorities, and how does the crisis expose differences between the EU and Russia regarding international jurisdiction? Did Putin’s obsession with his macho image start this war, and is it preventing its resolution? The exploration of these and other questions gives historians, political watchers, and theorists a solid grasp of the events that have destabilized the region.

May 3: Getting to Green: Saving Nature, A Bipartisan Solution

The Green movement in America has lost its way. Pew polling reveals that the environment is one of the two things about which Republicans and Democrats disagree most. Congress has not passed a landmark piece of environmental legislation for a quarter-century. As atmospheric CO2 continues its relentless climb, even environmental insiders have pronounced “the death of environmentalism.” In Getting to Green, Frederic C. Rich argues that meaningful progress on urgent environmental issues can be made only on a bipartisan basis. Rich reminds us of American conservation’s conservative roots and of the bipartisan political consensus that had Republican congressmen voting for, and Richard Nixon signing, the most important environmental legislation of the 1970s. He argues that faithfulness to conservative principles requires the GOP to support environmental protection, while at the same time he criticizes the Green movement for having drifted too far to the left and too often appearing hostile to business and economic growth.

April 25: Security Mom

Juliette Kayyem, a national security expert who worked at the highest levels of government, and also a mom of three, discussed her book Security Mom, which wove her personal story of marriage and motherhood into a fast-paced account of managing the nation’s most compelling disasters. In her book, Juliette distills years of professional experience into smart, manageable guidelines for keeping your family safe in an unpredictable world. From stocking up on coloring books to stashing duplicate copies of valuable papers out of state, Juliette’s wisdom does more than just prepare us to survive in an age of mayhem—it empowers us to thrive. Her message, the result of years working where tragedy has thrived, is ultimately positive: starting in our homes, each of us—every mom, dad, aunt, uncle, yes every citizen—has the capacity to build a more resilient nation.

March 8: From Silk To Silicon: The Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives


Jeffrey Garten, Dean Emeritus of the Yale School of Management, discussed his book From Silk to Silicon, which tells the story of globalization as it hasn’t been told before, through the lives of ten people who did something so transformational that the impact of their achievements affected not only the times they lived in but the world we inhabit today. A number of themes emerge from this book which uses history and biography to provoke thinking about the present and the future. Jeffrey E. Garten teaches courses on the global economy at the Yale School of Management, where he was formerly the dean.

February 23: Russia Between Triumph and Disaster


What will be Russia’s place in the world? As a hydrocarbon exporter in an age of Shale and the end of the commodity boom; as a declining power in an age of European expansion and integration; as a nation with an emergent, contest role in Syria and the Near East. We explored these questions with Professor Abdelal, a scholar of political economy and geopolitics and the Director of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Professor Abdelal’s book, The Profits of Power: Energy Politics in Russia and Eurasia explores the relationships among political leadership, state-building, foreign investment, and geopolitics in the Russian energy sector.

Chat and Chowder Series 2015

December 1: The Mind of the African Strongman: Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen, and Father Figures

With wit and a sharp analytical eye, Ambassador Cohen reflects on almost four decades of foreign service throughout the continent by giving readers a never-before-seen look at the men who define modern Africa. He shares stories of his personal encounters with some of Africa’s most legendary leaders from Nelson Mandela to Muammar Gaddafi. Cohen also provides an exclusive account of working with U.S. Presidents, Secretaries of State, and other key leaders shaping U.S. foreign policy toward Africa in the post-colonial / Cold War era.

Ambassador Cohen’s historical analysis indicates the methods African leaders can use to fulfill the continent’s economic and democratic potential. Ambassador Cohen’s current position is President and CEO of Cohen and Woods International, which is a lobbying firm that has represented governments of Angola and Zimbabwe.

November 2: Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology

After a decade designing technologies meant to address education, health, and global poverty, award-winning computer scientist Kentaro Toyama came to a difficult conclusion: Even in an age of amazing technology, social progress depends on human changes that gadgets can’t deliver.
In this incisive book, Toyama cures us of the manic rhetoric of digital utopians and reinvigorates us with a deeply people-centric view of social change. Contrasting the outlandish claims of tech zealots with stories of people like Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft millionaire who left his engineering job to open Ghana’s first liberal arts university, and Tara Sreenivasa, a graduate of a remarkable South Indian school that takes impoverished children into the high-tech offices of Goldman Sachs and Mercedes-Benz, Geek Heresy is a heartwarming reminder that it’s human wisdom, not machines, that move our world forward.

September 15: Ghost Fleet – A Novel of the Next World War

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Author August Cole spoke of his fiction novel, which is about a futuristic World War III between The United States, China, and Russia that suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.

July 15: The World Politics of a Changing Energy Landscape

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Spurred by the shale energy revolution in North America and a vast new thirst for energy in Asia, global energy trends are changing dramatically. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense James Clad explored the origins of this rapidly changing global energy landscape and discussed the impacts it will have on our world.

May 19: George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core – A chat with former presidential speechwriter Curt Smith

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George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core shows how Bush’s courtesy and belief in work, religion, and American leadership helped a patrician candidate connect with Middle America and take his place among the most prominent statesmen of his time.

April 29: Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars – A chat with investigative journalist Chris Woods







Award-winning investigative journalist Chris Woods explores the secretive history of the United States’ use of armed drones and their key role not only on today’s battlefields, but also in a covert targeted killing project that has led to the deaths of thousands.

March 23: Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age – A chat with Professor Taylor Owen

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Taylor Owen provides readers with a sweeping look at the way that digital technologies are shaking up the workings of the institutions that have traditionally controlled international affairs: humanitarianism, diplomacy, war, journalism, activism, and finance.

February 11: Thieves of State – A chat with Sarah Chayes

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The bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine; abducted schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together? In a riveting account that weaves history with fast-moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, Sarah Chayes identifies the unexpected link: corruption.

January 29: Once Upon a Revolution – A chat with award-winning journalist Thanassis Cambanis

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Thanassis Cambanis tells the story of the noble dreamers who brought Egypt to the brink of freedom, and the powerful forces that—for the time being—stopped them short. But he also tells a universal story of inspirational people willing to transform themselves in order to transform their society.

Chat and Chowder Series 2014

December 10: Social Challenges Facing Cuba – A Chat with Dr. Andy Gomez

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Since the fall of the Soviet Union, we have witnessed a rapid transition from communist regimes to more democratic forms of government around the world. In most of these cases, analyses of societal changes have focused on political and economic transformation while paying very little attention to the impact such dramatic governance shifts have on the people. This book attempts to analyze some of these human factors as they apply to Cuba and what impact they will have for its future.

November 18: The Colder War: The U.S., Russia, and How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp – A chat with energy expert Marin Katusa

There is a new cold war underway, driven by a massive geopolitical power shift to Russia that went almost unnoticed across the globe. In The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp, energy expert Marin Katusa takes a look at the ways the western world is losing control of the energy market, and what can be done about it.

September 29: Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy – A chat with MIT Professor Barry Posen

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The United States, Barry R. Posen argues in Restraint, has grown incapable of moderating its ambitions in international politics. Since the collapse of Soviet power, it has pursued a grand strategy that he calls “liberal hegemony,” one that Posen sees as unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and wasteful. Written for policymakers and observers alike, Restraint explains precisely why this grand strategy works poorly and then provides a carefully designed alternative grand strategy and an associated military strategy and force structure.

June 25: How the World Stopped Another Great Depression – A chat with Fletcher School Professor Daniel Drezner

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In The System Worked, renowned international relations expert Daniel Drezner contends that despite the massive scale and reverberations of the Great Recession, the global economy has bounced back remarkably well. Bucking conventional wisdom, Drezner rehabilitates the image of the much-maligned global economic governance institutions and demolishes some of the most dangerous myths about the financial crisis. While the global economy is still fragile, Drezner argues that these institutions survived the “stress test,” and may have become even more resilient and valuable in the process.

May 15: Nuclear Nightmares ~ A chat with Ploughshares’ Joseph Cirincione
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There is a high risk that someone will use, by accident or design, one or more of the 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, yet hope remains: more countries have abandoned nuclear weapon programs than have developed them, and global arsenals are just one-quarter of what they were during the Cold War. Can these trends continue, or are we on the brink of a new arms race — or worse, nuclear war? Author Joseph Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund and a former member of Senator Obama’s nuclear policy team, operates at the center of debates on nuclear terrorism, new nuclear nations, and the risks of existing arsenals.

April 30: The World Through Arab Eyes ~ A chat with Prof. Shibley Telhami
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While the Arab uprisings that began in 2010 have triggered seismic changes in the region, Arab public opinion has been a perennial but long ignored force influencing events in the Middle East. In The World Through Arab Eyes, eminent political scientist Shibley Telhami draws upon a decade’s worth of original polling data to analyze the driving forces and emotions of the uprisings and the next phase of Arab politics. In astonishing detail and with great humanity, Telhami identifies the key prisms through which Arabs view issues central to their everyday lives.
WorldBoston’s The World Through Arab Eyes was a program of the World Affairs Councils of America with support provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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March 26: Beyond Conflict – A chat with Tim Phillips
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How do wars end? Why are some societies capable of peaceful political transitions while others descend into violence? In this compelling narrative, Tim Phillips draws on 20 years of experience on the front lines of peace negotiations around the world to offer lessons for our current foreign policy challenges. He relates stories of six transformative leaders from South Africa, Guatemala, Northern Ireland, Israel, Chile and Czechoslovakia who stood up to dictatorship, sat down with their enemies and confronted their greatest fears to pave the way for lasting peace and reconciliation.

January 28: In the Land of Silver – A chat with Latin America economist Walter Molano
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Walter Molano, one of Latin Finance’s top-ranked economists for Latin America, tells the complex story of a country that only a century ago was on par with the economic development of the U.S. and Europe, but has since fallen behind. While the Argentine case has been the subject of derision, broad simplifications, and stereotypes, geography and external forces played a significant and inevitable role in shaping the country’s destiny. In this timely and concise read, Dr. Molano shares his pragmatic analysis of one of the major players in this critical developing region.

Chat and Chowder Series 2013

December 2: This is No Ordinary Joy – A chat with Made By Survivors’ Sarah Symons
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In This Is No Ordinary Joy, Sarah Symons, co-founder of Made By Survivors, shares her journey and exposes readers to modern day slavery, inspiring courage, today’s Underground Railroad movement, and the limitless opportunities to affect change in the face of seemingly unstoppable atrocities.

November 19: Iran and the Bomb – A chat with Mideast expert Ken Pollack
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Veteran Middle East analyst Kenneth Pollack, a Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution and Former Director for Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council, explores America’s decades-long confrontation with Iran and the latest stage in Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. At a time when U.S. and regional leaders debate how to proceed with Iran’s new president, Pollack lays out key solutions, assessing the options that lie before American policymakers. Insightful, powerful, and balanced in its approach, Unthinkable is one of today’s most thoughtful and important foreign policy reads.

October 29: First Globals – A chat with pollster John Zogby
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Veteran pollster John Zogby provides a detailed analysis of why Americans born between 1979 and 1994 are truly more globally attuned than their predecessors, how they want to make their planet a better place, and how we begin to let them play out their destiny. First Globals are a transformative group and this book provides a road map for managers, marketers, parents, and First Globals themselves.

September 23: Presidential Leadership – A chat with Harvard University’s Joseph Nye
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In his latest work, Harvard’s renowned Professor Joseph Nye assesses the presidents who presided over the most critical phases of America’s rise to world primacy. Nye shows how transformational presidents like Wilson and Reagan changed how America sees the world, but argues that transactional presidents like Eisenhower and the elder Bush were often more effective and ethical.

August 27: After Mandela – A chat with Northwestern University’s Douglas Foster
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Drawing on unprecedented access to President Jacob Zuma and members of the Mandela family, Professor Foster offers a sobering, but ultimately reassuring, portrait of a country caught between its founding principles and the stark realities the new nation faced from the beginning. As the world watches South Africa’s post-Mandela era unfold, Foster presents this story not only from the vantage point of the emerging black elite, but also from the point of view of rural children and the young — who are ready to claim the liberation originally won in their name.

July 24: The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay – A chat with WSJ’s Supreme Court Correspondent Jess Bravin
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The first reporter to go inside the Pentagon to expose the real-world legal consequences of detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, Bravin describes cases undermined by inadmissible evidence obtained through torture, clashes between military lawyers and administration appointees, and political interference in criminal prosecutions that would be shocking within our traditional justice systems. The Terror Courts provides crucial and timely insight, as the Obama administration proceeds with trying the alleged 9/11 conspirators at Guantanamo.

June 17: China, the U.S., & the World – A chat with Harvard’s renowned Professor Graham Allison
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In a question-and-answer format with the founding father of modern Singapore, co-authors Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill of Harvard’s Kennedy School convey Lee Kuan Yew’s strategic advice on India, China, Islamic terrorism, the welfare state, the free market, education, and democracy. This book belongs on the reading list of every world leader and all those who seek to understand the United States’ greatest foreign policy challenges in Asia and around the globe.

May 28: The Ownership Revolution – A chat with Tellus Institute Fellow Marjorie Kelly
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Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution (winner of the 2013 Nautilus Silver Book Award in the Business/Leadership category) explores many experiments with new “generative ownership”, aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. To understand these emerging alternatives, Kelly reports from all over the world, and finds the five essential patterns of ownership design that make these models work. And she explores how they may hold the key to the deep transformation that our civilization needs.

April 23: The Business of Travel – A chat with award-winning correspondent Elizabeth Becker
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In the last two decades, tourism has grown from one of life’s great pleasures into the largest global business. The travel and tourism industry now employs one in twelve people in the world, produces $6.5 trillion of the world’s economy, and is the main source of income for many countries. In OVERBOOKED: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, award-winning correspondent Elizabeth Becker explores the vast dimensions of this industry and its effect on the world economy, the environment, and our culture.

March 18: 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan – A chat with MIT’s Ford International Professor Richard Samuels
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In 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, MIT’s Richard Samuels offers the first broad scholarly assessment of the impact of the 2011 earthquake on Japan’s government and society. Assessing reformers’ successes and failures as they used the catastrophe to push their particular agendas, Samuels outlines Japan’s rhetoric of crisis and shows how it has come to define post-3.11 politics and public policy.

February 27: The U.S. Foreign Service and 21st Century Diplomacy – A chat with journalist Nicholas Kralev
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America’s Other Army puts a human face on a mysterious profession that has undergone a dramatic transformation since September 11, 2001. Through the stories of American diplomats, the book explains how their work affects millions of people in the United States and around the world every day, and how it underpins the United States’ security and prosperity. Having visited more than 50 embassies and interviewed some 600 American diplomats, the author reveals a Foreign Service whose diversity and professional versatility have shattered old perceptions and redefined modern diplomacy.

January 29: Power, Inc: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Gov’t – A chat with David Rothkopf

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David Rothkopf, CEO & Editor-at-Large of Foreign Policy Magazine, provides a fresh, timely look at how we have reached a point where thousands of companies have greater power than all but a handful of states. Power, Inc. traces the jockeying for influence right up to today’s financial crises, growing inequality, and battles over the proper roles of government and markets. An important look at the struggle that is defining our times, Rothkopf’s analysis also offers critical insights into how to navigate the tumultuous years ahead.

Chat and Chowder Series 2012

December 10: On the Edge of the Cold War – A chat with Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic Igor Lukes

In 1945, the U.S. State Department and U.S. Intelligence saw Czechoslovakia as the key to the balance of power in postwar Europe. The political scene in Prague was considered the bellwether of America’s ability to coexist with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union. Drawn from a wealth of personal memoirs and archival sources, On the Edge of the Cold War won the CIA’s 2012 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Intelligence Literature!

Nov. 20: Confronting the Nuclear Threat: Second-Term Strategies for the President – A chat with nuclear security expert Joseph Cirincione

In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, nuclear expert and author Cirincione analyzed the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran, and discussed President Obama’s strategies for countering these threats during his second term.

Joseph Cirincione is President of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He is the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, and serves as a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s International Security Advisory Board.

WorldBoston’s Confronting the Nuclear Threat program was undertaken in partnership with the World Affairs Councils of America, with generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Oct. 23: The Dictator’s Learning Curve – A chat with Slate Magazine Political and Foreign Affairs Editor William Dobson

While modern dictators are becoming skilled at covering repression with talk of human rights and free elections, an unlikely army of democracy advocates—students, bloggers, lawyers, activists, and millionaires—are growing increasingly savvy themselves. In The Dictator’s Learning Curve, Slate Magazine’s William Dobson takes us behind the scenes in both camps, and reveals how each side is honing its strategies for the war that will define our age.

Sept. 4: Assessing the War on Terror

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for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
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Our fall series kicked off with two prominent assessments of the War on Terror: In Little America: The War within the War for Afghanistan, Rajiv Chandrasekaran (pictured left), Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor at the Washington Post and former Baghdad Bureau Chief, reveals the lost opportunities of the eleven year old conflict. George Mason University Professor Mark N. Katz (right) takes a strategic look in Leaving without Losing: The War on Terror after Iraq and Afghanistan, in which he establishes how the U.S. can counter transnational terrorism post-2014. The authors packed the house at September’s Chat!

July 10: Why Nations Fail – A chat with MIT Professor Daron Acemoglu

Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor? Based on fifteen years of original research, authors Acemoglu and Robinson marshal extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today. Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.

June 11: The Coming Prosperity – A chat with GMU Professor Philip Auerswald

Overcoming the outdated narratives of fear that dominate public discourse, The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy boldly presents how humanity can grasp the powerful momentum of progress. Acknowledging the gravity of today’s greatest global challenges—like climate change, water scarcity, and rapid urbanization—Auerswald contends that the choices of creative individuals today will determine the extent and reach of the coming prosperity.

May 14: Longshot – A chat with biodefense and vaccine innovation expert Kendall Hoyt

Hoyt’s timely investigation discovers that many late-twentieth-century developments that have been celebrated as a boon for innovation have undercut the research practices and collaborative government-industry networks that drove successful biodefense projects in the past. The book teaches important lessons for our efforts to rebuild twenty-first-century capabilities, especially when the financial payback for a particular vaccine is low, but the social returns are high.

April 3: The Arab Uprising: The Protests and the Struggle for a New Middle East – A chat with Middle East expert Marc Lynch

America must now come to grips with a Middle East where public opinion actually matters, perhaps for the first time in the region’s history. Informed by inside access to the Obama administration and a wealth of knowledge about youth activists and Islamists alike, Marc Lynch provides an essential guide to a changing Middle East and North Africa.

March 14: American Gridlock – A chat with economist and strategist H. Woody Brock

Pessimism is ubiquitous as the pressing issues of massive debt, high unemployment, and anemic economic growth divide the populace into warring political camps. Ideologues talk past each other, with neither side admitting the other has any good ideas. In American Gridlock, Brock bridges the Left/Right divide, illuminating a clear path out of our economic quagmire.

Feb. 15: No One’s World – A chat with national security and European affairs expert Charles Kupchan

Georgetown Prof. Kupchan contends the Western order will not be displaced by a new great power or dominant political model. The 21st century will not belong to America, China, Asia, or anyone else. It will be no one’s world. For the first time in history, the world will be interdependent–but without a center of gravity or global guardian.

Jan. 24: The Future of Value – A chat with sustainability strategist Eric Lowitt

Nominated for 2011 Finance/Economics Business Book of the Year by 800-CEO-READ, Eric Lowitt’s The Future of Value reveals how the boundaries of competition have been altered by sustainability’s emergence as the newest dimension of competitive strategy.

Chat and Chowder Series 2011

Being There: Learning to Live Cross-Culturally – A chat with editor and cultural anthropologist Sarah H. Davis

Sarah H. Davis, Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Emory University, presents travelers’ tales and anthropologists’ essays that entertain and illuminate. Her edited volume shows how the moral and intellectual challenges of living cross-culturally revealed to the authors the limits of their perception and understanding.

Islam Without Extremes – A chat with Turkish commentator Mustafa Akyol

In Islam Without Extremes, Turkish political commentator and author Mustafa Akyol offers a compelling intellectual basis for reconciling Western liberalism and Islamic theology. Join us for the final program in our year-long Spotlight on Turkey series.

Post-Imperium – A chat with the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow Director Dmitri Trenin

In Post-Imperium: A Eurasian Story, Dmitri Trenin contends that Moscow’s bid to consolidate its “zone of privileged interests” over former Soviet republics has raised questions about the nature of Russia’s relations with its neighbors and prospects for regional stability. Trenin, who served in the Soviet and Russian armed forces from 1972 to 1993, argues that Moscow needs to drop the notion of creating an exclusive power center in the post-Soviet space. Like other former European empires, Russia has no choice but to reinvent itself as a global player and member of a wider community.

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China – A chat with Harvard Professor Emeritus Ezra F. Vogel

Once described by Mao Zedong as a “needle inside a ball of cotton,” Deng Xiaoping was the pragmatic, disciplined force behind China’s radical evolution in the late twentieth century. In Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, Harvard Professor Emeritus Ezra Vogel tells how the man confronted the damage wrought by the Cultural Revolution, dissolved Mao’s cult of personality, and loosened the economic and social policies that had stunted China’s growth. Obsessed with modernization, Deng opened trade relations with the West, which lifted hundreds of millions of his countrymen out of poverty. Yet he answered to his authoritarian roots, most notably when he ordered the crackdown in June 1989 at Tiananmen Square.

The Other Barack – A chat with award-winning Globe reporter Sally H. Jacobs

The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father….Author and award-winning Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs tells the full story of Barack Obama–father of the American President–through exclusive interviews, prodigious research, and determined investigation. The book profiles a man who arrived in the U.S. from Kenya to become a brilliant, Harvard-educated economist. It reveals the life of a polygamist, an alcoholic, and an ardent African nationalist unafraid to speak truth to power at a time when that could get you killed. Father of eight, nurturer of none, he was nonetheless–like his famous son–a man moved by the dream of a better world.

Juggernaut – A chat with former WorldBank lead economist William Shaw

In their new book Juggernaut William Shaw, visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and co-author Uri Dadush assess how emerging markets are re-shaping the main avenues of globalization — trade, finance, migration, and the global commons. Projecting the global economy will triple in 40 years, they identify key policy options for managing this transformation.

The Whistleblower – A chat with human rights investigator Kathryn Bolkovac

Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman’s Fight for Justice…Soon to be a major motion picture starring Rachel Weisz, this is the riveting account of Kathryn Bolkovac, a former Nebraska police officer who served as a human rights investigator in Bosnia. At great personal risk, she exposed human rights abuses committed against young girls, who’d been forced into prostitution and used as sex slaves, by U.S. military contractors such as DynCorp and other UN-related police and international organizations.

Conversations with Power – A chat with author Brian Michael Till

Brian Michael Till is a research fellow with the DC-based New America Foundation, where he primarily works with Middle East and Latin American policy. He blogs for the Atlantic. In CONVERSATIONS WITH POWER: What Great Presidents and Prime Ministers Can Teach Us About Leadership, Till sits down with luminaries such as Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ehud Barak, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Vaclav Havel, asking the hard questions and gleaning their advice for coming generations.

The Future of Power – A chat with power expert Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology. In 2004, he published Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics; Understanding International Conflict (5th edition); and The Power Game: A Washington Novel. In 2008, he published The Powers to Lead. Nye’s latest book just came out: The Future of Power.

Playing Our Game: Why China’s Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West

Edward S. Steinfeld, Professor of political economy at MIT, directs the MIT-China Program (MISTI) and co-directs the MIT Industrial Performance Center’s China Energy Group. In Playing Our Game: Why China’s Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West, he challenges the notion that political change in China has lagged economic trans-formation. The book argues instead that the Chinese growth story is fundamentally about China’s internalization of the rules and practices of advanced industrial nations.

Osama bin Laden – A chat with CIA bin Laden Unit chief Michael Scheuer







We launched our CHAT & CHOWDA Author Series with Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit. His biography, Osama bin Laden, offers a no-nonsense biographical look at this “pious, brave, intelligent, charismatic” enemy of the West. A lively Q&A delved into what makes bin Laden such a formidable strategist and threat to the West, and how al-Qaeda might take advantage of current turmoil in the Middle East.