- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Hot off the Presses

| Winter 2009-10

Climbing the Bookshelves: The Autobiography of Shirley Williams
By Shirley Williams; Virago Press (September 2009)

"The role of women in our society has changed out of all recognition. But it has changed least in the House of Commons. I want to describe those changes and the resistances to them through the magnifying glass of my own life, a life that coincides with our turbulent post-war history." Shirley Williams was born into politics. She was influenced both by her mother, Vera Brittian, and father George Caitlin, a leading political scientist, who encouraged his daughter to have high ambitions for herself-including daring to climb the bookshelves in his library. Elected as MP for Hitchin in 1964, she was a member of the Harold Wilson and James Callaghan governments and also the Secretary of State for Education. As one of the "Gang of Four," Williams famously broke away from the Labour Party to found the Social Democratic Party in 1981 and later supported its merger with the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats. Climbing the Bookshelves is the voice of a strong and passionate woman of luminous intelligence.

What you get is what you might expect-a straight narrative, few secrets, no bitching but clear-eyed political analysis."-The Guardian.

 



Securing the Peace: The Durable Settlement of Civil Wars

By Monica Duffy Toft; Princeton University Press (Forthcoming January 2010)

Securing the Peace is the first book to explore the complete spectrum of civil war terminations, including negotiated settlements, military victories by governments and rebels, and stalemates and ceasefires. Examining the outcomes of all civil war terminations since 1940, Monica Duffy Toft develops a general theory of postwar stability, showing how third-party guarantees may not be the best option.

Toft finds that military victory, especially victory by rebels, lends itself to a more durable peace. She argues for the importance of the security sector-the police and military-and explains that victories are more stable when governments can maintain order. Toft presents statistical evaluations and in-depth case studies that include El Salvador, Sudan, and Uganda to reveal that where the security sector remains robust, stability and democracy are likely to follow.

"...Toft challenges the flawed assumptions driving international peacemaking diplomacy and peacekeeping operations, which sadly may be prolonging civil wars instead of ending them."-Andrew Natsios, Georgetown University

 



The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial
By Moshik Temkin; Yale University Press (April 2009)

What began as the obscure local case of two Italian immigrant anarchists accused of robbery and murder flared into an unprecedented political and legal scandal as the perception grew that their conviction was a judicial travesty and their execution a political murder. This book is the first to reveal the full national and international scope of the Sacco-Vanzetti affair, uncovering how and why the two men became the center of a global cause célèbre that shook public opinion and transformed America's relationship with the world.

Drawing on extensive research on two continents, and written with verve, this book connects the Sacco-Vanzetti affair to the most polarizing political and social concerns of its era. Moshik Temkin contends that the worldwide attention to the case was generated not only by the conviction that innocent men had been condemned for their radical politics and ethnic origins but also as part of a reaction to U.S. global supremacy and isolationism after World War I. The book concludes by investigating the affair's enduring repercussions and what they reveal about global political action, terrorism, jingoism, xenophobia, and the politics of our own time.

". . .This is a fresh look at an enduring controversy and a reminder that modern ambivalence about American power has deep roots."-ALA Booklist

 



Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System
By Elaine C. Kamarck; Brookings Institution Press (2009)

In Primary Politics, Elaine Kamarck explains how the presidential nomination process became the often baffling system we have today. Her focus is the largely untold story of how presidential candidates since the early 1970s have sought to alter the rules in their favor and how their failures and successes have led to even more change. She describes how candidates have sought to manipulate the sequencing of primaries to their advantage and how Iowa and New Hampshire came to dominate the system. She analyzes the rules that are used to translate votes into delegates, paying special attention to the Democrats' twenty-year fight over proportional representation.

Drawing on meticulous research, interviews with key figures in both parties, and years of experience, this book explores how we narrow the list of presidential candidates every four years.

 



Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World

By Vali Nasr; Free Press (September 2009)

Vali Nasr presents a paradigm-changing revelation that will transform the understanding of the Muslim world at large. He reveals that there is a vital but unseen rising force in the Islamic world-a new business-minded middle class-that is building a vibrant new Muslim world economy and holds the key to winning the cold war against Iran and extremists.

Drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the Muslim world's tortured history, he offers a powerful reassessment of why both extremism and anti-Americanism took hold in the region-not because of an inevitable "clash of cultures" or the nature of Islam, but because of the failure of this kind of authentic middle class to develop in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, largely due to the insidious effects first of colonialism and then of top-down dictatorial regimes, often supported by the West. He then shows that the devoutly Islamic, yet highly modern, Muslims-in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and the stealth force behind the extraordinary growth of aggressively capitalist Dubai-are finally the middle class the region has desperately needed. They are people in the region the West can and must do business with.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Lynch, Susan M., ed.. Hot off the Presses.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Winter 2009-10).

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