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

Hot Off The Presses

Winter 2007-2008

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

By John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M.Walt; Farrar, Straus and Giroux"The Israel Lobby," by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy.

Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America's posture throughout the Middle East-in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli- Palestinian conflict-and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America's national interest nor Israel's long-term interest.

". . . ruthlessly realistic. . . ."

-The New York Times

"The strategic questions the book raises, particularly about Israel's privileged position with the United States, are worth debating. . . ."

-The New Yorker

". . . a powerful call for change for the sake of both Washington and Tel Aviv."

  • - The National Interest

Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post-Kyoto World

Edited by Joseph E. Aldy and Robert N. Stavins; Cambridge University Press

With increasing greenhouse gas emissions, we are embarked on an unprecedented experiment with an uncertain outcome for the future of the planet. The Kyoto Protocol serves as an initial step through 2012 to mitigate the threats posed by global climate change. Policy- makers, scholars, businessmen, and environmentalists now have begun debating the structure of the successor to the Kyoto agreement. Written by a team of leading scholars in economics, law, and international relations, this book contributes to the debate by examining the merits of six alternative international architectures for climate policy.

"The Kyoto Protocol was at best an imperfect and incomplete first step toward an effective response to the enormously difficult problem of climate change, which is characterized by huge stakes, great uncertainties, global scope, and a time scale measured in decades or centuries. In this important volume, Joseph Aldy, Robert Stavins, and a host of distinguished contributors provide a thoughtful exploration of a range of alternative post- Kyoto top-down and bottom-up regimes and their implications. This book should be read by everyone who takes climate change seriously as a policy problem."

-Richard Schmalensee, John C Head III Dean, Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management


Reassessing Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific: Competition, Congruence, and Transformation

Edited by Amitav Acharya and Evelyn Goh Belfer Center Studies in International Security The MIT Press

Since the 1990s, Asia-Pacific countries have changed their approaches to security cooperation and regional order. The end of the Cold War, the resurgence of China, the Asian economic crisis, and the events of September 11, 2001, have all contributed to important changes in the Asia-Pacific security architecture. In addition to the traditional bilateral security arrangements based on the U.S. "hub and spokes" alliance system, there has been an increase in multilateral efforts. This book examines how successful these new arrangements have been, whether there is competition among them, and why some modes of security cooperation have proven more feasible than others.

"It brings together the most formidable group of experts yet assembled to gauge how the region's alliances, institutions, and regimes work to advance Asia's regional security order."

-William Tow, Professor of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University


Power to People: The Inside Story of AES and the Globalization of Electricity

By Peter Grose; Island Press

In the late 1990s, while Enron was flying high, a smaller power company flew under the radar. The AES Corporation was founded in 1981 according to a different set of principles-fiscally conservative investment strategies paired with the belief that business can be both fun and socially responsible. While Enron and many others stumbled, AES proved itself able to survive and often to thrive. Rapid growth would become the company's greatest challenge, yet through exhilarating highs and disappointing lows, AES has maintained its founders' original vision of electricity generation that sustains workers, consumers, and the environment. Power to People is the story of electricity privatization, expanding global markets, and the transformation of an industry. It is also proof of the electrifying combination of innovation and good citizenship.

". . . Grose helps us to appreciate the upside of a values-driven approach, but also the imperatives for management and the board to ensure that values enhance-and don't undercut-performance."

-Les Silverman, Director Emeritus and former head of Electric Power and Natural Gas Practice, McKinsey & Company


J.D. Bernal: The Sage of Science

By Andrew Brown; Oxford University Press (Paperback Edition)

J.D. Bernal, known as "Sage," was an extraordinary man and multifaceted character. A scientist of dazzling intellectual ability and a leading figure in the development of X-ray crystallography, he was a polymath, a fervent Marxist, and much admired worldwide. Although he himself never won a Nobel Prize, several of his distinguished students went on to do so, including Dorothy Hodgkin, Max Perutz, and Aaron Klug. Andrew Brown has had unprecedented access to Bernal's papers and diaries, and this biography includes previously unpublished material on Bernal's role during the Second World War. Brown's compelling account covers all aspects of Bernal's brilliant, colorful, and bohemian life, and introduces this towering figure of 20th century science to a wide audience.

"In the end, Brown is himself too much a scientist to force a neat conclusion on to the amazing story of J. D. Bernal's life and mind; but he takes us on a thrilling voyage and the reader is content to have been, in the better sense of the term, a fellow traveler on that extraordinary journey."

The Spectator


  • - Compiled by Susan Lynch.


For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Hot Off The Presses.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Winter 2007-2008).