Have Books, Will Travel
Some of what I’ll be reading in the coming weeks
Things have been complicated in my life lately.
Due to pressing family-related matters I must attend to on the other side of the country, I’ll be traveling out East in the next week or so. Subsequently, I’ve been putting a lot of my time into planning. It’s a weird situation that will have me out east for a little while, so I’m bringing a few books.
Here’s some of what I’m bringing with me:
- Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar by Christopher F Roth: A broad and general rundown of break-away aspirants, Roth’s encyclopedia has become essential daily reading for me. Some of the movements listed are less concrete, but it’s an excellent starting point for investigating the historical contours of separatist inclinations.
- The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914–1991 by Eric Hobsbawm: This is the fourth installment of Hobsbawm’s in his series of contiguous historical works (after The Age of Revolution: 1789–1848, The Age of Capital: 1848–1875, and The Age of Empire: 1875–1914). I haven’t read the previous three books, and to be honest, I don’t intend to. My interest is in grappling with Hobsawm’s penetrating insights into the last century to better inform my understanding of the present.
- Adriatic: A Concert of Civilizations at the End of the Modern Age by Robert D. Kaplan: I’ve enjoyed Robert Kaplan’s explorations into history and cultural geography for years. I loved Balkan Ghosts, Eastward to Tartary, Monsoon, and In Europe’s Shadow. I don’t know where to expect Kaplan to go in this book, but that’s precisely what’s exciting about his work.
- Teachings from the Worldly Philosophy by Robert L. Heilbroner: I’d initially gotten this book many years ago as a textbook for a class on the history of economic thought. This year is a good time for a refresher on economic theory. Heilbroner’s catalog of work is not a terrible place to do this. This book, in particular, is a practical avenue of approach.
- Independence Movements and Their Aftermath: Self-Determination and the Struggle for Success by Jon B. Alterman and Will Todman: I recently read through a CSIS brief by Jon Alterman that was essentially an excerpt from this book. Needless to say, it is in my interest area, so I thought I’d give the longer work a spin. Having just read a little bit into the introduction, I’m expecting to enjoy this one a lot, despite its dry academic flavor.
As I said last week, I am aiming to get some time in to focus on movements in areas I’ll be crossing through. I hope to have much more to share in the weeks following my journey across the continent.
Originally published at https://davidnwaeze.substack.com on July 23, 2022.