Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri is a history professor at the University of Wisconsin. His publications include The Global Revolutions of 1968, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of D├ętente, and Henry Kissinger and the American Century.

Earlier this week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
As I travel and lecture about Henry Kissinger, I am reading about another famous diplomat of the last forty years: Sergio Vieira de Mello. Samantha Power's new biography, Chasing the Flame, evocatively captures the experiences of this consummate United Nations diplomat. Vieira de Mello spent his entire career in the UN, overseeing one humanitarian relief and peacekeeping operation after another. He was in Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, and Iraq. He died tragically in one of the first major suicide attacks in Baghdad in 2003. Power's book explores the difficulties of peacemaking and the limits of United Nations effectiveness in our contemporary world.

I am also reading Nicholas Carr's provocative book, The Big Switch. Carr analyzes how we are living through a second revolution in power comparable to the development of mass electrical utilities in the late nineteenth century. In our contemporary world, computing power is migrating to large utilities like Google. This democratization of computing power makes it cheaper, but also more open to monopoly and manipulation. Carr's book wonderfully mixes historical analysis with future prognostication.
Learn more about Henry Kissinger and the American Century, and read an excerpt, at the Harvard University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Henry Kissinger and the American Century.

Author Interviews: Jeremi Suri.

David M. Kennedy on Henry Kissinger and the American Century:

This remarkable book is far more than a biography of Henry Kissinger. By probing Kissinger's personal background and intellectual formation as well as his often cunning and frequently controversial statecraft, Jeremi Suri brilliantly illuminates both the character of Kissinger the man and the nature of the turbulent and tension-racked age in which he lived and did so much--for better or worse--to shape.

--Marshal Zeringue