Friday, November 15, 2013

Christopher M. Davidson

Christopher Davidson is reader in Government and International Affairs at Durham University, a former visiting associate professor at Kyoto University, and a former assistant professor at Zayed University in the UAE. He is the author of several books on the politics and international affairs of the Gulf states, including Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond, Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success, and The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia: From Indifference to Interdependence.

His new book is After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies.

Last week I asked the author about what he was reading. Davidson's reply:
Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Taleb makes clear distinctions between 'fragile' and 'anti-fragile' life patterns, allowing us to insulate ourselves better from the turbulence of the modern world, and making seemingly random and chaotic events work in our favour. Should we save or spend? How should our society and economy achieve more sustainable growth? These and many other questions are addressed, the answers to which - without exaggeration - have implications for mankind itself.

Cry Havoc by Simon Mann

A gripping autobiographical account from veteran British SAS captain and long-time mercenary Simon Mann. With his weapons-laden plane intercepted enroute to Equatorial Guinea, Mann was incarcerated in Zimbabwe before being extradited to EG itself. Soon aware of the dirty politics around him, including foreign bankers, British grandees, and big power games, Mann makes claims that the CIA itself was also involved, eventually subverting his coup as part of an effort to strengthen America's position in the oil-rich mini state.

In Defence of Leon Trotsky by David North

Picking apart the 'mainstream' biographies of Trotsky penned by western historians such as Thatcher and Service, North sets about resurrecting the image and rehabilitating the reputation of Trotksy. Not only as the architect of proletarian internationalism, but also as one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the twentieth century. Comprising a series of lectures and other presentations, North's short book is an excellent alternative introduction to Trotskyism.

Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady

With talk of surveillance culture, 'shadow governments', and a new generation of 'leaker heros' now entering into mainstream Western debate, it has never been a better time to publish a book on the existence, or otherwise, of a 'deep state.' Just what traditional, neo-patriarchal, or crony-based powers continue to exist underneath the veneer of institutions that the Western democracies have carefully built up and maintained over the past few centuries?
Visit Christopher M. Davidson's website.

The Page 99 Test: Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond.

--Marshal Zeringue