IRC Book Club
Share |

About the Book Club
The IRC Book Club gives participants the opportunity to discuss foreign affairs, global topics, authors' perspectives, historical events, and their current local relevance in a respectful, engaging setting. Convened by seasoned Great Decisions leader Jack McLaren, the group meets every six to eight weeks to dig into a different author's work.

Next Meeting
Wednesday, November 1, 6:30-8 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)
Session Leader: Stephen Steigman, IRC board member and chief of broadcast operations for KCUR 89.3
This is a free program that is open to the public, though reservations are requested to help with planning.
For those who would like to continue the discussion after 8:00, the group may move to some place like the Brooksider.


REGISTER HERE »

Currently Reading
China's Future
by David Shambaugh – 244 pages

Available for purchase (hardback, paperback, or e-reader): Amazon » Ebay »
Check out local booksellers: Rainy Day Books »
Because this is such a new book, it is not currently available at area libraries, but do feel free to inquire.

Description: China's future is arguably the most consequential question in global affairs. Having enjoyed unprecedented levels of growth, China is at a critical juncture in the development of its economy, society, polity, national security, and international relations. The direction the nation takes at this turning point will determine whether it stalls or continues to develop and prosper. Will China be successful in implementing a new wave of transformational reforms that could last decades and make it the world's leading superpower? Or will its leaders shy away from the drastic changes required because the regime's power is at risk? If so, will that lead to prolonged stagnation or even regime collapse? Might China move down a more liberal or even democratic path? Or will China instead emerge as a hard, authoritarian and aggressive superstate? In this new book, David Shambaugh argues that these potential pathways are all possibilities - but they depend on key decisions yet to be made by China's leaders, different pressures from within Chinese society, as well as actions taken by other nations. Assessing these scenarios and their implications, he offers a thoughtful and clear study of China's future for all those seeking to understand the country's likely trajectory over the coming decade and beyond.

Previous Selections
September 12, 2017
 
The Retreat of Western Liberalism
by Edward Luce – 232 pages

Available for purchase (new, used, or e-reader): Amazon » Half.com »
Check out local booksellers: Rainy Day Books »
Check out local libraries: KC Public Library » Johnson County Public Library » Mid-Continent Public Library »

Description: In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America's relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy―of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's economic losers, and complacency about our system's durability―attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. The West's faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different. Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.
 

July 26, 2017
Megachange: Economic Disruption, Political Upheaval, and Social Strife in the 21st Century
by Darrell M. West – 224 pages

Description: Big, unexpected changes are here to stay. Slow, incremental change has become a relic of the past. Today's shifts come fast and big, what Darrell West calls megachanges, in which dramatic disruptions in trends and policies occur on a regular basis. Domestically, we see megachange at work in the new attitudes and policies toward same-sex marriage, health care, smoking, and the widespread legalization of marijuana use. Globally, we have seen the extraordinary rise and then collapse of the Arab Spring, the emergence of religious zealotry, the growing influence of nonstate actors, the spread of ISIS-fomented terrorism, the rise of new economic and political powers in Asia, and the fracturing of once-stable international alliances. With megachange becoming the new normal, our domestic and global institutions must develop the ability to tackle the massive economic, political, and social shifts that we face.

Sign In
Sign In securely
Calendar

11/30/2017
Rainy Day Books Author Talk: Khizr Khan

12/6/2017
NATO: Truman to Trump

2/3/2018
Academic WorldQuest 2018

Latest News