Some books currently on my reading list

  1. China’s Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Boom and Vast Corruption
  2. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap
  3. The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe
  4. Where India Goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development and the Costs of Caste
  5. Imperialism and the Developing World: How Britain and the United States Shaped the Global Periphery (I just finished the fantastic Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination, and highly recommend it as a companion reading to this book)
  6. The Decline and Rise of Democracy: A Global History from Antiquity to Today
  7. Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century
  8. The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind
  9. The Horn of Africa: State Formation and Decay
  10. Inside Al-Shabaab: The Secret History of Al-Qaeda’s Most Powerful Ally
  11. Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (Segev’s A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion is a good companion)
  12. The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War
  13. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880
  14. The Best and the Brightest
  15. The German Genius: Europe’s Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century

I continue to struggle with fiction, with quite a few unfinished. Suggestions on how to win this battle are welcome.

Today’s Interesting Links

  • Former Ugandan Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, is running for president. He hopes to challenge incumbent Gen. Yoweri Museveni in the ruling party’s primary ahead of elections next year. Museveni will win, but Mbabazi’s candidature is probably the most exciting thing that will happen in this well-choreographed electoral cycle. The police are already on his case.
  • Peace and prehistory in Somaliland. You never hear much about Somaliland, the quasi-independent state to the north of the Republic of Somalia. This nice piece by Stanley Stewart documents what Somaliland has to offer as a travel destination.
  • The problem of urbanization without growth. The (developing) world is urbanizing fast, but will this trend result in an unambiguous improvement in human welfare? This post reminds us that throughout history urbanization has not always gone hand in hand with economic growth (See also here).

    correlation between urbanization and growth over time

    correlation between urbanization and growth over time

Blogging slow to non-existent over the next couple of weeks

Dear readers, apologies for the sparse blogging over the last couple of weeks.

Being a third year PhD candidate, yours truly is in the middle of getting the dissertation prospectus approved before going to the field this summer and beyond (not to mention grading and writing end of term papers).

Regular posts will resume in early June.

In the meantime I’d like to share with you my advance summer reading list:

  1. Dambisa Moyo’s new book: Winner Take All.
  2. The history of medieval Africa.
  3. Warfare in African History.
  4. Political Topographies of the African State.
  5. Party Politics and Economic Reform in Africa’s Democracies.
  6. Sean Hanretta’s book on Yacouba Sylla and Islam and Social Change in French West Africa.

Expect a review of Boone’s Political Topographies in early June.