Ramo is an economist who has ruminated through many think tanks and is now the managing director of Kissinger Associates, a geostrategic advisory firm. Quite in keeping with the subject of his alarmingly-titled book, Ramo is also a competitive aerobatic pilot. What begins as the foreboding argument that destabilization is inevitable, and even necessary, becomes a case for radical new ways of thinking—new ways of “thinking” that are ambiguously “unthinkable.”  Such innovative thought processes involve phenomena like power physics and mashups, a kind of perspective shared by artists, such as Picasso’s concept of Cubism or Anselm Kiefer’s painting, Deutchslands Geisteshelden; or the science of Danish physicist Per Bak.  The latter struggled with the limits of language to describe the states of “organized instability” he encountered in his work; he was confronting nonlinear science, which moves from the unthinkable to the indescribable.  Baffling? Yes.  Incomprehensible? No.

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316118118
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - June 2nd, 2010

Morris Dickstein has written a history of the Great Depression through the arts of that period. The thirties ushered in a national culture, for the first time, because of the advent of radio, records, and movies. The books we read, poetry we recited, movies, photographs, design, and art we saw, the music we heard, sang, and danced to are recalled and cast in a new light. Dickstein deals with race and proletarian literature and escapist entertainment. Dancing in the Dark, as seen through Rogers and Astaire, was our effort to “assert a life-saving grace, unity and style against the encroaching darkness.” The need for collective energy created a sense of public purpose that took people past themselves. That desire can be felt in unlikely places, such as the movie The Wizard of Oz: the isolated and lonely Dorothy learns she can get home only by working with others. This period is one of the few in American history when collective action superseded individualism.

Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393072259
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 14th, 2009

Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393338768
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 6th, 2010

A first-rate history of how the Cold War was conducted. As World War II ended, the two former allies immediately began to look upon each other with suspicion. Many events converged that pushed the U.S. and the USSR apart. Truman had little patience with Russia; he did not understand the effect of the terrible losses the Soviets had incurred during the War. (For every American killed, there were 27 Russian deaths—almost 12 million.) In any case, Stalin was a paranoid maniac. What Sheehan has done is to concentrate on one aspect of containment: building the anti-ballistic missile shield as a defense against the Soviet bomb. He focuses on some of the brilliant characters involved in the decision to build and man missiles, such as the lead scientists, Johnny Von Neuman, a Hungarian refugee, fiercely anti-Soviet and a brilliant physicist; and Werner von Braun, a completely amoral, former rocket-builder for Hitler. The center of the book is Bernard Schriever, who immigrated from Germany as a child, became a brilliant golfer, and a flier in the Air Force. This thoroughly decent man, a protégé of Hap Arnold, fought Curtis LeMay to build a defense rather than bank on an offensive program.

A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679745495
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 5th, 2010