Just in time for your holiday shopping list, the Highlands Forum 2004 reading list features 24 books and
two DVDs (we are adding DVDs for the first time to our list) for your pleasure. There are eleven books
that were used in research for the 2004 Highlands Forum meetings; nine titles that we have run across
and wanted to share with you; and four books recommended by guest editors. Our distinguished guest
editors this year are Martin Van Creveld, Stewart Brand, Neal Stephenson, and Charlie Firestone.
The 2004 Highlands Forum reading list, as always, consists of several categories. Most titles are new;
some are classics worth discovering for the first time. They have been selected both for their topics
and for their capacity for broadening our understanding of emerging issues and the way we think about
things. We began compiling an annual list in 2000 at the request of many Highlands participants who
read our book reviews on the Web site. This is a continuing work - additional titles will be added during
the year and compiled at the end of each year in a larger list. Review our lists for 2000-2003.
Martin van Creveld is one of the leading experts on military
history and strategy in the world. A faculty member at the History Department
of the Hebrew University, he has authored seventeen books, the most important
of which are Supplying War (1978), Command in War (1985), The
Transformation of War
(1991), and The Rise and Decline of the State (1999); these books
have been translated into twelve languages. Martin van Creveld has consulted
to the defense establishments of several countries and taught or lectured
at practically every institute of higher defense learning from Canada
to New Zealand and from Norway to South Africa. Martin recommends
American Law in the 20th Century by Lawrence M.
Friedman. Martin tells us: "Friedman is a professor of law
at Stanford University, but in this book he writes as an historian. He
manages to cover practically every aspect of twentieth-century American
life, from the way judges are appointed or elected to the question of
civil rights and from the way the various legislatures work to drug policy.
A rare tour de force that leaves the reader gasping at the author's erudition
and ability to squeeze enormous amounts of information into a limited
space while always remaining lucid and displaying a dry, sarcastic sense
Stewart Brand is a cofounder of Global Business Network.
Best known for founding, editing, and publishing the Whole Earth Catalog (1968-1985;
National Book Award, 1972), he also has a long-standing
involvement in computers, education, and the media arts. Stewart leads
the Long Now Foundation (which is building a 10,000-year Clock and Library)
and a co-founder of the All Species Inventory and the Long Bets Foundation
while continuing as a consultant with Global Business Network, and serving
as a trustee of the Santa Fe Institute. Stewart recommends
Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage
by Steven A. LeBlanc. Stewart says: "This is
one of those books like Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel that
completely reframes your sense of how human history
works. The bleak message from Harvard archaeologist LeBlanc is this: ALL
human societies have ALWAYS fought, in an organized way, with unfettered
cruelty, all the way back to the chimps. The reason is, we have ALWAYS
come up against the local carrying capacity and would rather slaughter
the neighbors than starve. The last couple centuries, fierce as they were,
were the most peaceful in our history, but the situation is fragile. It
depends on continuing good climate, large-scale environmental responsibility,
and completely successful complex societies. When any of those fail, it's
back to total war."
Neal Stephenson is the author of several of the bestknown and (in
our view) bestwritten American novels of the past
ten years. He has been included on our recommended list
several times with his highly regarded The
Diamond Age, which spurred us to delve into nanotechnology; Cryptonomicon,
concerned with computing and code breaking; and now
the Baroque Cycle,
a massive three volume work. Last year's list included the
first volume of the Cycle, Quicksilver, while the second volume, The
Confusion, is on this year's
list. He writes them faster than we can review them.
Please, Neal, let us catch up with you! Neal tells us:
"I recommend Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard
Hofstadter. The book was published in the early 1960s but when you
read its description of the American cultural and political
climate, you'll think it was written ten minutes ago.
Hofstadter accomplishes a couple of worthy things in this book. First of
all, he makes it clear that the attitudes he is describing go all the way
back to the time of the Founding Fathers. Particularly amusing is a series
of attacks on Thomas Jefferson, written circa 1800, in which he is derided
for being too French. Secondly, Hofstadter accomplishes this without whining,
and without reducing people to caricatures. Rather than sitting in the
corner and wringing his hands over those awful anti-intellectuals, he address
the topic calmly and tries to explain how they come by their point of view."
Charlie Firestone is the Executive Director of the Communications & Society Program at the Aspen
Institute. Charlie joined as executive director in 1989; since then, the program has focused on the implications of
communications and information technologies for leadership; the impact of new technologies on democratic, economic and
social institutions; and the development of new communications policy models and options for the public interest.
Charlie also served as the Institute's executive vice president for policy programs and international activities for
three years. Charlie recommends
World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability
by Amy Chua. Charlie says: "This book, by Yale Law Professor Amy
Chua, suggests that one aspect of globalization, the simultaneous export of free market capitalism and unfettered democracy,
has led to ethnic conflict in many transitional societies. In developing countries there often exists a small wealthy elite
ethnic group. The move to capitalism, which has been encouraged by the U.S. and forced on many countries by globalization,
allows this group to increase their disparate wealth within their society. And the new freedoms of democracy allow demagogues
to rail against that rich elite minority group as the cause of the majority's ills - resulting in ethnic conflict. Chua gives
many examples of elite ethnics, from the Chinese in Indonesia to the Tutsis in Rwanda, and suggests more broadly that Americans
themselves may be a 'global market-dominant minority'. It is a thought-provoking analysis, even if you disagree with some of
Cairo: City of Sand
by Maria Golia
Maria Golia writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has lived in Rome, Paris, and Fort Worth, Texas, and
is a long-time resident of Cairo. We ran across Maria at a conference on The Emerging Noosphere in Aix-en-Provence
this year, when she gave the final talk of the conference on The Global City.
Cairo: City of Sand
steps inside the interactions between Cairenes, examining the roles of family, tradition, and bureaucracy in everyday
life. The book explores Cairo's relationship with its 'others', from the French and British occupations to modern
influences like tourism and consumerism. Cairo also discusses characteristic styles of communication, and
linguistic memes, including slang, grandiloquence, curses, and jokes. Cairo exists by virtue of these
interactions, synergies of necessity, creativity and the presence or absence of power. Cairo reveals a peerless
balancing act, and transmits the city's overriding message: the breadth of the human capacity for loss, astonishment,
and delight. For those who would like to have a view of the global city, an understanding of the culture and the forces
at work in an ancient/modern Arab capital, and what the future might hold amid all the pressures that exist in the city,
the country, and the region, this is the place to start.
by Neal Stephenson
We have long maintained that Neal Stephenson writes fascinating, well-conceived narratives. But we had
no idea that he could write so much and so fast. Just when you caught your breath after finishing the 900+ pages of
volume one of the Baroque Cycle, Quicksilver, last year, here is volume two. For those of you who are speed-readers,
rest easy, as volume three is on the bookshelves in your favorite bookstore. The Confusion is so
vast that it defies a short description, but if you have read and enjoyed Quicksilver, you will find another adventure
with the great historical figures of Newton and Leibnitz, along with Eliza and Jack Shaftoe. The globalization of science is
set against palace intrigue, espionage, piracy, sea adventures, and romance. If you have not read volume one, by all means go
back and start in so that you might fully appreciate volume two. But above all, do read the books-Hollywood cannot afford
to make this into a movie.
by Philip Ball
If we remove the pirates, spies, romance, and battles
from Neal Stephenson's Baroque
Cycle, we might have an appropriate introduction to Philip
Ball's non-fiction book, Critical Mass.
Ball, consulting editor of Nature, majored in chemistry at the University
of Oxford and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Bristol.
An exceptional science writer, he brings the ideas of Hobbes, Smith, Kant,
and Mill into play with the physics knowledge of today and demonstrates
how much we can understand of human behavior when we cease to try to predict
and analyze the behavior of individuals and instead look to the impact
that individual decisions-whether in circumstances of cooperation or conflict-can
have on our laws, institutions and customs. Critical Mass brings these
new ideas together and looks at what this "physics of society" has to say
about how people move in open or enclosed spaces; how they make decisions
and cast votes, form allegiances, join groups, and establish companies and
communities. He examines the behavior of financial markets and reveals
the hidden structures in networks of social and business contacts, and
he explores the politics of conflict and cooperation from a scientific
point of view. If physics can help us explain and understand human interaction
and social behavior, can it also be used to anticipate and thereby avoid
by Hans Christian Von Baeyer
A nice segue from Critical Mass is to Hans Christian Von Baeyer's very entertaining
Information: The New Language of Science. We might not know exactly what information
is, but we sure know how to measure it, regulate it, market it, and tax it. Like Ball, Von Baeyer brings the
luminaries of history and science (Bohr, Feynman, Shannon, and Einstein) into his narrative with fascinating
insights into their lives and thinking. Von Baeyer is the Chancellor Professor of Physics at the College of
William and Mary suggests that information is poised to replace matter as the primary stuff of the universe or:
the Qubit-information in the Quantum Age. Information goes from von Baeyer describing the qubit as being
"the ultimate source of wonder" in defining the nature of information, to how we might better understand and exploit
information. This is an insight to deal with as we push further into an information age writ large-where records of
all human and non-human activity may be available for analysis and dissemination.
by Bruce Berkowitz
Bruce Berkowitz is a past Highlands Forum participant, and has significant experience in
defense and security issues. Having worked in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill, he is currently
working for the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), examining issues of persistent surveillance (see the
link for the recent Highlands
Forum special briefing). He has written over the years on information warfare and
in The New Face of War: How War Will Be Fought in the 21st Century he brings
together much of his thinking on the fundamental changes in warfare brought about by information technology.
I.T. normally is discussed in terms of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its attendant changes in precision,
lethality, and standoff capability, which have changed combat. But in this volume he takes us to the impact of
information and networks in conflict of the future (and to some extent the present) and how the principles of
warfare will fundamentally change. To make his point he addresses the elements of asymmetric threats, information
technology, decision cycles of commanders, and new forms of organization, echoing the writing of John Arquilla and
David Ronfeldt. This last point is one we should pay careful attention to as our new adversaries may not just be
asymmetric, they may organize in ways that are difficult for us to understand and fight. Getting this one right
may not just save lives in the future-it may do it now, as well.
by Jeff Hawkins with Sandra Blakeslee
Most people know of Jeff Hawkins as the creator of the Palm Pilot and through the companies he founded,
Palm Computing and Handspring. How he came to create those companies and their innovative products is a story
in itself; what is not well known is that Hawkins had previously engaged in deep research of the brain and higher-
level cognitive tasks, which led him to think about the way that people process and use information. Then
it was off to Palm. After his great success in the PDA market, he took his fortune and founded the Redwood
Neuroscience Institute to further the basic research that had engaged and excited him years before. He argues in
On Intelligence, co-written with Sandra Blakeslee of the New York Times, that intelligent
machines can and probably will be built, but that a basic understanding of how the brain operates is fundamental
to the development of such machines. The brain is not a computer, Hawkins says, but a memory system that makes
predictions based on memories resulting from the interaction of events and their relationships. Attendees of
Highlands Forum VIII: The Mind, The Brain, and Computing,
will recall these arguments and will especially appreciate the ideas Hawkins puts forward. An excellent read.
by Kenneth M. Pollack
Kenneth M. Pollack is no stranger to the Middle East or to writing bold and controversial policy
ideas. He is director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. From
1995 to 1996 and from 1991 to 2001, he served as director for Gulf affairs at the National Security Council, where
he was the principal working-level official responsible for implementation of U.S. policy toward Iran. He previously
spent seven years in the CIA as a Persian Gulf military analyst and is the author of The Threatening Storm
and Arabs at War. In particular, The Threatening Storm was a call to invade Iraq and was most influential
in building agreement to support the war. His new book, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran
and America, turns its attention to Iran, reviewing the history, culture, and theology that have brought
Iran to the place they occupy in the world today. It is surprisingly similar and yet different from his earlier
stunner on Iraq. He says, "Iran is on the wrong path and marching down it quickly." But in contrast to his earlier
effort, he says here that invasion would be a serious mistake. Instead he calls for creative strategies and a return to
containment, with a watchful eye on the development of nuclear materials, a return to fundamentalist religio-political
governance, and the breakout of domestic opposition. Each of those potentials should show us the way if we are flexible.
This is a critically important topic, much in the current press, and The Persian Puzzle is a most important book
that should help us understand the unfolding events. More importantly, it might help us to anticipate and take the right
actions to mitigate serious problems. A great companion to Highlands
Forum XXV: Connectedness, Content and Security: 2015.
by Dan Gillmor
Dan Gillmor has for some time been the first word and the last word in information technology
journalism, writing from the heart of Silicon Valley for the San Jose Mercury News. His views are taken most
seriously in the Valley and beyond. Over the past few years his interests have shifted to a merging of his
profession and the technology he covers, as he worries the ideas of where journalism is headed, how people get
their information, and what the role of the individual might be. In particular he devotes much of his
attention to blogs and has become a blogger of note. His new book, We the Media: Grassroots
Journalism by the People, For the People, sets out to explore where media might be headed (or already
are) and more importantly, how to get there. Interesting issues abound, such as credibility (whose), ownership
of information and the right to inform, and the value of truth checking in a network that can rapidly outpace
corporate media. It is not the death of journalism, but rather a renaissance, that the popularizing and inclusive
technologies make possible. Dan is on the crest of a wave that some have seen and fewer have ridden: think Salam
Pax blogging on the eve of the invasion of Baghdad; now think a wave of Iraqi bloggers working to rebuild their
country from the inside out. An indispensable volume on journalism, and taken to the rest of the world, a commentary
on "Connectedness, Content, and Security" (Highlands Forum XXV, in December).
Thank you, Dan.
by James Surowiecki
Consistent with our previous inclusion of Smart Mobs, Nexus, Linked, and Small Pieces Loosely
Joined on this list in 2002; and Information, Critical Mass, On Intelligence, and We the
Media on this 2004 list, we add The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How
Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Societies, and Nations by James Surowiecki. Do you
detect a theme or point of view developing? These books all have a view of sharing information and knowledge across
networks to arrive at a valuable decision. Surowiecki maintains that a network of people not only has more intelligence
than a very smart individual or a few individuals, but this network is better at solving problems and working on things
that the brain pushes to its limits to do. This brings to mind Tom Malone's Future of Work and his assertion that
cultivation and collaboration in an information environment will revolutionize the way we work; or Dan Gillmor's view of
blogs in We the Media as altering the way people create or get their news. Surowiecki cites four conditions that
govern the ability of the network to succeed. He lists diversity of opinion; independence of members from one another;
decentralization; and a good method for aggregating opinions. He lists many fascinating examples and anecdotes that alone
make the book worthwhile; but taken with his thesis, this is a serious read, especially for people who have yet to accept
the power of networking.
by Howard W. French
Most people do not pay attention to events in Africa. AIDS, genocide, war, famine, oil. You might think one of those
would garner interest. Howard French hopes to change that. A journalist for the New York Times,
French and his family lived in the Ivory Coast where his father also worked as a doctor for the World Health Organization (WHO).
He spent six years there as a university lecturer before joining the press. Amazingly, through all the sorrow and suffering,
French maintains an even keel, tracing the events that somehow hold Africa together while threatening to blow it apart. In A
Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, the history, the people, and the events are all
there. What is missing is the rest of the world. Giving hope is not easy-showing the tragedy is. French holds out hope
that others will read this and become interested; that would be the source of new hope for the continent. A painful but
by Martin van Creveld
Command has been a subject of study over the centuries wherever organizations and human interactions exist. The
attributes of command are again in discussion as the means of communicating and exercising command are altering
the landscape. Martin Van Creveld's classic work, Command In War draws a
bead on the nature of command in an information world and the dynamic tension between technology and leadership.
As we move toward a networked military force, we should pause and examine what he and others with practical experience
in commanding networked people have to say. Command in War, published in 1985, is one of his
most well-known works; in it he asks questions about the effect of ".the development of communications and data
processing technology" and whether it has "revolutionized command" and asks his readers "what is the effect of the
new devices on existing methods, and how can the devices best be put to use?" He revisited these issues almost twenty
years and multiple generations of information technology later to explore with us the new environment of networks and
the effect on command at Highlands Forum XXIV, Command.in a Networked
by Paul Roberts
This is a most timely and highly readable book. Spoiler up front-does it have a point of view? Yes. In
The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World, author Paul Roberts
traces the history of oil discovery and use and compares it with other fuels and their passing from the scene.
He tells us about Hubbert's Peak and the falling rate of new discovery.
If you are an oil expert, you have the idea, and probably this book is
not for you. But for the rest of us, this is an essential book, whether
you think about $50 a barrel of oil or what the demand may be like with
ever-expanding economies in globalized China and India. Unlike whale blubber
as a source of fuel, and its disappearance, Roberts does not see the exhaustion
of oil as a resource, but a peak in production that will require us to
manage with ever-declining supplies. Shortages could result in economic
whipsaws and armed conflicts. The real question he asks is when that peak
will arrive; he suggests not waiting until it is here, but rolling up our
sleeves and working on alternatives. This is as good a segue as I can give
you to look below and see the review of Amory Lovins and his work:
Winning the Oil Endgame.
by Thomas Malone
For 50 years the term "command and control" was most descriptive of how we exercised command in the military. Given
the state of technology and the ways in which we have employed it in recent military operations, many commanders suggest that
other terms may better apply (coordinate, collaborate, for example). What needs to be discussed, however, is not the
appropriate terminology, but rather the dynamic tension between control and self-synchronization; between leadership
and technology; and the cultural/organizational mismatches that might arise. This discussion is ongoing in
boardrooms in the business world, as corporations that are extending their reach globally and are seeking to be more
competitive ask similar questions. Professor Thomas Malone has made this theme the centerpiece of his research
at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Information Systems is also the founder and director
of the MIT Center for Coordination Science and was one of two founding co-directors of the MIT Initiative on "Inventing the
Organizations of the 21st Century". Professor Malone teaches classes on leadership and information technology, and his
research focuses on how new organizations can be designed to take advantage of the possibilities provided by information
technology. Culminating twenty years of research, Malone has written a new book, The Future of Work: How the
New Order of Business Will Shape Your Organization, Your Management Style, and Your Life. The
Future of Work foresees a workplace revolution that will dramatically change organizational structures and
the roles that employees play in them. Professor Malone argues that current notions about decentralization merely scratch
the surface of what will be possible as technological and economic forces make "command and control" management increasingly
by Peter Schwartz
Peter Schwartz, Chairman of Global Business Network, has appeared on our list in the past with his classic
work, The Art of the Long View. His most recent book, Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time of
Turbulence, joins our 2004 list with a look at scenarios that will change our world. From demographic research
he gathers insights on aging populations and immigration patterns that may reshape the political and economic landscape; from
environmental research he expresses concern over abrupt climate change that could affect all of us. Schwartz has turned his
gaze to defense and security issues in the past, most memorably prior to September 11 for the Hart-Rudman Commission with his
concluding scenarios on terrorists, airplanes, and New York. He should be read and listened to as we think about the possible
futures and surprises-and things we can do about them.
by Thomas P. M. Barnett
Thomas P. M. Barnett, author of The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the 21st
Century, is a professor and Senior Strategic Researcher at the Naval War College. He has written a provocative
and must-read book that deals with the challenges of globalization, connectedness, and content flows across the globe and
what they might mean over the next ten years for war and peace. His assertion is that "disconnectedness defines danger".
Barnett says: "Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows,
and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths
by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is
thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and
disease, routine mass murder, and-most important-the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global
terrorists. These parts of the world I call the NonIntegrating Gap, or Gap". Barnett later adds, "If a country is either
losing out to globalization or rejecting much of the content flows associated with its advance, there is a far greater chance
that the U.S. will end up sending forces at some point." He has good reason to assert this. In his studies of hotspots around
the world where the United States has sent troops over the past four decades, two essential trends are noticeable: first, that
the number of man-days spent deployed to flash points around the globe by American troops has increased markedly decade over
decade over the past forty years; and second, that those deployments invariably go to the Gap. This should cause us to look ahead,
to where those flash points might be in the coming decade; to how we might avoid or deter conflict instead of continuing to send
our forces into their midst; and to how connectedness and content might play a role in security or insecurity. Whether you accept
his thesis or not, this will force you to confront difficult and uncomfortable issues and provide your own answers. An important read.
by Michael T. Klare
Resources may also be a major source of conflict in the coming decade. Boutros Boutros Ghali, the former Secretary General
of the United Nations, believes water scarcity could lead to war in the 21st century. He reiterated the concern he first
voiced in 1985 when he said, "the next war in the Middle East will be fought over water, not politics." In Resource
Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, author Michael T. Klare has provided a glimpse of
that future. Largely focusing on oil as the most likely and highest risk conflict source for the majority of the world, he
nevertheless includes other resources. Explosive population growth and the intensification of agricultural cycles throughout
the Middle East and Africa will put great pressure on the already-dwindling water reserves of the region - a pressure that
could result in armed conflict. Similarly, India and Pakistan share another festering problem (other than the bomb) - rights
to the water from the Indus River system, which is coming under increasing strain. Water, land, timber, minerals.and oil.
How might globalization and heightened demand for resources weigh against local needs, where claims are already the source of
contention? Michael Klare has written a disturbing and eye-opening account of what may be a bigger source of conflict than
the war on terrorism.
by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Soft power is a topic of considerable discussion, which has been growing more intense since it was developed
by Harvard's Joseph S. Nye in a 1990 book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, and expanded on in
Foreign Affairs articles since. Nye asserts that both hard and soft power are necessary elements of a great nation's
capabilities to lead; he places greater emphasis on the soft side (co-opting rather than coercing) in his latest explication
of the concept, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. Professor Nye cites popular or
favorable institutions and ideals to convince others to cooperate with a nation's goals rather than compel them, or in
conjunction with hard power as necessary. But, he warns, this is a valuable resource that accumulates slowly over time, is
difficult to measure, and is quicker to dissipate through activities inconsistent with a nation's professed principles.
Soft power matches reality to rhetoric. It springs from values and ideals, like democracy and human rights; from shared
scientific discovery and access to education; and from popular culture, especially music, cinema, art, and consumer products
that may be attractive to others. It is the totality of what we represent to ourselves and to others. Two items are of
considerable interest here, and as a result we believe that Nye's Soft Power is an important read.
First is the understanding of his belief that a combination of hard and soft power is necessary to a great country. Nye does
not shy away from the use of force - in fact he makes a strong case for its use when necessary. Second, Nye tells us about
the impact of information technology, specifically that "private sources of soft power are likely to become increasingly important in
the global information age. "On the one hand, technological and social changes are making war more costly for modern democracies.
But at the same time, technology is putting new means of destruction into the hands of extremist groups and individuals."
by Mark Juergensmeyer
Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and Director of Global and International Studies at the University
of California, Santa Barbara. His landmark study of religious terrorism, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise
of Religious Violence, is now presented in its third edition, and includes September 11, Hamas suicide bombings, the
Tokyo subway nerve gas attack, as well as the Oklahoma City bombing. Professor Juergensmeyer does not simply study these incidents
and look for insights; he takes the reader along to interviews with many of these terrorists, including 1993 World Trade Center
Bomber Mahmud Abouhalima. He seeks to help us (and himself) understand the seeming conundrum of religious fervor and violence.
Juergensmeyer says that many "leaders" have relied on religion to provide political identities and give license to vengeful ideologies,
and that "I have come to see these acts as forms of public performance rather than aspects of political strategy. These are symbolic
statements aimed at providing a sense of empowerment. Religion is crucial for these acts since it gives moral justifications for killing
and provides images of cosmic war that allows activists to believe that they are waging spiritual scenarios." Echoing Thomas Barnett,
Juergensmeyer sees the era of globalization and post-modernity as creating a context in which authority is undercut and local forces are
unleashed. "Activists such as bin Laden might be regarded as guerilla anti-globalists." A troubling and exceptional book, at times
dark and at others shining. I have underlined my copy in yellow to remind myself of key passages - perhaps more than any other book I
have read. I continue to go back to these passages after seeing new events unfold daily.
by Amory B. Lovins, E. Kyle Datta, Odd-Even Bustnes, Jonathan G. Koomey and Nathan J. Glasgow;
edited by Beatrice T. Aranow
Over the past several years, the Highlands Forum has explored many themes that tie into the issue of efficient materials,
energy consumption, and alternative fuels. For example, we have assessed the state of the art in nanotechnology, biochemistry,
and "smart" vehicles and homes. A review of possible approaches to ending our dependency on oil is therefore strongly consistent
with the interests of the Forum, past and present. Amory Lovins' new book, Winning the Oil Endgame:
Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security assesses where we are today, as a country, because of the choices we have
made with respect to energy. The policy issues related to Amory's research are timely, as they relate closely to some of our
greatest foreign policy challenges as well as to domestic economic debates (e.g., oil prices). They also tie into the international
problem of strategic information, of which there is no shortage when it comes to energy consumption and dependencies. Amory
presented his findings to a Highlands Forum special briefing in September; he
has explored not just the problem but also groundbreaking solutions that could have strong implications not only for domestic
consumers, but also for the military. Winning the Oil Endgame focuses on the gradual minimization of U.S.
dependence on oil. His thesis is simple: the United States can get completely off oil - not just imports, but domestic oil as well -
and revitalize its economy, and this process can be led by business for profit rather than being imposed by government for
by Stephen J. Pyne
In preparing for Highlands Forum XXIV, Command in a Networked Environment, we
looked for orthogonal examples of leadership and decision making in a networked context. We were introduced to the California
firefighters by Jack Thorpe and Paul Saffo as examples of people working in a network and making decisions under stress and change.
Then John Arquilla pointed us toward this wonderful book, Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910.
Written by Stephen J. Pyne, perhaps one of the most sought after experts on fire policy in America, the book focuses on
fires that ravaged the west almost a century ago. The human and economic toll caused a national debate and a major change in American
environmental and fire policy. The characters in this play (listed on the very first page as "Dramatis Personae") are amazing: presidents
Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft; explorer John Wesley Powell; Civil War general Christopher Columbus Andrews; and a raft of
journalists, environmentalists, scientists, bureaucrats and soldiers, like General Leonard Wood. Pyne says: "The institutional impact of
the Great Fires on a national scale was unusually powerful . It had national consequences, and by shaping America's wildland fire
establishment, it has influenced the world." A fascinating and little-known story with remarkable characters.
We are adding two DVDs this year to our list, because they tell their stories in a medium that must be appreciated as part of the story.
This is not to denigrate original sources. On the contrary. In the case of The Commanding Heights, we had previously
placed the book by Dan Yergin and Joe Stanislaw, on which the documentary is based, on our Recommended Reading list in 2000. The new DVD is six
hours long and features interviews and footage that marvelously augment the original book. So here is the DVD annex to our Recommended Reading
List for 2004.