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ECON 365 Howard The Edge of Chaos & The Ages of Globalization Books Summary

ECON 365 Howard The Edge of Chaos & The Ages of Globalization Books Summary

Question Description

Books

There are six books assigned for this course, available at Virginia Book Company, BookHolders, and the VCU Bookstore. They also should be available through any of the on-line book sellers (amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, etc.). It’s fine to use print or electronic versions – they’re all available as e-books.

In the order that we will read them, the books are:

  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (Columbia University Press, 2020)
  • Fred P. Hochberg, Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word (Simon & Schuster, 2020)
  • Dambisa Moyo, The Edge of Chaos (Basic Books, 2018)
  • Hans Rosling, Factfulness (Flatiron Books, 2018)
  • Melinda Gates, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (Flatiron Books, 2019)
  • Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olsher, Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs (Little, Brown, 2017, with a recent update on covid-19)

Your papers should be double-spaced, with reasonable fonts and margins (please, no three-inch margins and 14-point fonts to stretch a three-page paper into five). Four of the papers should be the equivalent of five double-spaced pages (about 1250 words); one of the papers covers two books, and therefore should be the equivalent of ten double-spaced pages (about 2500 words).

Your papers should go beyond merely summarizing the books you’ve read. Instead, they should analyze the books. Writing an analytic paper means addressing some of the following points:

1. What is the main argument or arguments the author is making? Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

2. Are there any important points about the subject area that you think the author has omitted or under-emphasized? Over-emphasized? Why?

3. What are the key assumptions the author had to make in order to make the arguments in this book? If those assumptions were different, how would the author’s argument have to be different?

4. How do the arguments in the book you’re reading compare and contrast with the other readings we’ve done so far?

5. How does the information presented by the author relate to recent important world events? Does the author’s work seem still to be relevant today? Or is the world changing so quickly that even recently-published books on international issues soon grow out of date?

6. What recommendations might you have for United States policy makers — the President, the Departments of Defense, State, Commerce, etc., the Congress, or others — to cope with the issues presented in the author’s work?

7. How might you, as a concerned and informed citizen, take steps to cope with the issues presented in the author’s work?

You may answer any or all of these questions in your paper, or you may write a paper that deals with the assigned book from a completely different perspective. I am quite flexible in that there is no standard format for these papers. I simply want your thoughtful, reasoned, analytic reaction to the ideas presented in each assigned reading.

Please feel free to e-mail me as you read, think, and write, if you have questions or want to discuss your paper with me before or as you write.

If, for any reason, you choose in your paper to cite source material other than the assigned reading, please use any of the standard footnoting/endnoting formats. I don’t care which format you use; just be consistent.

Assignment Schedule

Monday, July 20, 2020

Today you should access and study carefully this syllabus. You should also purchase/rent the books for the course and begin reading the first one assigned.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Please e-mail your first paper to me by midnight the evening of Friday, July 24 (as Friday becomes Saturday). I will have comments and grades on this paper e-mailed to you by the evening of Sunday, July 26. Your contributions to the discussion forum for this assignment should also be posted by this deadline date.

This first paper should cover the book by Sachs. This paper should be a minimum of five (5) pages long.

As you’re reading and writing, consider how Sachs’ broad overview of the history of globalization helps you understand trends you see today. What kinds of evidence does he use to support his points? Is there anything he seems to be leaving out?

If you have trouble, e-mail me, or better yet, post your questions/comments/confusion on the on-line discussion board, so that everyone can contribute their interpretations and answers.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Please e-mail your second paper to me by midnight the evening of Thursday, July 30 (as Thursday becomes Friday). I will have comments and grades on this paper e-mailed to you by the evening of Friday, July 31. Your contributions to the discussion forum for this assignment should also be posted by this deadline date.

This paper should be a minimum of ten (10) pages long (ten pages because it covers two books), and it should analyze both Hochberg’s and Moyo’s books.

As you read and write, think about the authors’ arguments on globalization and the US position in an increasingly interdependent world. How do they contrast with one another, and with Sachs? What kinds of evidence do they use? What kinds of evidence are missing? Are there any flaws in their fundamental assumptions?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Please e-mail your third paper to me by midnight the evening of Saturday, August 1 (as Saturday becomes Sunday). I will have comments and grades on this paper e-mailed to you by the evening of Monday, August 3. Your contributions to the discussion forum for this assignment should also be posted by this deadline date.

This paper should be a minimum of five (5) pages long. It should cover the book by Rosling.

As you read, think about the way Rosling encourages us to treat data and evidence. Does his perspective put the other readings into a new context for you? What are his assumptions? Is there anything he’s leaving out?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Please e-mail your fourth paper to me by midnight the evening of Wednesday, August 5 (as Wednesday becomes Thursday). I will have comments and grades on this paper e-mailed to you by the morning of Friday, August 7. Your contributions to the discussion forum for this assignment should also be posted by this deadline date.

This paper should be a minimum of five (5) pages long. It should cover the book by Gates.

As you read and write, think of the following questions: How does Gates define and describe progress? What are her most important fundamental assumptions? What kinds of evidence does she use?

Friday, August 7, 2020

Please e-mail your fifth (and last!) paper to me by midnight the evening of Friday, August 7 (as Friday becomes Saturday). I will have grades and comments, as well as final course grades, e-mailed to you by the evening of Tuesday, August 11. Your contributions to the discussion forum for this assignment should also be posted by this deadline date.

This paper should be five (5) pages long, and it should cover the book by Osterholm and Olsher.

Think about these issues as you read and write: How do the observations and lessons from the other books we’ve read inform your interpretation of Osterholm and Olsher’s information? How does your experience with covid-19 fit into this book’s arguments? How do you think the world’s current experience with a global pandemic is likely to change the landscape of international political economy?

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