A Glimpse of the World

What I read in 2017:

This was a very rich year for me, reading wise, partly because I was in between writing projects of my own, partly because I had some time away from teaching duties during the spring semester, and partly because the more I read the more I want to read. Eventually, this could be a problem, but I’ll live with it.

The books that figure here fall into a few different categories. By that, I don’t mean fiction versus non-fiction or history versus current affairs, which is also the case, but rather, books I read in the research for my present writing project (the Atlantic world), books that I read to fulfill ongoing topical interests (both China and Africa), books that I read in order to further my teaching, books that I read in order to write commissioned reviews, and books (too few) that I read for pure pleasure. With no further ado:

  • A Cultural History of the Atlantic World: 1250-1820, by John K. Thornton
  • A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy, by Joel Mokyr
  • Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England : A study in international trade and development, by J.E. Inikori
  • After Tamerlane: the global history of empire since 1405, by John Darwin
  • Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, by James C. Scott
  • American South and the Atlantic World, by Brian Ward and William A. Link
  • Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda and the War on Terror, by Helen Epstein
  • Avoiding the Fall: China’s Economic Restructuring, by Michael Pettis
  • Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson
  • Behold the Dreamers: A Novel, by Imbolo Mbue
  • Black Man’s America, by Simeon Booker (quoted from in a piece I wrote for the Times)
  • Black Reconstruction in America, by W.E.B. du Bois
  • Between Them: Remembering My Parents, by Richard Ford
  • Blind Spot, by Teju Cole
  • Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia, by Michael VatikiotisCapitalism and Slavery, by Eric Williams
  • Cathay, by Ezra Pound
  • China as a Sea Power, 1127-1368 : A preliminary survey of the maritime expansion and naval exploits of the Chinese people during the Southern Song and Yuan periods, by Jung-pang Lo
  • China Rich Girlfriend, by Kevin Kwan
  • China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Arthur Kroeber
  • China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation, by Bradley M. Gardner
  • Centrifugal Empire : central-local relations in China, by Chae-ho Chŏng
  • Class Trip and The Mustache, novellas by Emmanuel Carrere
  • Collected Essays, by James Baldwin
  • Crashback: The Power Clash Between the US and China in the Pacific, by Michael Fabey (reviewed)
  • Dance of the Jacaranda, by Peter Kimani
  • Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, by Joe Bageant
  • Empires in the Sun: The struggle for the mastery of Africa : 1830-1990, by James, Lawrence (review forthcoming)
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond
  • Freedom Time : Negritude, decolonization, and the future of the world, by Gary Wilder
  • Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves, by Ira Berlin
  • Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919, by Mike Wallace
  • How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, by Yuen Yuen Ang
  • Jacques Foccart: archives ouvertes (1958-1974), Jean-Pierre Bat, by Olivier Forcade and Sylvain Mary
  • Le Monte-Charge: Un roman, by Frederic Dard
  • Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, by Joyce Johnson
  • Mitterand: A Study in Ambiguity, and Philip Short
  • Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World, Suzy Hansen
  • On Reading, by André Kertesz
  • Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, by Toni Morrison
  • Prêcher dans le desert: Islam politique et changement social en Mauritanie, by Zekeria Ahmed Salem
  • Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier
  • ReOrient : global economy in the Asian Age / Andre Gunder Frank
  • Several Short Sentences About Writing, by Verlyn Klinkenborg
  • Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
  • South and West: From a Notebook, by Joan Didon
  • The Atlantic World, 1450-2000, by Toyin Falola
  • The China Questions: Critical Insights into Rising Power, by Rudolph and Szonyi, eds.
  • The Edge Becomes the Center : An oral history of gentrification in the twenty-first century, by D.W. Gibson
  • The Good Doctors: The Medical Committee for Human Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice in Health Care, by John Dittmer
  • The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography, by Martin W. Lewis
  • The New Brooklyn: What it Takes to Bring a City Back, by Kay Hymowitz
  • The New Urban Crisis: How our Cities are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation and Failing the Middle Class, by Richard Florida
  • The North Water: A Novel, by Ian McGuire
  • The Return: Fathers, Son and the Land in Between, Hisham Matar
  • The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589, by Toby Green
  • The River Between, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
  • The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalization, 1565-1815, by Peter Gordon
  • The Souls of China: The Return of Religion after Mao, by Ian Johnson
  • The Story of Sam, by Danny Lyon
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel, by Milan Kundera
  • Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War, by my friend Daniel Sharfstein
  • Transformations in Slavery: A history of slavery in Africa, by Paul E. Lovejoy
  • Unlikely Partners: China Reformers, Western Economists and the Making of Global China, by Julian Gewirtz (reviewed)
  • Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not - Global Economic Divergence, 1600-1850, by Prasannan Parthasarathi