Columbia Ink: Fall 2016

November 21, 2016
The Long Game How Obama Defied Washington Book Cover

The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World
By Derek Chollet

In an insider’s assessment of Barack Obama’s (CC’83) foreign policy legacy, Derek Chollet, adjunct senior research scholar at Columbia’s Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, argues that Obama has profoundly altered the course of American foreign policy for the better and positioned the United States to lead in the future. He combines a deep sense of history with new details and insight into how the Obama administration approached the most difficult global challenges. Chollet, who served at the White House, State Department and Pentagon during the Obama years, takes readers behind the scenes of: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise of ISIS, a belligerent Russia and more.


Spaceman An Astronaut's Journey Mike Massimino Book Cover

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
By Mike Massimino
Crown Archetype

Imagine looking back at Earth from space and seeing the precise line between day and night. Massimino has done just that, and in his memoir, Spaceman, he puts readers inside the spacesuit with him. A professor of professional practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he grew up in a workingclass Long Island family dreaming of space and was rejected by NASA three times. In his memoir, Massimino takes readers through the surreal beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble Telescope. Spaceman is a rare up close journey into a world where science meets the most thrilling adventure, revealing just what having “the right stuff” really means.


The Attention Merchants Tim Wu Book Cover

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads
By Tim Wu

In a book that The New Republic described as, “A startling and sweeping examination of the increasingly ubiquitous commercial effort to capture and commodify our attention,” Wu shows how in nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of messaging, advertising, sponsored social media and other efforts to harvest our attention. Wu, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, coined the term “net neutrality.” He argues that this barrage is the result of more than a century’s growth in the industries that feed on human attention, offering free diversion in exchange for a moment of your consideration, sold in turn to the highest-bidding advertiser. Wu makes clear that attention merchants constantly find new means of getting inside our heads and are changing our very nature.


Return to Cold War Book Cover

Return to Cold War
By Robert Legvold

The 2014 crisis in Ukraine sent a tottering U.S.-Russia relationship over a cliff—a dangerous descent into deep mistrust, severed ties and potential confrontation reminiscent of the Cold War. In an incisive new analysis, Soviet and Russian foreign policy expert Legvold, the Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Soviet Foreign Policy, offers a detailed exploration of the new phase in this relationship. He traces the long and tortured path leading to this critical juncture and contends that the recent deterioration of Russia-U.S. relations deserves to be understood as a return to the Cold War with great and lasting consequences. He urges political leaders in both countries to adjust their approaches in order to make it “as short and shallow as possible.”


Invisible Men Mass Incarceration Narrative Book Cover

Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration
By Flores A. Forbes
Skyhorse Publishing

Flores Forbes, associate vice president for Strategic Policy and Program Implementation and a former leader of the Black Panther Party, has been free from prison for 25 years. That, he shows in his latest book, makes him part of a group of black men who are all but invisible in society, men who have served their time and not gone back to prison, despite a recidivism rate that hovers around 65 percent. In this collection of essays on incarceration, sentencing reform, judicial inequity, reentering society and increasing inequality for the formerly incarcerated, Forbes weaves his own research, wisdom and experience into a portrait of these invisible men, giving them a voice and face in society


Fixing Medical Prices Book Cover

Fixing Medical Prices: How Physicians Are Paid
By Miriam J. Laugesen
Harvard University Press

In Fixing Medical Prices, Laugesen, associate professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health, dives into the heart of the U.S. medical pricing process, uncovering an influential committee of medical organizations affiliated with the American Medical Association that advise Medicare. She shows how Medicare’s acceptance of this committee’s recommendations typically sets off a chain reaction across the entire American health care system. For decades, she finds, the U.S. policymaking structure for pricing has reflected this influence. Laugesen’s analysis shows how organizations navigate the advisory committee. Contradicting the story of a profession in political decline, she demonstrates that the power of physician organizations has simply become subtler.



Sudden Death A Novel Book Cover

Sudden Death: A Novel
By Alvaro Enrigue
Riverhead Books

In a novel that The New York Times called, “Splendid,” The New Yorker said is “rich with Latin and European history,” and The Wall Street Journal hailed as “Brilliantly original,” Enrigue, a lecturer in Spanish in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Culture, takes as his subject a 16th century tennis match between Italian artist Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo, played with a ball made from the hair of the beheaded Anne Boleyn. The crowd includes Galileo, Mary Magdalene and a generation of popes. The story features assassinations and executions, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bawdy criminals, carnal liaisons and papal schemes, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war. Enrigue traces a grand adventure at the dawn of the modern era.


Driverless Intelligent Cars Book Cover

Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead
By Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman
The MIT Press

In the year 2014, Google fired a shot heard all the way to Detroit. Its driverless car had no steering wheel and no brakes. The message was clear: cars of the future will rearrange established industries and reshape cities, giving us new choices in where we live and how we work and play. Hod Lipson, professor of Mechanical Engineering, and his co-author Melba Kurman, offer readers insight into the risks and benefits of driverless cars. The technology is nearly ready, they show, but car companies and policy makers may not be. The authors make a compelling case for why government, industry and consumers need to work together to make their development our society’s next “Apollo moment.”