Foreign Policy Blogs

The FPA’s Must Reads (November 30 – December 6)


Nelson Mandela in 2000 (Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science)

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Liberator as Prisoner and President, Dies at 95
Bill Keller
New York Times

Nelson Mandela died yesterday Thursday, December 5 at the age of 95 in his Johannesburg home. In this thorough obituary Bill Keller traces the life of one of the world’s most remarkable and influential political figures of the 20th century.

Peter Pomerantsev
London Review of Books

Pomerantsev contemplates the corruption deeply ingrained in Russian society, which permeates everything from summer camp and driving exams to the incestuous ties of business and politics that direct some of the most prominent Russian companies doing business abroad. 

Augustine’s World
Robert D. Kaplan
Foreign Policy
Kaplan makes a fascinating comparison of Late Antiquity Rome and the current American geopolitical position. He argues that both now and in St. Augustine’s time, the decline of the organizing power of a central global hegemon triggered a resurgence of tribalism and intense religiosity.

Snowden and Greenwald: The Men Who Leaked the Secrets
Janet Reitman
Rolling Stone

Reitman intensively profiles Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald, exploring how their personal backgrounds led them to the center of this year’s most explosive story and how they have coped with the aftermath.

The AIDS Granny in Exile
Kathleen McLaughlin

In the 1990’s a Chinese gynecologist Gao Yaojie discovered the source of a devastating AIDS epidemic, a government blood for yuan donation scheme that reused needles, medical tubes, and bags. McLaughlin tells the tragic story of how Yaojie’s activism to help poor infected Chinese villages led to her political persecution and eventual exile to America.


Marc Chandler on U.S. Trade Policy and China

Remembering Mandela and his Foreign Policy by Scott Firsing
Madiba: Hamba Kahle by Derek Catsam
Ukraine: Time for Bold Magnanimity from EU by Tom Garry
The Corruption Tango by Abukar Arman
The China Hype is now being tested in Asia by David J. Karl
Nelson Mandela Has Died; Long Live Khulu Madiba