The World Affairs Council Book Group reads such a variety of books. Our selection of the book, How Emotions Are Made, by Lisa Feldman Barrett may sound like a stretch for a world affairs topic. However, emotions form a basis for human interactions of all kinds. Her theory is that emotions are constructed by each individual. This places responsibility on each individual, for example, calling into question the rationale for passing a lesser sentence on a crime of passion. If, after much discussion and research and experimentation, it is widely accepted, it could dramatically change our thinking in every field.

The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer was a fascinating look at four years, from 1898 to 1902, when America launched a series of “adventures” in such farflung places as Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Hawaii to bring them under our control. Using source material from the time, Kinzer reconstructs the debates on intervention versus non-intervention that still rage today and have through time. Foreign Policy Journal characterizes “the reality underlying most of the rhetoric was markets, resources,
and profits.” The book reminds us that there is very little that is new under the sun.

Without really realizing it, four companies have become such a force in our lives over the last decade or two that most Americans cannot imagine our lives without them. The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway examines the way they have insinuated themselves into every aspect of our lives. He entertainingly shows us how they manipulate our fundamental emotional needs and are relentlessly becoming more powerful and even more valuable each time we use them, while sharing profits with far fewer employees than traditional companies. It’s a terrific read, and you will never look at these companies in the same way again!

We encourage anyone who loves books to join us. For more information on our Book Group, please call 573-6014.

— Pat



 WACSC President Robert W. Kirk has lectured in the South Pacific since 1986. His Ph.D. in history is from UC Davis.  His three books on oceanic history and culture are available on and Barnes & Noble online. 


In late 2012 Paradise Past: The Transformation of the South Pacific, 1520-1920, was published by McFarland Publications. Once the South Seas islands had been found by Europeans, dramatic change was inevitable. Disease, missionaries, firearms, literacy, colonialism, new foods, medical assistance, and then nationalism transformed Pacific cultures immeasurably. 


In 2011 Bob published History of the South Pacific Since 1513: A Chronoicle of Polynesia,Melanesia, Australia,  New  Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Robinson Crusoe Island. This introduction to a complex topic includes over 1300 significant events since Balboa saw the South Seas.


Pitcairn Island: The Bounty Mutineers and Their Descendents is the most comprehensive history of the dramatic creation of the mutineers' community after deposing Captain Bligh, and what followed to the early 2000s (McFarland, 2008). Bob says he will be delighted to autograph his books for WACSC members.








World Affairs Book Club


Jan. The True Flag by Stephen Kinser

Feb. The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google   by Scott Galloway

Mar. It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

Apr. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

May  A Nation of Deadbeats by Scott Reynolds Nelson


June What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly


July Enlightenment Now by Stephen Pinker


Oct. The Dictator's Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alistar Smith



Jan. This Brave New World: India, China and the United States by Anja Manuel


Feb. Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer


Mar. A World in Disarray: America Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass


Apr. Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World by Robert Kaplan


May Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe


Jun. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and the Grander View of Life   by Ed Yong


Sep. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant


Oct. Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich


Nov. How Emotions Get Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett



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