The Foreign Service Journal - November 2014 - page 34

account of the workings and effectiveness of such long-term
Daniel Whitman is assistant professor of foreign policy at
American University’s Washington Semester Program. During
a 24-year Foreign Service career, he served in Denmark, Spain,
South Africa, Haiti, Cameroon and Guinea, as well as in Wash-
ington, D.C. FSO Kari Jaksa is currently posted in Shanghai.
A Concise History of Economists’
Assumptions about Markets: From
Adam Smith to Joseph Schumpeter
Robert E. Mitchell, Praeger, 2014,
$35.15, hardcover, 180 pages.
Here is a highly readable account of the
evolution of economic thinking, as the
subtitle states, fromAdam Smith to Joseph
Schumpeter. Author Robert Mitchell’s focus
is on the assumptions that economists make about the nature of
markets and economies and their behavior through different eras
as they attempt to identify the drivers of economic change.
The book assesses the legacies of major economists, includ-
ing Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Alfred Mar-
shall, John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen and
Joseph Schumpeter. Each chapter covers the major economic,
political and social challenges of the day to establish a realistic
context for economists’ efforts to explain and predict contempo-
rary economic developments.
It also documents the differences between, as well as interac-
tion among, the various schools of thought and models, and
discusses the implications of this history for economics and the
policy sciences in the decades ahead.
The book is based on a course, “Changing Mental Models of
Markets and Economies,” the author gave for fellow non-econo-
mists at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement in 2013.
Robert Mitchell retired in 1995 from the USAID Foreign
Service following long-term postings in Egypt, Yemen and
Guinea-Bissau. Prior to his diplomatic career, Mitchell directed
two survey research centers and two long-term task forces for
the Florida governor and state legislature, and served as the U.S.
member on a United Nations special committee on planning for
urban areas. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox
and the Civil War Era
Eugene Schmiel, Ohio University Press,
2014, $26.95, paperback, 352 pages.
A special selection of the History Book
chronicles the life of
Jacob Dolson Cox, a former divinity stu-
dent with no formal military training who
emerged as one of the best commanders in
the Union army.
During his school days at Oberlin College, no one could have
predicted that. Yet the reserved and bookish Cox helped secure
West Virginia for the Union; jointly commanded the left wing of the
Union army at the critical Battle of Antietam; broke the Confeder-
ate supply line, thereby helping to precipitate the fall of Atlanta;
and held the defensive line at the Battle of Franklin, a Union victory
that effectively ended the Confederate threat in the West.
In fact, in each of his vocations and avocations—general,
governor, Cabinet secretary, university president, law school
dean, railroad president, historian and scientist—the intellectual
Ohioan was recognized as a leader. Cox’s greatest fame, however,
came as the foremost participant-historian of the Civil War. His
accounts of the conflict are to this day cited by serious scholars
and are the basis for interpreting many aspects of the war.
FSO Eugene Schmiel was an assistant professor of history at
St. Francis University in Pennsylvania and has taught at Mary-
mount, Shenandoah and Penn State universities. He retired from
the Foreign Service in 2002, after service as chargé d’affaires in
Djibouti, Bissau and Reykjavík, among many other assignments,
and has since worked in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
The Good Spy: The Life
and Death of Robert Ames
Kai Bird, Crown Publishers, 2014,
$26, hardcover, 430 pages.
In this biography of CIA agent and Middle
East hand Robert Ames, Kai Bird paints a
vivid picture not only of the life and work of
Ames, but of Beirut, Saudi Arabia, Yemen,
Iran and the wider Middle East during the
tumultuous years of the 1960s through the 1980s, including the
early years of the Palestinian struggle for independence.
Ames, the son of a Philadelphia-area steel worker, played
basketball at LaSalle University, served in the Army Signal Corps
in what is now Eritrea, took and failed the Foreign Service exam,
and then joined the Central Intelligence Agency, where he spe-
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