Our virtual book club is open to all! Its theme until 2021 is The Traveler’s World and features books on travel or adventure narratives. We’re lucky to have Beth Ahlstrom, a former World Affairs Council Tacoma board member and seasoned international traveler, as our host.
Our January selection is The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific, by J. Maarten Troost.
At the age of 26, Marteen Troost found himself restless and lacking direction. The idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.
The Sex Lives of Cannibals chronicles Troost’s laugh-out-loud true story of a harrowing and hilarious two-year odyssey in Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He delivers “one of the most original, rip-roaringly funny travelogues in years—one that will leave you thankful for staples of American civilization such as coffee, regular showers, and tabloid news, and that will provide the ultimate vicarious adventure.”
With the new year, we are back to our regular schedule of meeting the last Thursday of the month.
Members have had luck ordering from these less expensive vendors: thriftbooks.com and betterworldbooks.com.
Are you interested in discussing America's role in the world? The World Affairs Council of Tacoma has started a monthly discussion group focused on U.S. foreign policy, to be conducted through Zoom. You don't need to be an expert to participate, just someone who is interested in learning more about topical issues and exchanging views with fellow citizens.
Our first discussion in October was focused on the status of America’s role in the world. December focused on the global crisis of democracy and its implications for American foreign policy. In February, we are fortunate to have Tom Countryman moderate our conversation and present on “An Unappetizing Menu: Biden’s Foreign Policy Choices.”
Mr. Countryman is Chairman of the Board of the Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan NGO which analyzes key security issues and advises the executive branch, Congress, and the public on choices to promote global security and reduce the risk that weapons of mass destruction will be used.
He retired from the Senior Foreign Service in January 2017 after 35 years of service. At that time, he served simultaneously as acting Undersecretary for Arms Control and as Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation. After serving in Belgrade, Washington and Cairo, he advised Ambassador Albright on Middle East affairs at the US Mission to the United Nations and was Director for Near East affairs at the National Security Council. He was born and raised in Tacoma.
To facilitate the discussion, there are two suggested articles to read:
Biden Faces No Shortage of Foreign Policy Problems - OZY | A Modern Media Company
America's History of Luck Is Running Out - Foreign Policy Magazine
Please make sure to save your confirmation email when you RSVP for this event so you can have the Zoom link - thanks!
Our virtual book club is open to all! Its theme in 2021 is The Traveler’s World and features books on travel or adventure narratives. We’re lucky to have Beth Ahlstrom, a former World Affairs Council Tacoma board member and seasoned international traveler, as our host.
Our travels to date have taken us to Afghanistan, Kenya, Tibet, and Pamplona. February brings us back to the states, with Charles Steinbeck’s iconic Travels with Charley in Search of America, an intimate look at one of America's most beloved writers in the later years of his life. In 1960 Steinbeck was 58 and eager to renew his acquaintance with America. He set off in a ¾ ton pickup on a 10,00 mile road trip, his trusty French poodle Charley at his side. Steinbeck was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level because he made his living writing about it. He wrote of having many questions going into this journey, the main one being "What are Americans like today?" We’ll find out.
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