Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What are you reading, Russ Stevens?

Dr. Johnson from the College of Business and Management recommended The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier to me, and as I've really enjoyed his other book selections in the past, I picked it up. Having read it, I would definitely recommend it others! I gained a new perspective on the issues that our graduates face in their international work, both in development and in relief efforts.

The Bottom Billion is a thought provoking analysis of on-going international development crises. The author is a statistician, and that sometimes shows; the book can get a bit ponderous. Still, he has great things to say, and it is worth the time to slog through the few slow places to get the great nuggets that are contained therein. There were also a couple times when I thought the author was going off the deep end, but he quickly backs his conjectures with data and additional writing. Overall, it is a great book, and I think it should be mandatory reading for anyone who is thinking of international work of any sort.

I usually read all kinds of stuff from all kinds of perspectives. I really try hard not to just read books that I agree with, although I recently stopped reading a book that got too crude (Phil 4.8-9). For fun, I will read fiction or light non-fiction, like Bill Bryson. My current inspirational reading is Howard Hendricks' Living by the Book. Next on my reading list, however, will probably be Bryson's At Home. I got it from the city library last week, but I'll have to pry it out of my wife's grasp. She started on it while I was still reading Bottom Billion.

Russ Stevens teaches classes for HIU's College of Business and Management. He is an Assistant Professor here at Hope and has been teaching Business for almost ten years now.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About It by Paul Collier, Oxford University Press, 2008.

This book may be purchased at, Barnes and Noble, and Better World Books.

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