What we're about

"The only thing that is new in the world is the history we haven't read" Harry Truman. This Book Club/Discussion Group is for those interested in reading about World History and U.S. Foreign Affairs.

Our basic charter is to read good books. We are interested in a mix of world history, current topics of significant events that effect the world, U.S. foreign affairs, and an occasional biography of a significant world leader.

Our book selections give preference to: The Lionel Gelber Prize (best non-fiction books on foreign affairs), the Pulitzer Prize (Non-fiction History), Foreign Policy Association (list of 10 books every student of international relations should read), Foreign Affairs Magazine (Annual Best Books List), and the U.S. State Department list of books recommended to prepare for the Foreign Service Officers Examination.

Prospective members are asked to see the books we have read, and the ones selected for future reading, to determine their level of interest before they consider joining our group. Since MeetUp has made it almost impossible to find our list of previously read books under the "Pages" tab, you may request these lists by sending an email to: craigwiedder@comcast.net.

Our goal in discussion is to enrich our understanding of the material presented by the author. We do this by asking questions, and by offering considered responses based upon individual interpretations of the text. Our discussion is narrowly focused on the material presented in the text.

We endorse the concept, and respect the philosophy of Shared Inquiry. These five points of Shared Inquiry are borrowed from the Great Books Organization:

1. Read the selection carefully before participating in the discussion

2. Discuss the ideas in the text and explore them fully.

3. Support (your) interpretations of the text with evidence from the work.

4. Listen carefully to other participants and respond to them directly.

5. The Discussion Leader offers open questions to stimulate discussion. However, that person is also free to ask (or answer) questions to (or from) other members of the group.

We ask our members to employ the social skills of polite conversation, and to avoid lengthy commentary. An economy of words, and the opportunity for everyone to participate, makes for a much more pleasant evening. Matters of partisan politics, personal opinion and extensive debate are not part of our charter. Its all about the text, and improving our understanding of the author's work.

After every meeting we meet at a local establishment for a beer, snacks and conversation. Everyone is welcome, and invited to attend. The current spot is Pronto's Restaurant in the shopping center near the NW corner of Bloomingdale Road and Army Trail Road.

Upcoming events (5+)

World History and Foreign Affairs Book Club and Discussion Group

Bloomingdale Public Library

Our book for February is: "Asia's Reckoning: China, Japan and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century". Gelber Prize Short List for 2018. Discussion Leader is: T.B.D. All active members are asked to RSVP, either "Yes" or "No". Anyone interested enjoining our group may attend as our guest by contacting: [masked].

World History and Foreign Affairs Book Club and Discussion Group

Bloomingdale Public Library

Our book for March is: "The Silk Roads: A New History of the World" by Peter Frankopan. Foreign Affairs Association Best Book List for 2016. Discussion Leader is : T.B.D. All Active Members are asked to RSVP, either "Yes" or "No". Anyone interested in joining our group may attend as our guest by contracting: [masked].

World History and Foreign Affairs Book Club and Discussion Group

Bloomingdale Public Library

Our book for April is: "Paris 1919: The Six Months That Changed the World"" by Margaret MacMillan. Council on Foreign Relations, 2003 Arthur Ross Book Award Silver Medalist. Discussion Leader is : T.B.D. We will be reading the first half of this book in April, and the second half of this book in May. All Active Members are asked to RSVP, either "Yes" or "No". Anyone interested in joining our group may attend as our guest by contracting: [masked].

World History and Foreign Affairs Book Club and Discussion Group

Bloomingdale Public Library

Our book for April is: "Paris 1919: The Six Months That Changed the World"" by Margaret MacMillan. Council on Foreign Relations, 2003 Arthur Ross Book Award Silver Medalist. Discussion Leader is : T.B.D. We will be reading the first half of this book in April, and the second half of this book in May. All Active Members are asked to RSVP, either "Yes" or "No". Anyone interested in joining our group may attend as our guest by contracting: [masked].

Past events (20)