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August 04, 2020

The dilemma for the Republican Party is obvious: it represents the well-off. But its dilemma is that the well-off are not a majority. To win an election, the Party needed a strategy. It found one after the crushing defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964. It became a white grievance party.
——Marvin Zonis

August 04, 2020

A compelling future driven by the cost of major economic inputs falling to zero.
——Marvin Zonis

July 20, 2020

A struggle for influence within Iranian politics has recently intensified. So-called “hard-liners” who seek to preserve the “revolutionary” character of Iran and its rule by the Supreme Leader and his clerical allies have been able to win control of Iran’s Parliament. Simultaneously, their ally — The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps — has been spreading its influence to other institutions in the system. Massive efforts are being made for the hard-liners and the IRGC to control the outcome of the next presidential elections in May 2021 and the eventual succession to a new Supreme Leader. Their efforts are risky because until now, competition within the system allowed a safety valve for widespread internal dissension.
——Marvin Zonis

July 07, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter, The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy, Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2020.

Run! Do not walk! Read this book now!

June 26, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

The belief systems that justify the ways things are and the way they ought to be – the “Veil of Legitimacy” – are increasingly failing to convince more and more Americans and are more and more under attack. The result is the possibility of an opening to substantial change in this country. This is a “pre-revolutionary” moment.

June 15, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Bill Gates recently told me (and millions of other subscribers to his www.gatesnotes.com) that he would recommend Bob Iger’s book, The Ride of a Lifetime, “whether they’re looking for business insights or just want a good read…” But, Bill Gates continued, “It’s still the case that the best business book I have ever read is Business Adventures, a little-known collection of articles by a reporter named John Brooks.”

June 05, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Joseph A. Morris (mdlrusk@aol.com) reminds us that Adam Smith was born on this day in 1723. Morris restates perhaps the most famous (and, I find, thrilling) lines from Smith’s The Wealth of Nations:

June 04, 2020

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind.

June 01, 2020

I have received notes from certain readers acknowledging that many charges against China for its handling of the Covid-19 are false, as Roach and Shan have argued in my most recent mailing. But some of these same readers have suggested that China needs to be held to account for allowing international flights from Wuhan to continue after January 23, when the government shut down internal flights. Below is a message I have received suggesting the baselessness of that charge.
—— Marvin Zonis

June 01, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Sigmund Freud used the concept of overdetermination to mean that a single emotion or event could be caused by more than one factor. Certainly, overdetermination applies to the shocking and appalling events of the last few days in the United States.

At least five “causes” have combined to produce these days of rage.

May 28, 2020

The attempt to hold China responsible for its failure to alert the WHO of the novel new Corona virus requires ignoring the evidence that it did. The attempt to hold China culpable for punishing an early whistleblower also turns out to be false. The attempt to blame China for not shutting down Wuhan once the virus appeared ignores the fact that it took the U.S. twice as long to do so once the virus appeared in the U.S. In fact, the entire blame China game is a desperate attempt by the administration to escape its own culpability to prevent the deaths off now more than 100,000 Americans — about the same number of total U.S. deaths in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Afghan War and the Iraqi War, combined.
——Marvin Zonis

May 20, 2020

The U.S. editor for the "Financial Times” writes a devastating critique of the President’s Covid-19 performance.
——Marvin Zonis



The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World,
co-authors Daniel Lefkovitz and Sam Wilkin, Chicago: Agate Press, 2003

The Eastern European Opportunity, A Complete Guide and Sourcebook,
co-author Dwight Semler, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1992

Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah,
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991

Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran,
co-author Daniel Brumberg, Cambridge: Harvard Middle East Papers
, 1987

The Political Elite of Iran.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976


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(French version)
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(English version)

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Spending Is Felt From Cigarettes to Copier"
August 2009

The Mind of a Mullah
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Focus Trends (Dutch)
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GSB Magazine
"Faculty Smackdown with Marvin Zonis: From HBS Dropout
to Iran, Nightline, and the GSB"
Part One [PDF]
Part Two [PDF]
January, 2006