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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

May 09, 2020

The Middle East has now suffered two devastating blows — the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse in oil prices. Further instability seems inevitable.
——Marvin Zonis

April 21, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Arundhati Roy, the controversial Indian born novelist and essayist, recently wrote:

“And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”[i]

The pandemic will have major consequences on people, governments, countries and their relationships. But those consequences will be less the result of “imagination” and more to do with forces unleashed by Covid19.

Three such forces stand out: Petroleum, Population and Protectionism.

April 16, 2020

This study shows the conditions under which mid-term elections can predict the outcome of the next presidential election.
——Marvin Zonis

April 01, 2020

By Marvin Zonis

Senior U.S. officials are advancing policies to deal with Iran that will not succeed in accomplishing American goals.



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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April 3, 2017
Chicago Tribune
"Mission Creep and the Islamic State"
September 30, 2014
Chicago Tribune
"Plenty of Reasons for Ukraine's Grim Future"
March 5, 2014
Chicago Tribune
"Iran's New Leaders and the American Response"
August 5, 2013
"A Beheading in London; A Bombing in Boston: The Transformations of the al-Qaeda Threat"
May 24th, 2013
Chicago Tribune
"Realistic Optimism on Nuclear Talks with Iran"
May 22, 2012
International Business Times
"Austerity Push in Greece Leaves Citizens Hungry for Alternatives"
February 23, 2012
"US Economy Poised for Growth"
February 3, 2012
Chicago Tribune
"Will Israel Bomb Iran?"
November 13, 2011
Chicago Tribune
"MidEast Rulers of a Certain Age" [PDF]
March 6, 2011
Chicago Tribune
"Are We Going to Miss Mubarak?"
February 4, 2011

Les Echos
"Washington Risque de Regretter Le Depart d'Hosni Moubarak"
February 2, 2011
(French version)
Les Echos
"Washington Risque de Regretter Le Depart d'Hosni Moubarak"
February 2, 2011
(English version)

Credit Suisse
"Middle East and Africa - Regulation Will Influence the
Future of Banking"
June 1, 2010

ROOZ, 1116
"The Iranian People Are Entitled to More Freedom"
February, 2010

The Wall Street Journal
"Russian Ripples Hit U.S. Firms - Sharp Slowdown in Consumer
Spending Is Felt From Cigarettes to Copier"
August 2009

The Mind of a Mullah
June 17, 2009

Focus Trends (Dutch)
"Obama Is Jezus Christus"
February 2009

GSB Magazine
"Faculty Smackdown with Marvin Zonis: From HBS Dropout
to Iran, Nightline, and the GSB"
Part One [PDF]
Part Two [PDF]
January, 2006