Hoover Institution Press: Looking Backward and Forward, by Charles Wolf Jr.

Thursday, May 1, 2008
Looking Backward and Forward, by Charles Wolf Jr.
Looking Backward and Forward, by Charles Wolf Jr.
Charlie Wolf is not only prescient, principled, and a graceful writer—he is a one-man refutation of the proposition that economics is the “dismal science.” These columns are a superb window on a wide range of modern life.
—R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Charlie Wolf’s collection of essays is readable, educational, and provocative. With careful analysis and logic, he explodes myth after myth. He grades himself and fully deserves the high marks most of his op-eds receive.
—Frank C. Carlucci, former U.S. secretary of defense

Looking Backward and Forward: Policy Issues in the Twenty-first Century (Hoover Institution Press, 2008) is a collection of twenty–five essays written by Hoover senior research fellow Charles Wolf Jr. between 2002 and early 2007. The essays were published, with a few exceptions, in national and international publications.

“The stance I adopted in each essay was to consider a then-current issue—whether in China or Japan or Iraq or Russia—from the standpoint of its precursor context and its prospective consequences, hence, the Looking Backward and Forward of the book’s title,” said Wolf. He added that “the variety and complexity of these themes, as well as their common characteristic of spilling over the standard boundaries of political, economic, and military affairs, will be the typical pattern associated with policy issues in the twenty-first century—hence, the book’s subtitle.” A brief “Postaudit” at the end of each essay indicates whether Wolf believes that the argument set forth is currently valid and relevant, compared with when it was written.

Each essay constitutes a chapter, and these are divided into five sections dealing, respectively, with China (chapters 1–7), Other Asia (chapters 8–10), Other Regions (chapters 11-16), The Global View (chapters 17–20), and The United States (chapters 21–25). The subjects dealt with in these geographic areas span or at least touch on a wide range of economic, political, security, and diplomatic issues.

This is the fourth collection of Wolf’s essays, following the successful Linking Economic and Foreign Policy (Transaction Publishers, 1991) The Economic Pivot in a Political Context (Transaction Publishers, 1997) and Straddling Economics and Politics (RAND, 2002).

Wolf is a Hoover senior research fellow, a senior economic adviser and holds the corporate chair in international economics at RAND, and is a professor of public policy in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. From 1967 until June 1981, he was head of RAND’s Economics Department and thereafter was director of RAND research in international economics. Wolf was the founding dean of the RAND Graduate School, serving in that capacity from 1970 to 1997.

He is also a director of Capital Income Builder Fund and Capital World Growth and Income Fund. He has served with the Department of State and taught at Cornell, the University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, and Nuffield College, Oxford.

Markets or Governments: Choosing between Imperfect Alternatives (1993 MIT Press), Asian Economic Trends and Their Security Implications (2000), Straddling Economics and Politics: Cross-Cutting Issues in Asia, the United States, and the Global Economy (2002), Fault Lines in China’s Economic Terrain (2003), North Korean Paradoxes: Circumstances, Costs, Consequences of Korean Unification (2005), Russia’s Economy: Signs of Progress and Retreat on the Transitional Road (2006), and Modernizing the North Korean System (2008). He is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Wall Street Journal Europe, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

Looking Backward and Forward: Policy Issues in the Twenty-first Century
By Charles Wolf Jr.

ISBN: 978-0-8179-4872-6 $15.00 paper
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4872-9 $25.00 cloth
165 pages May, 2008