The Life of a Political Economist
Benjamin J. Cohen
No one has ever called Benjamin Jerry Cohen “Lucky Jerry.” Yet when he looks in the mirror, he sees a very lucky person.
In a fascinating and often amusing recounting of his life, Cohen describes how a first-generation offspring of penniless immigrants, a mischievous student and chubby teenager, eventually attained an Ivy League education and won several prestigious university appointments while writing sixteen books relating to his scholarly specialty, international political economy. As he leads us through his experiences, Cohen also details his global travels to lecture or conduct research in more than four dozen countries and his long plunge into the world of dog shows where he entered the ring with a succession of Briards, a variety of French sheep dog. Included is an entertaining ghost-written memoir by one of his dogs about the three years they shared together in Paris, France.
Lucky Jerry is the memoir of a modestly successful academic, told with panache, verve, and even a touch of whimsy.
“If I were the professor and Jerry Cohen my student, I would enthusiastically give him an A+. His memoir is personal, warm, welcoming, at times funny. Along the way he provides an easy-to-understand examination of Political Economy, the discipline for which he has been a shining light, pioneer, and thought leader. Wonderful reading.”
– Victoria Riskin, writer-producer and author of
Faye Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir
“For all his many friends who want to know the path Jerry took to become so informed and involved, so interested and interesting in so many areas and a leader in his field, all the while being a close and caring friend – this is the book where you’ll find the answers. If you’re not a friend of Jerry’s yet, read this book and I guarantee you will be.”
– David W. Rintels, film writer and producer,
author of the one-man play Clarence Darrow
“Jerry Cohen is that rarest of academics: a prolific researcher and a gifted teacher who is also blessed with a golden pen. As my teacher and dissertation advisor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the 1980s, he was demanding yet kind, a wonderful mentor to me and thousands of other students who were lucky enough to pass through his classroom. In this vibrant memoir, we see the life of a superb political economist, a brilliant scholar, a noted gourmand and wine connoisseur. But the single word in my mind for Jerry Cohen is a simple yet proud title: teacher. He’s the best I’ve ever had. Reading this story of his life’s voyage is a joy at every level.”
– James G. Stavridis, admiral US Navy, retired, and
Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 2009-2013