Howard has authored four books and edited all Ideas Roadshow books. Each of the 100 individual Ideas Roadshow books contains an introduction written by Howard, while each of the twenty 5-part Ideas Roadshow Collections begins with a preface he wrote to highlight similarities and differences across the conversations
The four books he wrote are all non-fiction and written from a first-person perspective. First Principles describes his unique experiences of building a theoretical physics institute from scratch, Letters From Languedoc is an epistolary memoir of his initial experiences of moving to the South of France, Burning Down UNESCO is a commentary triggered by his brief experiences as a fundraising consultant, while Exceptionally Upsetting is his personal analysis of America’s debilitating culture war and how it might be somehow transcended.
Howard dives into the theme of American exceptionalism, arguing that America actually is an exceptional nation, but not, significantly, in the way that most Americans think it is. Pushing back against a society increasingly fragmented by a deliberately polarizing media, Howard urges Americans to discover the joys of simply finding things out, starting with critically examining many standard myths that most Americans unthinkingly cling to.
It’s no secret that the United Nations system is deeply bureaucratic and often largely ineffectual, but it’s worth pondering to what extent is any meaningful reform even possible in principle? Somehow temporarily finding himself inside what is arguably the most superfluous of all UN organizations, Howard took the opportunity to critically examine to what extent UNESCO might, at least theoretically, be transformed for the better.
After close to a decade of an intensively brain-sapping life of academic administration, Howard elects to plunge himself and his family into the idealized world of rural France, and discovers a form of “the real world” that he hadn’t quite bargained for.
In vivid and compelling detail, Howard describes his remarkable odyssey of partnering with BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis to develop a pioneering new theoretical physics institute entirely from scratch. Foreword by Nobel Laureate Roger Penrose.