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US ARMY DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G-2
READING LIST 2018
UNITED STATES ARMY
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G-2
In order to keep pace with the changing world around us, we must constantly seek out new sources of knowledge. In that spirit, I am pleased to publish the 2018 edition of my reading list. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis once noted, “Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face nothing new under the sun.” Our education as Soldiers and civilians in service to our nation lies on several pillars; what we learn in the Institutional Army, the Operational Army, and perhaps most importantly, our own personal self-development. ADRP 6-22 states, “Lifelong learning involves study and reflection to acquire new knowledge and to learn how to apply it when needed.” From my three decades in the Army I’ve come to learn maneuver commanders speak two languages: doctrine and history. There is too much at stake for Military Intelligence professionals to lack in preparedness and not be able to communicate with commanders and our civilian leaders. We compiled the enclosed list of books based on feedback from our Total Army Intelligence Force. I encourage you to invest time in reading for professional development, to understand the lessons of the past, and to understand the global strategic environment in which we operate. Hopefully you will glean as much from these titles as I have ...enjoy!
LTG ROBERT P. ASHLEY, JR.
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G-2
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
HARRY S. TRUMAN
33RD PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
“No matter how clearly one thinks, it is impossible to anticipate precisely the character of future conflict. The key is to not be so far off the mark that it becomes impossible to adjust once that character is revealed.”
SIR MICHAEL HOWARD
BRITISH MILITARY HISTORIAN
“The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men. Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.”
GEN. JAMES N. MATTIS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
ABOUT THE DCS, G-2 READING LIST
The Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 Reading List is divided into three categories: Professional Development, History and Heritage, and Global Analysis. These three sections encourage the reader to: invest time on self-development in order to learn and grow as an Army Professional; study lessons of the past to cope with a period of global complexity and uncertainty; and increase awareness of the strategic landscape to shape their understanding of the current and future operating environment. The majority of the titles found in this reading list were recommended by members of the Army G-2 staff.
The appearance of a title on this reading list does not imply that the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 endorses the author’s views or interpretations. Nevertheless, these books contain thought-provoking ideas and viewpoints worthy of consideration.
Descriptions adapted from publisher’s summaries where available.
G-2 READING LIST CONTRIBUTORS
Ms. Katherine Coviello
Mr. Don Gergel
CW4 David Geye
SSG Brandon Hubbard
LTC Nick Montalto
BG James Taylor
LTC Eric Violand
Mr. Elmo Wright
BG Kevin Wulfhorst
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US ARMY DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G-2 READING LIST – 2018
THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO: HOW TO GET THINGS RIGHT Atul Gawande // Picador: 2011 We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies— neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.
THE CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: AMERICA’S LEGENDARY SPYMASTER ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF INTELLIGENCE GATHERING FOR A FREE WORLD Allen Dulles // Lyons Press: Reprint 2016 This classic of spycraft is based on Allen Dulles’s incomparable experience as a diplomat, international lawyer, and America’s premier intelligence officer. Dulles was a high-ranking officer of the CIA’s predecessor--the Office of Strategic Services-- and was present at the inception of the CIA, where he served eight of his ten years there as director. Here he sums up what he learned about intelligence from nearly a half-century of experience in foreign affairs.
THE EMPEROR’S HANDBOOK: A NEW TRANSLATION OF THE MEDITATIONS Marcus Aurelius (translated by David Hicks and C. Scot Hicks) // Scribner: 2002 Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations—a practical book of timeless advice from one of the most powerful individuals in history—is available here for the first time in a highly accessible translation, including several unique features for contemporary readers and users of daily wisdom guides. The Emperor’s Handbook offers a vivid and fresh translation of this important piece of ancient literature. It brings Marcus’s words to life and shows his wisdom to be as relevant today as it was in the second century. PB
FIGHTING TALK: FORTY MAXIMS ON WAR, PEACE, AND STRATEGY Colin S. Gray // Potomac: 2009 Gray presents an inventive treatise on the nature of strategy, war, and peace, organized around forty maxims. This collection of mini-essays will forearm politicians, Soldiers, and the attentive general public against many – probably most – fallacies that abound in contemporary debates about war, peace, and security. While one can never guarantee strategic success, which depends on policy, military prowess, and the quality of the dialogue between the two, a strategic education led by the judgments in these maxims increases the chances that one’s errors will be small rather than catastrophic.
THE FIRST 90 DAYS: PROVEN STRATEGIES FOR GETTING UP TO SPEED FASTER AND SMARTER Michael D. Watkins // Harvard Business Review Press: Updated and Expanded 2013 In this updated and expanded version of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins offers proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitions—no matter where you are in your career. Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions and adviser to senior leaders in all types of organizations, also addresses today’s increasingly demanding professional landscape, where managers face not only more frequent transitions but also steeper expectations once they step into their new jobs. By walking you through every aspect of the transition scenario, Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. PB
GREY EMINENCE: FOX CONNER AND THE ART OF MENTORSHIP Edward Cox // University of California Press: 2001, 2012 To those who have heard of him, Fox Conner’s name is synonymous with mentorship. He is the “grey eminence” within the Army whose influence helped to shape the careers of George Patton, George Marshall, and, most notably, President Eisenhower. What little is known about Conner comes primarily through stories about his relationship with Eisenhower, but little is known about Fox Conner himself. After a career that spanned four decades, this master strategist ordered all of his papers and journals burned. Because of this, most of what is known about Conner is oblique, as a passing reference in the memoirs of other great men. This book combines existing scholarship with long-forgotten references and unpublished original sources to achieve a more comprehensive picture of this dedicated public servant. The portrait that emerges provides a four-step model for developing strategic leaders that still holds true today.
HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING: TALES FROM THE PENTAGON Rosa Brooks // Simon and Schuster: 2016 The first serious book to examine what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased. Once, war was a temporary state of affairs—a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever: our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Today, military personnel don’t just “kill people and break stuff.” Instead, they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates. PB
LEGACY James Kerr // Constable & Robinson: 2013 In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone?
A MESSAGE TO GARCIA Elbert Hubbard // Classic House: 2009 [First published in 1899] This inspirational essay was written in 1899 and is loosely based on an actual event in the Spanish-American War. The essay praises Lieutenant Andrew Rowan for his perseverance and obedience. The lieutenant was charged with delivering an important message to a Cuban general, and did not abandon his mission in the face of many obstacles. “To take a message to Garcia” was for years a popular American slang expression for taking initiative and is still used by many military leaders as a model of an exemplary work ethic.
NINETEEN STARS: A STUDY IN MILITARY CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP Edgar Puryear// Presidio Press: 2003 Nineteen Stars is an in-depth study of American military leadership and character. Puryear makes a comparative study of the careers of four of the most successful US WWII generals: Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton. By examining these men from their cadet years at West Point to the conclusion of WWII, he determines why these men became our top commanders and attempts to answer the question: Can successful military leadership be learned or must one be born to command? A model of character and leadership is revealed here in the careers of the quietly confident Marshall, the military genius of MacArthur, the beloved Eisenhower, and the go-for-broke Patton. PB & AB
ON KILLING: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL COST OF LEARNING TO KILL IN WAR AND SOCIETY Dave Grossman // Back Bay Books: 2009 [First Published in 1995] The good news is that most soldiers are loath to kill. But armies have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. And contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the Army’s conditioning techniques, and, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder among the young. Upon its initial publication, On Killing was hailed as a landmark study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects Soldiers, and of the societal implications of escalating violence. Now, Grossman has updated this classic work to include information on 21st-century military conflicts, recent trends in crime, suicide bombings, school shootings, and more.
OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS Malcolm Gladwell // Little, Brown and Company: 2008 In this stunning and fascinating book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers” – the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: What makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. PB & AB
PEARL HARBOR: WARNING AND DECISION Roberta Wohlstetter // Stanford University Press: 1962 It would be reassuring to believe that Pearl Harbor was just a colossal and extraordinary blunder. What is disquieting is that it was a supremely ordinary blunder; it was a dramatic failure of a remarkably well-informed government to call the next enemy move. Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision is a unique physiology of a great national failure to anticipate. Wohlstetter is at pains to show how easy it was to slip into the rut in which the Japanese found us, it can only remind us how likely it is that we are in the same kind of rut right now. The danger is not that we shall read the signals and indicators with too little skill; the danger is in a poverty of expectations–a routine obsessing with a few dangers that may be familiar rather than likely.
PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL, REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION: THE HIDDEN FORCES THAT SHAPE OUR DECISIONS Dan Ariely // Harper Perennial: 2010 Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. PB
PSYCHOLOGY OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS Richard Heuer, Jr. // Military Bookshop: 2010 This volume pulls together and republishes, with some editing, updating, and additions, articles written from 1978 to 1986 for internal use within the CIA Directorate of Intelligence. The articles are based on reviewing cognitive psychology literature concerning how people process information to make judgments on incomplete and ambiguous information. Richard Heuer has selected the experiments and findings that seem most relevant to intelligence analysis and most in need of communication to intelligence analysts. He then translates the technical reports into language that intelligence analysts can understand and interpreted the relevance of these findings to the problems intelligence analysts face.
RESILIENCE: HARD-WON WISDOM FOR LIVING A BETTER LIFE Eric Greitens // First Mariner Books Edition: 2015 In 2012, Eric Greitens unexpectedly heard from a former Seal team comrade, a brother-in-arms he had not seen in a decade. Zach Walker had been one of the toughest of the tough. But ever since he returned home from war to his young family in a small logging town, he had been struggling. Zach and Eric started writing and talking nearly every day, as Eric set down his thoughts on what it takes to build resilience in our lives. Eric’s letters drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Greitens shows how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us. PB
THE RISE AND FALL OF INTELLIGENCE: AN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY HISTORY Michael Warner // Georgetown University Press: 2014 Historian Michael Warner addresses the birth of professional intelligence in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century and the subsequent rise of US intelligence during the Cold War. He brings this history up to the present day as intelligence agencies used the struggle against terrorism and the digital revolution to improve capabilities in the 2000s. Throughout, the book examines how states and other entities use intelligence to create, exploit, and protect secret advantages against others, and emphasizes how technological advancement and ideological competition drive intelligence, improving its techniques and creating a need for intelligence and counterintelligence activities to serve and protect policymakers and commanders.
RULES AND TOOLS FOR LEADERS: FROM DEVELOPING YOUR OWN SKILLS TO RUNNING ORGANIZATIONS OF ANY SIZE, PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS Maj Gen (Ret) Perry Smith and BG (Ret) Jeffrey Foley // TarcherPerigee: 2013 Rules and Tools for Leaders offers insightful and useful advice that avoids the flavor-of-the-month management theories that are long on speculation and short on practical application. It never loses sight of the big picture of how any company should operate. It provides useful and time-tested advice that can be implemented immediately to the benefit of the entire organization. From defining the qualities of outstanding leaders to putting good leadership skills into practice, from managing yourself and others to handling the difficult tests that leadership brings, this book includes valuable checklists and reviews. In addition, it highlights some of the best leadership programs and presents a host of compelling and instructive anecdotes that illustrate the ideas throughout.
SCALES ON WAR: THE FUTURE OF AMERICA’S MILITARY AT RISK MG (Ret) Bob Scales // Naval Institute Press: 2016 Scales on War is a collection of ideas, concepts, and observations about contemporary war taken from over thirty years of research, writing, and personal experience by retired Major General Bob Scales. Scales’ unique style of writing utilizes contemporary military history, current events, and his philosophy of ground warfare to create a very personal and expansive view of the future direction of American defense policies. Scales on War shows that, as a result of America’s focus on winning wars with technology rather than people, America’s enemies have learned how to win battles by defeating such technology. As a well-known warfare expert, Scales demonstrates how only a resurgent land force of Army and Marine small units will restore America’s fighting competence.
THE STARFISH AND THE SPIDER: THE UNSTOPPABLE POWER OF LEADERLESS ORGANIZATIONS Ori Braufman and Rod A. Beckstrom // Penguin Group: 2006 If you cut off a spider’s head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world. Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have discovered some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. The Starfish and the Spider explores what happens when starfish take on spiders and reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the U.S. government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success. PB & AB
SOURCES OF POWER: HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Gary Klein // The MIT Press: 1999 Sources of Power is based on observations of humans acting under such real-life constraints as time pressure, high stakes, personal responsibility, and shifting conditions. The professionals studied include firefighters, critical care nurses, pilots, nuclear power plant operators, battle planners, and chess masters. Each chapter builds on key incidents and examples to make the description of the methodology and phenomena more vivid. In addition to providing information that can be used by professionals in management, psychology, engineering, and other fields, the book presents an overview of the research approach of naturalistic decision making and expands our knowledge of the strengths people bring to difficult tasks.
SUPERFORECASTING: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PREDICTION Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner // Broadway Books: Reprint Edition 2016 In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events. Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Superforecasting offers a demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future, whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life. PB
TEAM OF TEAMS: NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR A COMPLEX WORLD GEN (Ret) Stanley McChrystal, Collins, Silverman, and Fussell // Penguin: 2015 In this powerful book, General McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving everyone to share what they learn across the entire organization. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small. WAR Sebastian Junger // Twelve: 2010 Over fifteen months, Sebastian Junger followed a single platoon based at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan. His objective was both simple and ambitious: to convey what Soldiers experience, what war actually feels like. In these pages, he gives insight into the truths of combat: the fear, the honor, and the trust among men. He describes things that few civilians will ever witness or go through: the endless, body-numbing anticipation of battle, the adrenalinefueled confusion of being ambushed, the unquestioned and automatic risks Soldiers take in combat situations to protect their brothers. Junger draws on biology, psychology and military history to explain the decisions Soldiers make and to put their ordeals into context. In the vivid prose for which he has become known, he relates the physical toil, the suffocating heat, the sounds of gunfire, and the agony of loss. PB & AB
HISTORY AND HERITAGE
1776 David McCullough // Simon & Schuster: 2005 David McCullough presents, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, interweaving the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned Soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.
THE AENEID Virgil (translated by Robert Fitzgerald) // Vintage Classics: 1990 Just as in Moses led his people to the Promised Land, experiencing fractious debate about his leadership qualities, this epic story details the perilous flight of the citizens of Troy to Italy and the eventual founding of Rome. The journey takes years, and along the way Aeneas encounters several episodes where his leadership is brought into question. This book reveals a values-based approach exhibited by Aeneas prior to his making any decision that will affect his people: he does not always arrive at the right decision. Aeneas questions his own ability to lead and convince others to believe in the mission; much like leaders everywhere, these moments of doubt are followed by self-reflection and an arrival at a decision. PB & AB
AN ARMY AT DAWN: THE WAR IN NORTH AFRICA 1942-1943 (THE LIBERATION TRILOGY) Rick Atkinson // Holt Paperbacks: 2007 Opening with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algiers, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. At the center of the tale are the extraordinary but flawed commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. THE ART OF WAR Sun Tzu (translated by Thomas Cleary) // Shambhala: 2005 Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, and victoriously is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world, as eagerly studied in Asia by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict. PB & AB
ASHLEY’S WAR: THE UNTOLD STORY OF A TEAM OF WOMEN SOLDIERS ON THE SPECIAL OPS BATTLEFIELD Gayle Tzemach Lemmon // Harper: 2015 In Ashley’s War, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon uses on-the-ground reporting and an understanding of the complexities of war to tell the story of Cultural Support Team-2 (CST-2), a unit of women hand-picked from the Army to serve in this highly specialized and challenging role. The pioneers of CST-2 proved for the first time, that women might be physically and mentally tough enough to become part of the elite. At the center of this story is a friendship cemented by “Glee,” video games, and the shared perils and seductive powers of up-close combat. At the heart of the team is the tale of a beloved and effective soldier, Ashley White.
BAND OF BROTHERS: E COMPANY, 506TH REGIMENT, 101ST AIRBORNE FROM NORMANDY TO HITLER’S EAGLE’S NEST Steven E. Ambrose // Simon & Schuster: 2007 Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic story of the ordinary men who became World War II’s most extraordinary Soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, he tells the story of this remarkable company. They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office. PB
BLACK HEARTS: ONE PLATOON’S DESCENT INTO THE MADNESS OF IRAQ’S TRIANGLE OF DEATH Jim Frederick // Broadway: 2010 This is the story of a small group of Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment—a unit known as “the Black Heart Brigade.” Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq’s so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country’s most dangerous location at its most dangerous time. Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragility of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American Soldiers are led on the battlefields of the twenty-first century.
THE CHURCHILL FACTOR: HOW ONE MAN MADE HISTORY Boris Johnson // Riverhead Books: 2015 Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale, yet he hated war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was the most famous journalist of his time and perhaps the greatest orator of all time, despite a lisp and the chronic depression he kept at bay by painting. His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II, even as it ushered in England’s postwar decline. His open-mindedness made him a trailblazer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, he was a rebuttal to the idea that history is the story of vast and impersonal forces; he is proof that one person—intrepid, ingenious, determined—can make all the difference.
COMBAT READY?: THE EIGHTH U.S. ARMY ON THE EVE OF THE KOREAN WAR Thomas E. Hanson // Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series: 2010 In Hanson’s careful study of combat preparedness in the Eighth Army from 1949 to the outbreak of hostilities in 1950, he concedes that the U.S. Soldiers sent to Korea suffered gaps in their professional preparation, from missing and broken equipment to unevenly trained leaders at every level of command. But after a year of progressive, focused, and developmental collective training—based largely on the lessons of combat in World War II—these Soldiers expected to defeat the Communist enemy. By recognizing the constraints under which the Eighth Army operated, Hanson asserts that scholars and Soldiers will be able to discard what Douglas Macarthur called the “pernicious myth” of the Eighth Army’s professional, physical, and moral ineffectiveness.
THE DAY OF BATTLE: THE WAR IN SICILY AND ITALY, 1943-1944 (THE LIBERATION TRILOGY) Rick Atkinson // Henry Holt: 2008 In The Day of Battle, Rick Atkinson follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome. The decision to invade the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was controversial, but once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, the Rapido River, and Monte Cassino were particularly lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable. Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, The Day of Battle is a masterly account of one of history’s most compelling military campaigns. PB & AB
DEFEAT INTO VICTORY: BATTLING JAPAN IN BURMA AND INDIA, 1942-1945 Field-Marhsal Viscount William Slim // Cooper Square Press: 2000 Defeat Into Victory is Field-Marshal Slim’s classic account of the Burma Campaign in World War II. Divided into six books (Defeat; Forging the Weapon; The Weapon is Tested; The Tide Turns; The Decisive Battle; and Victory), this memoir is widely regarded as a classic of high command. Though it is told from the perspective of a Field-Marshall, Slim still imparts lessons that are relevant for tactical leaders to this day, such as the difficulties of jungle fighting and the importance of mission command in distributed operations. Impressively, Field-Marshal Slim is not afraid to admit some of this own shortcomings as a commander. This is a narrative which captures both the high drama and the harsh reality of war.
G-2: INTELLIGENCE FOR PATTON Oscar Koch and Robert G. Hays // Schiffer: 1999 [First published 1971] The enigmatic science of military intelligence is examined in this personal record, written by Brigadier General Oscar W. Koch, who served during World War II as chief of intelligence for General George S. Patton, Jr., one of the most colorful military leaders in American history. General Koch traces the growth and development of the infant science through detailed accounts of the intelligence role in some of the most celebrated battles of the war, and through his personal remembrances of Patton and his relationships with members of his intelligence staff. His story moves from the African campaign through Sicily, into France on D-Day and on to the Battle of the Bulge, pointing out how the work of the intelligence staff made the differences in the final reckoning. General Koch’s book is more than a historical study, however. It is the exciting story of the operations behind the cloak and dagger illusions. PB
GATES OF FIRE: AN EPIC NOVEL OF THERMOPYLAE Steven Pressfield // Bantam Books: 1998 This is novel about Thermopylae, the 480 BC battle that went down in history as an example of heroism. For three days a small force of Greeks defended a narrow pass from a huge Persian army. Narrated by the sole survivor of the epic battle – a squire in the Spartan heavy infantry – Gates of Fire is a mesmerizing depiction of one man’s indoctrination into the Spartan way of life and death and the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity. Culminating in an electrifying and horrifying epic battle, Gates of Fire weaves history, mystery, and heartbreaking romance into a literary page-turner that brings the Homeric tradition into the twenty-first century.
GREAT STRATEGIC RIVALRIES: FROM THE CLASSICAL WORLD TO THE COLD WAR James Lacey (editor) // Oxford University Press: 2016 From the legendary antagonism between Athens and Sparta during the Peloponnesian War to the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the twentieth century, the past is littered with long-term strategic rivalries. History tells us that such enduring rivalries can end in one of three ways: a series of exhausting conflicts in which one side eventually prevails, as in the case of the Punic Wars between ancient Rome and Carthage, a peaceful and hopefully orderly transition, like the rivalry between Great Britain and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, or a one-sided collapse, such as the conclusion of the Cold War with the fall of the Soviet Union. However, in spite of a wealth of historical examples, the future of state rivalries remains a matter of conjecture. PB
THE GUNS OF AUGUST Barbara W. Tuchman // Random House: 2004 [First Published in 1962] In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages.
HELL IN A VERY SMALL PLACE: THE SIEGE OF DIEN BIEN PHU Bernard B. Fall // Da Capo Press: Reprint 2002 The siege of Dien Bien Phu, in which a guerrilla force of Viet Minh destroyed a technologically superior French colonial army, must rank with Waterloo, Gettysburg, Midway, Stalingrad, and Tet as one of the decisive battles in military history. Not only did Dien Bien Phu put an end to French imperial efforts in Indo-china, but it also convinced the Viet Minh, when they came to power in Communist North Vietnam, that similar tactics would prevail in their war with the United States. Fall accurately predicted that if the United States did not learn from France’s mistakes, it too would fail in Vietnam. AB PB
HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR Thucydides // Penguin Classics: 1972 Exiled after the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote this account that would make him relevant for the next 2,500 years. This detailed contemporary work about the struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling the author’s ambitious claim that the work “was done to last forever.” The conflicts between the two empires over shipping, trade, and colonial expansion came to a head in 431 B.C. in Northern Greece, and the entire Greek world was plunged into 27 years of war. Thucydides applied a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this exhaustively factual record of the disastrous conflict that eventually ended the Athenian empire.
THE KILLER ANGELS: THE CLASSIC NOVEL OF THE CIVIL WAR Michael Shaara // Random House: 1987 [First published in 1974] In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fought for two conflicting dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And, far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty were also the casualties of war. Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece is unique, sweeping, unforgettable – the dramatic story of the battleground for America’s destiny.
THE LANDMARK THUCYDIDES: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR Robert B. Strassler // Simon & Shuster: 1996 Thucydides called his account of two decades of war between Athens and Sparta “a possession for all time,” and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the Western historical tradition. Considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, The Peloponnesian War is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom. Strassler’s edition provides a new coherence to the narrative overall by effectively reconstructing the lost cultural context that Thucydides shared with his original audience. PB
THE OUTPOST: AN UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN VALOR Jake Tapper // Hachette Book Group: 2012 At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the U.S. that year. Four months after the battle, a Pentagon review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place. In The Outpost, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of Soldiers and their families, and to a place and war that has remained profoundly distant to most Americans.
A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE: ALGERIA 1954-1962 Alistair Horne // NYRB Classics: 2006 The Algerian War, from 1954 to 1962, brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture. Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet—as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic work of history—its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France, but throughout the world. PB
SCIPIO AFRICANUS: ROME’S GREATEST GENERAL Richard A. Gabriel // Potomac Books: 2008 Scholars celebrate the importance of Hannibal, even though Scipio defeated the legendary general in the Second Punic War and was the central military figure of his time. In this scholarly and heretofore unmatched military biography of the distinguished Roman soldier, Richard A. Gabriel establishes Scipio’s rightful place in military history as the greater of the two generals. His book offers a complete bibliography of all extant sources regarding Scipio’s life. The result is a rich, detailed, and contextual treatment of the life and career of Scipio Africanus, one of Rome’s greatest generals, if not the greatest of them all.
STREET WITHOUT JOY: THE FRENCH DEBACLE IN INDOCHINA Bernard B. Fall // Stackpole Books: 2005 Originally published in 1961, before the United States escalated its involvement in South Vietnam, Street without Joy offered a clear warning about what American forces would face in the jungles of Southeast Asia: a costly and protracted revolutionary war fought without fronts against a mobile enemy. In harrowing detail, Fall describes the brutality and frustrations of the Indochina War, the savage eight-year conflict-ending in 1954 after the fall of Dien Bien Phu-in which French forces suffered a staggering defeat at the hands of Communist-led Vietnamese nationalists. With its frontline perspective, vivid reporting, and careful analysis, Street without Joy was required reading for policymakers in Washington and GIs in the field and is now considered a classic.
SUPREME COMMAND: SOLDIERS, STATESMEN, AND LEADERSHIP IN WARTIME Eliot A. Cohen // Anchor: 2003 The orthodoxy regarding the relationship between politicians and military leaders in wartime democracies contends that politicians should declare a military operation’s objectives and then step aside and leave the business of war to the military. In this controversial examination of civilian-military relations in wartime democracies, Eliot A. Cohen chips away at this time-honored belief with case studies of statesmen who dared to prod, provoke, and even defy their military officers to great effect. By examining the shared leadership traits of four politicians who triumphed in extraordinarily varied military campaigns, Cohen argues that active statesmen make the best wartime leaders, pushing their military subordinates to succeed where they might have failed if left to their own devices. Thought provoking and soundly argued, Cohen’s Supreme Command is essential reading not only for military and political players but also for informed citizens and anyone interested in leadership.
THIS KIND OF WAR: A STUDY OF UNPREPAREDNESS: THE CLASSIC KOREAN WAR HISTORY T.R. Fehrenbach // Potomac Books: 2001 [First published in 1963] Updated with maps, photographs, and battlefield diagrams, this special fiftieth anniversary edition of the classic history of the Korean War is a dramatic and hard-hitting account of the conflict written from the perspective of those who fought it. Partly drawn from official records, operations journals, and histories, it is based largely on the compelling personal narratives of the small-unit commanders and their troops. Unlike any other work on the Korean War, it provides both a clear panoramic overview and a sharply drawn “you were there” account of American troops in fierce combat against the North Korean and Chinese communist invaders. As Americans and North Koreans continue to face each other across the 38th Parallel, This Kind of War commemorates the past and offers vital lessons for the future. PB
TO LOSE A BATTLE: FRANCE 1940 Alistair Horne // Penguin: 2007 In 1940, the German army fought and won an extraordinary battle with France in six weeks of lightning warfare. With the subtlety and compulsion of a novel, Horne’s narrative shifts from minor battlefield incidents to high military and political decisions, stepping far beyond the confines of military history to form a major contribution to our understanding of the crises of the Franco-German rivalry. Told in two parts, the first section deals with the events that led up to the invasion in May 1940, while the second describes Germany’s advance through France. Although the book rightfully praises the German offensive, Horne also notes Germany’s mistakes which eventually led to its downfall.
THE UGLY AMERICAN Eugene Burdick and William J. Lederer // W.W. Norton and Company: 1999 First published in 1958, The Ugly American became a runaway national bestseller for its slashing exposé of American arrogance, incompetence, and corruption in Southeast Asia. Based on fact, the book’s eye-opening stories and sketches drew a devastating picture of how the United States was losing the struggle with Communism in Asia. Combining gripping storytelling with an urgent call to action, the book prompted President Eisenhower to launch a study of our military aid program that led the way to much-needed reform. Modern reviews of the book have drawn parallels between South East Asia of the Cold War and the Middle East of today.
WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE… AND YOUNG: IA DRANG – THE BATTLE THAT CHANGED THE WAR IN VIETNAM Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway // Presidio Press: 2004 [First published in 1992] In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese Soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was chopped to pieces. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. How these men persevered, sacrificed themselves for their comrades and never gave up, makes a vivid portrait of war at its most inspiring and devastating. This devastating account rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles to present a picture of men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have found unimaginable only a few hours earlier.
WITH THE OLD BREED: AT PELELIU AND OKINAWA E.B. Sledge // Oxford University Press: 2007 [First published in 1981 by Presidio Press] An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division – 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic. Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a Soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill – and came to love – his fellow man.
THE ZIMMERMANN TELEGRAM Barbara Tuchman // Random House: 1985 In January 1917, the war in Europe was, at best, a tragic standoff. Britain knew that all was lost unless the United States joined the war, but President Wilson was unshakable in his neutrality. At just that moment, a crack team of British decoders in a quiet office known as Room 40 intercepted a document that would change history. The Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message to the president of Mexico, inviting him to join Germany and Japan in an invasion of the United States. How Britain managed to inform the American government without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible story of espionage and intrigue as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.
THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER: THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICAN PREEMINENCE AND THE COMING OF GLOBAL DISORDER Peter Zeihan // Hachette Book Group: 2014 Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world’s oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners. The Accidental Superpower examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that is rapidly approaching energy independence.
THE CLEANEST RACE: HOW NORTH KOREANS SEE THEMSELVES AND WHY IT MATTERS B.R. Myers // Melville House: 2011 Drawing on extensive research into the regime’s domestic propaganda, including films, romance novels and other artifacts of the personality cult, Myers analyzes each of the country’s official myths in turn—from the notion of Koreans’ unique moral purity to the myth of an America quaking in terror of “the Iron General.” In a concise, but groundbreaking historical section, Myers also traces the origins of this official culture back to the Japanese fascist thought in which North Korea’s first ideologues were schooled. What emerges is a regime completely unlike the West’s perception of it. The implications for US foreign policy are as obvious as they are troubling.
CONNECTOGRAPHY – MAPPING THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL CIVILIZATION Parag Khanna // Random House: 2016 Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty-first century. Mankind is reengineering the planet, investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure linking the world’s burgeoning megacities together. Connectivity, not geography, is our destiny. In Connectography, Khanna shows how militaries are deployed to protect supply chains as much as borders, and how nations are less at war over territory than engaged in tugs-of-war over pipelines, railways, shipping lanes, and Internet cables. The new arms race is to connect to the most markets. PB
DESTINED FOR WAR: CAN AMERICA AND CHINA ESCAPE THUCYDIDES’S TRAP? Graham Allison // Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2017 China and the United States are heading toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times and war broke out in twelve of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war. In Destined for War, Harvard scholar Graham Allison reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.
GHOST FLEET: A NOVEL OF THE NEXT WORLD WAR P.W. Singer and August Cole // First Mariner Books: 2015 The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic – drone strikes to old warships from the Navy’s “ghost fleet.” Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor – style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future. PB & AB
THE HUNDRED-YEAR MARATHON: CHINA’S SECRET STRATEGY TO REPLACE AMERICA AS THE GLOBAL SUPERPOWER Michael Pillsbury // Henry Holt and Company: 2016 For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China’s rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the “China Dream” is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot? Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China’s secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
LEE KUAN YEW: THE GRAND MASTER’S INSIGHTS ON CHINA, THE UNITED STATES, AND THE WORLD Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwell, and Ali Wyne // The MIT Press: 2013 Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, Lee Kuan Yew offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. This book gathers key insights from interviews, speeches, and Lee’s voluminous published writings and presents them in an engaging question and answer format. Lee offers his assessment of China’s future, asserting, among other things, that “China will want to share this century as co-equals with the U.S.” He affirms the United States’ position as the world’s sole superpower but expresses dismay at the vagaries of its political system. He offers strategic advice for dealing with China and discusses India’s future, Islamic terrorism, and economic growth, among other topics. Lee does not pull punches, offering his unvarnished opinions on multiculturalism, the welfare state, education, and the free market.
THE NEXT DECADE: EMPIRE AND REPUBLIC IN A CHANGING WORLD George Friedman // Anchor: 2012 In the long view, history is seen as a series of events—but the course of those events is determined by individuals and their actions. During the next ten years, individual leaders will face significant transitions for their nations: the United States’ relationships with Iran and Israel will be undergoing changes, China will likely confront a major crisis, and the wars in the Islamic world will subside. Unexpected energy and technology developments will emerge, and labor shortages will begin to matter more than financial crises. Distinguished geopolitical forecaster George Friedman analyzes these events from the perspectives of the men and women leading these global changes, focusing in particular on the American president, who will require extraordinary skills to shepherd the United States through this transitional period.
ON CHINA Henry Kissinger // Penguin Books: 2012 In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing. With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower’s twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time.
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GREAT POWERS: ECONOMIC CHANGE AND MILITARY CONFLICT FROM 1500 TO 2000 Paul Kennedy // First Vintage: 1989 The Rise and Fall of Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000, by Paul Kennedy, first published in 1987, explores the politics and economics of the Great Powers from 1500 to 1980 and the reason for their decline. It then continues by forecasting the positions of China, Japan, the European Economic Community, the Soviet Union and the United States through the end of the 20th century. PB & AB
A SHATTERED PEACE: VERSAILLES 1919 AND THE PRICE WE PAY TODAY David A. Andelman // Wiley General Trade: 2014 For more than half a century, it has been widely recognized that the Treaty of Versailles, founded on retribution against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, created the circumstances that led inevitably to World War II. Less acknowledged and understood is the treaty’s profound impact on many other parts of the world—an impact that echoes to this day across Asia, the Balkans, and throughout the Middle East. Andelman takes a fresh new look at the Treaty of Versailles as the point of origin for many of today’s most critical international issues. This revealing history exposes the powerful lessons that a six-month period in a long ago era has for us today.
THINKING IN TIME: THE USES OF HISTORY FOR DECISION-MAKERS Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May // The Free Press: 1986 For generations Americans have described and deplored the ignorance of history displayed by policymakers or, what is worse, the misuse of historical analogies. Since the 1950s Professors Neustadt and May have been working individually through their writing and consulting on this subject; in the past decade they have been collaborators in a course at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government focusing explicitly on “using history.” This excellent book is a product of that course: case histories from both domestic and foreign policy areas and a set of precepts-what to ask about history and how to ask it. Professional historians, enjoying the luxury of unhurried reflection, might say that the book’s “method” is no more than a systematic and common-sense statement of the obvious-but the authors demonstrate that the “obvious” has too often been ignored, with unfortunate results. PB
THE TRAGEDY OF GREAT POWER POLITICS (UPDATED EDITION) John J. Mearsheimer // W.W. Norton & Company: 2001 The updated edition of this classic treatise on the behavior of great powers takes a penetrating look at the question likely to dominate international relations in the twentyfirst century: Can China rise peacefully? In clear, eloquent prose, Mearsheimer explains why the answer is no: a rising China will seek to dominate Asia, while the United States, determined to remain the world’s sole regional hegemon, will go to great lengths to prevent that from happening. The tragedy of great power politics is inescapable.
THE UNQUIET FRONTIER: RISING RIVALS, VULNERABLE ALLIES, AND THE CRISIS OF AMERICAN POWER Jakub J. Grygiel and A. Wess Mitchell // Princeton University Press: 2016 From the Baltic to the South China Sea, newly assertive authoritarian states sense an opportunity to resurrect old empires or build new ones at America’s expense. Hoping that U.S. decline is real, nations such as Russia, Iran, and China are testing Washington’s resolve by targeting vulnerable allies at the frontiers of American power. The Unquiet Frontier explains why the United States needs a new grand strategy that uses strong frontier alliance networks to raise the costs of military aggression in the new century.
WIRED FOR WAR: THE ROBOTICS REVOLUTION AND CONFLICT IN THE 21ST CENTURY P.W. Singer // The Penguin Press: 2009 In Wired for War, P. W. Singer explores the great¬est revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb: the dawn of robotic warfare. We are on the cusp of a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make real the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator. Blending historical evidence with interviews of an amaz¬ing cast of characters, Singer shows how technology is changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and the ethics that surround war itself. Travelling from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to modern-day “skunk works” in the midst of suburbia, Wired for War will tantalize a wide readership, from military buffs to policy wonks to gearheads.
WORLD ORDER Henry Kissinger // Penguin Books: 2015 Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism. Grounded in Kissinger’s deep study of history and his experience as national security advisor and secretary of state, World Order guides readers through crucial episodes in recent world history. Provocative and articulate, blending historical insight with geopolitical prognostication, World Order is a unique work that could come only from a lifelong policy maker and diplomat. PB & AB