A Classicist’s View of the Cataclysm
Victor Davis Hanson’s magisterial history of the Second World War
The great Edmund Burke by Harvey Mansfield
A review of The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography and Commented Anthology of Edmund Burke, by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Burke & political liberty by Martin Greenberg
The seventh in a series titled “The survival of culture.”
Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony With Kori Schake
interview with Kori Schake via Center for Strategic & International Studies
Hoover Institution fellow Kori Schake discusses her book Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony.
10 Best History Books of the Last 10 Years
By Brandon Christensen, RealClearHistory: “This time of year produces a ton of "Best of..." or "Top ____ of the Year" lists, and they're usually pretty good. However, I always come away from such reads wishing they would have been deeper, or covered more ground, or had a bit more history to them.”
Best Books Of The Year, As Selected By Mosaic Authors
quoting Peter Berkowitz via Mosaic Magazine
To mark the close of 2017, we asked a handful of our writers to name the best two or three books they read this year, and briefly to explain their choices.
War Books: 'The Management of Violence'
By Colin Steele, Modern War Institute: “In The Soldier and the State, Samuel Huntington famously adopted the phrase “the management of violence” to encapsulate the military officer’s art.”
CENTCOM Commander’s 2018 Reading List
From Modern War Institute: “Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, has released his 2018 reading list. With twelve books across five categories, Gen. Votel’s list makes for a great edition of our weekly War Books series.”
War Books: Major General Mick Ryan’s 2018 Reading List
By Mick Ryan, Modern War Institute: “I have included several of my favourite science-fiction novels that feature military themes. I have written previously about why I think military officers should read sci-fi, and have collaborated on a sci-fi reading list. Given the small number of sci-fi books I included, this might be the most controversial aspect of the list—there is no Starship Troopers or Enders Game. I don’t think these are bad novels; I just think Old Mans War and The Forever War are better. And it is very hard to go past The Martian for a story of resilience, innovation, and pure greatness in storytelling.”
Must-Reads for 2017: World Crisis Edition
By James Stavridis, Bloomberg: “Novels about Syria, a jotting genius, Indian massacres and the return of George Smiley.”
War Books: Maj. James King, U.S. Army
By James King, Modern War Institute: “As with cutting my list to a top five, finding the one that shaped me the most is a difficult task. From a fiction standpoint, I first read Red Storm Rising at an age where I was too young to understand it ... ”
War Books: Andrew Bacevich
By Andrew Bacevich, Modern War Institute: “In my judgment, Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History, published in 1952, remains the most important book ever written about US foreign policy.”
Anthony Sattin's Best History Books Of 2017
mentioning Stephen Kotkin via The Guardian
You need time to savor Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, in which Stephen Kotkin fills 900 close-typed pages with an epic telling of how Stalin consolidated power, killed millions of his citizens and then miscalculated Hitler’s intentions.
Ryan Avent's "The Wealth of Humans" and the Future of Work
Despite low unemployment rates in the United States, more Americans than ever are either not working or not even looking for work. Because of these trends, and also because of wage stagnation for the working class, American income inequality continues to widen. Yet single American parents can...
War Books: Admiral James Stavridis, (USN, Ret)
By Loren Thompson, RealClearDefense: “Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn - A searing portrait of a young Marine officer’s first sixty days in vicious combat in Vietnam. Counterinsurgency turned upside down. Read it alongside Arkady Babchenko’s One Soldier’s War, about the Soviet experience in Chechnya ...
War Books: Jacob Olidort on How to Read
By Jacob Olidort, Modern War Institute: ““How” to read seems a strange and perhaps even condescending way to propose a book list. However, given that reading takes time, and that those who might have the most use for good reads often have little time and long lists to go through, as well as many outlets to consult (including blogs, tweets, recommendations), it might be more useful to reflect on how I go about choosing what books I read and how I consume information.”
America is turning away from support for democrats in Arab countries in favor of 'pragmatic' deals with tyrants to defeat violent Islamist extremism. For too many policymakers, Arab democracy is seen as a dangerous luxury. In Realism and Democracy, Elliott Abrams marshals four decades of experience as an American official and leading Middle East expert and shows that deals with tyrants will not work. Islamism is an idea that can only be defeated by a better idea: democracy. Through a careful analysis of America's record of democracy promotion in the region and beyond, from the Cold War to the Obama years, Abrams proves that repression helps Islamists beat democrats, while political openings offer moderates and liberals a chance. This book makes a powerful argument for an American foreign policy that combines practical politics and idealism and refuses to abandon those struggling for democracy and human rights in the Arab world.
The post-Khomenei era has profoundly changed the socio-political landscape of Iran. Since 1989, the internal dynamics of change in Iran, rooted in a panoply of socioeconomic, cultural, institutional, demographic, and behavioral factors, have led to a noticeable transition in both societal and governmental structures of power, as well as the way in which many Iranians have come to deal with the changing conditions of their society. This is all exacerbated by the global trend of communication and information expansion, as Iran has increasingly become the site of the burgeoning demands for women's rights, individual freedoms, and festering tensions and conflicts over cultural politics. These realities, among other things, have rendered Iran a country of unprecedented-and at time paradoxical-changes. This book explains how and why.
Senator John McCain’s Summer Reading List
By John McCain, The Medium: “Summertime — filled with vacations and trips to the beach — offers an important opportunity for Americans to read. As an avid reader, I have always believed in the power of books to educate, entertain and inspire. With summer underway, I encourage all Americans to pick up a book and read this summer — from fiction to history, you can do no better for your mind than to read.”
War Books: Something Missing From the CSA's Reading List
By Miranda Summers Lowe, Modern War Institute: “At their best, professional development reading lists form a canon of respected work that creates shared understanding and common background knowledge in military professionals. These books become a cultural standard, a reflection of not just what we want our soldiers to read, but who want our soldiers to be.”
War Books Profile: Col. Jim Greer, U.S. Army (Ret)
From Jim Greer, Modern War Institute: “Col. Boyd’s A Discourse on Winning and Losing shaped me in so many ways. I was lucky in that I heard Col. Boyd present his famous Patterns of Conflict pitch. His work is much more than the OODA Loop for which he is known; it is a systemic approach to understanding and engaging in combat and military operations in order to accomplish the ends of strategy.”
ADM Stavridis' Latest Reading List
By Christopher Nelson, War on the Rocks: “Now Stavridis is out of uniform, but ever the voracious reader and advocate for self-improvement, he has co-authored a book titled The Leader’s Bookshelf, for which he interviewed 200 general officers and flag officers about their reading habits and their favorite books.”
Chief of Staff of the Army’s 2017 Reading List
From Modern War Institute: “U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, released his 2017 Professional Reading List last week, we’re kicking it off by highlighting the 111 books, in six categories, that made Gen. Milley’s list. "
The turmoil which has been rattling the Middle East in recent years has confronted Israel with fresh challenges and opportunities and requires it to rethink the three levels of its strategy and security policies: National security Strategy (sometimes referred to as Grand Strategy), National Security Policy and National Military Strategy. The book points to the years 1979–1981 as the years of transition from conventional military challenges faced by Israel to the novel challenges of terrorism, missiles and rockets, sub-state guerrilla organizations on its borders and the prospect of nuclear weapons in hostile hands.
Some of these challenges have been exacerbated by the unraveling of neighboring Arab states. The book's review of the evolution of Israeli policies through almost seven decades of war and conflicts shows the absence of a full-fledged grand strategy, the structural weakness of national security policy formulation by successive governments at the cabinet level and the dominant role of the IDF. This state of affairs helps explain why and how Israel has responded to the recent turmoil in a piecemeal fashion rather than formulate a comprehensive policy that would enhance its ability to respond to the new challenges and take advantage of the new opportunities.
Hoover Institution Press Release