Garrett Graff, “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror” (Little Brown, 2011)
How has the FBI evolved since the days of chasing gangsters and bootleggers, and is it equipped to face the challenges of a global war on terror? According to Garrett Graff’s The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror (Little Brown, 2011), the FBI has... Read More
Jonathan Steinberg, “Bismarck: A Life” (Oxford UP, 2011)
What is the role of personality in shaping history? Shortly before the beginning of the First World War, the German sociologist Max Weber puzzled over this question. He was sure that there was a kind of authority that drew strength from character itself. He called this authority “charismatic,” a type... Read More
James Brabazon, “My Friend the Mercenary: A Memoir” (Canongate, 2010)
In February 2002, British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war-torn country. To protect him, he hired Nick du Toit, a former South African Defence Force soldier who had fought in conflicts across Africa for... Read More
Charles Emmerson, “The Future History of the Arctic: How Climate, Resources and Geopolitics are Reshaping the North, and Why it Matters to the World” (Vintage, 2010)
I don’t know how many young boys develop a fascination with the world from having a map of the world hung above their beds, but this certainly fits in with the experiences of both Charles Emmerson and myself. Charles’ interest in the Arctic was born from a childhood of staring... Read More
Elizabeth Cohen, “Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2009)
Practically everyone thinks they understand what citizenship means. Yet, there is a great deal of conceptual ambiguity about the term and scholars studying citizenship often disagree about what citizenship actually entails, how it developed, and so on. In Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics (Cambridge UP, 2009), Elizabeth Cohen clarifies the idea... Read More
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