New Books Network

Michael Auslin, “Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations” (Harvard UP, 2011)
How have the United States and Japan managed to remain such strong allies, despite having fought one another in a savage war less than 70 years ago? In Michael Auslin’s Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations (Harvard University Press, 2011), the author, an Asia expert at the American... Read More
Stewart A. Baker, “Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism” (Hoover Institution, 2010)
How do government officials decide key homeland security questions? How do those decisions affect our day to day lives? In Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism (Hoover Institution, 2010), Stewart Baker, a former senior official from the Department of Homeland Security, takes us behind the scenes of... Read More
William Bennett and Seth Leibsohn, “The Fight of Our Lives: Choosing to Win the War Against Radical Islam” (Thomas Nelson, 2011)
Where do we stand on the War on Terror? Is it still going on, and if so, are we winning or losing it? In William Bennett and Seth Leibsohn’s The Fight of Our Lives: Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth, and Choosing to Win the War Against Radical Islam (Thomas... Read More
W. Taylor Fain, “American Ascendance and British Retreat in the Persian Gulf Region” (Palgrave-McMillan, 2008)
If you ask most Americans when the U.S. became heavily involved in the Persian Gulf, they might cite the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1981 or, more probably, the First Gulf War of 1990. Of course the roots of American entanglement in the region run much deeper, as W. Taylor Fain... Read More
Audrey Kurth Cronin, “How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns” (Princeton UP, 2010)
It’s one thing to say that the study of history is “relevant” to contemporary problems; it’s another to demonstrate it. In How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns(Princeton UP, 2009), Audrey Kurth Cronin does so in splendid fashion. She poses a common and very important question:... Read More
Nicholas Thompson, “The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War” (Henry Holt, 2010)
I met George Kennan twice, once in 1982 and again in about 1998. On both occasions, I found him tough to read. He was a very dignified man–I want to write “correct”–but also quite distant, even cerebral. Now that I’ve read Nicholas Thompson‘s very writerly and engaging The Hawk and... Read More
Julian E. Zelizer, “Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security From WWII to the War on Terrorism” (Basic Books, 2010)
Historians are by their nature public intellectuals because they are intellectuals who write about, well, the public. Alas, many historians seem to forget the “public” part and concentrate on the “intellectual” part. Our guest today–sponsored by the National History Center–is not among them. Julian Zelizer has used his historical research... Read More