New Books Network

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
Robert Hendershot, “Family Spats: Perception, Illusion and Sentimentality in the Anglo-American Special Relationship” (VDM, 2009)
Gordon Brown, the British PM, came calling to Washington recently. He jumped the pond, of course, to have a chat with his new counterpart, President Barack Obama. They had a lot to talk about, what with the world economy melting down, the Afghan War heating up, and Iraq coming apart.... Read More