Last week, Bob McMahon, Gideon Rose, and I offered up our summer reading suggestions on The World Next Week podcast. India Adams and her colleagues on the CFR Library staff were not to be outdone. They generated their own, much longer summer reading list, organized by topic. They had a lot of good suggestions, so I thought I’d share the ones that Bob, Gideon, and I haven’t already recommended:
- Economy, Elizabeth C. and Michael A. Levi. By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World (2014). CFR fellows Elizabeth Economy and Michael Levi explore how China’s growing appetite for natural resources is reshaping economics and politics around the world.
- French, Howard W. China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa (2014). French, a former New York Times foreign correspondent who covered China and Africa among other beats, assesses how Chinese activity in Africa is shaping the continent’s future.
- Lim, Louisa. The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (2014). NPR correspondent Louisa Lim revisits the Tiananmen Square massacre and shows how China rewrote the events of June 4, 1989.
- Feldman, Noah. Cool War: The Future of Global Competition (2013). Feldman delivers a “bold and thought-provoking look at the future of U.S.-China relations, and how their coming power struggle will reshape the competitive playing field for nations around the world.”
- Lewis, Michael. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (2013). Lewis criticizes so-called high-frequency trading on Wall Street by telling the story of a small group of financial figures who created an exchange in which high-frequency traders don’t have an edge.
- Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014). Piketty uses data from twenty countries to argue that inequality is a basic feature of capitalism and that reducing inequality requires deliberate state intervention in the economy.
- Silverstein, Ken. The Secret World of Oil (2014). Silverstein contends that shady dealings shape the modern oil industry.
- Osterhammel, Jürgen. The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (2014). Osterhammel shows “how the nineteenth century paved the way for the global catastrophes of the twentieth century, yet how it also gave rise to pacifism, liberalism, the trade union, and a host of other crucial developments.”
- Plokhy, Serhii. The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (2014). Plokhy argues that disagreements between Russia and Ukraine rather than American action triggered the collapse of the Soviet Union.
- Sestanovich, Stephen. Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama (2014). CFR fellow Stephen Sestanovich “captures the fluctuation of American foreign policy, between maximalist overreaching and the underreaching in which retrenchments usually end.”
Memoirs and Biographies
- Bromwich, David. The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence (2014). In his biography of Edmund Burke, Bromwich “sets aside the conventional views of Burke—the eloquent opponent of radical ideology—to track the formation of his outlook and explore his early career.”
- Clinton, Hillary R. Hard Choices (2014). Clinton provides an inside look at her four years as secretary of state.
- Devine, Jack. Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story (2014). Devine recalls his time in the CIA, providing an insider account of CIA operations from the Nixon administration through the Clinton administration.
- Geithner, Timothy F. Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises (2014). Former Treasury secretary Tim Geithner recalls his experiences before, during, and after the financial crisis and “explains how America withstood the ultimate stress test of its political and financial systems."
Society and Culture
- Carter, Jimmy. A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power (2014). President Carter explains how discrimination on the basis of gender affects women in every country around the world.
- Greenwald, Glenn. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (2014). Greenwald recounts his ten-day Hong Kong meeting with Edward Snowden in 2013 and investigates how Snowden has affected debate on information privacy and national security.
- Schulman, Daniel. Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty (2014). Schulman details the lives of the four brothers who make up one of the most politically influential families in America.
- Wade, Nicholas. A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History (2014). New York Times journalist Nicholas Wade utilizes genetic mapping to explain the genetics of race.
- Wright, Alex. Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age (2014). Wright explores the fascinating life of Paul Otlet, a Belgian librarian who brainstormed innovative ways to collect, store, and organize the world’s information, decades before the creation of Internet.
War and Conflict
- Atkinson, Rick. The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy) (2013). Atkinson concludes his trilogy about the Allied victory in Europe during World War II.
- Bird, Kai. The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames (2014). Using firsthand accounts and private correspondence, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Bird tells the story of a CIA operative known for his close relationships with Arab leaders and intelligence officers.
- Gall, Carlotta. The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014 (2014). New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall draws on her experience reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan to argue that the U.S. war in Afghanistan should have been waged in Pakistan.
- Hamilton, Nigel. The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942 (2014). Hamilton analyzes President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s leadership during the first two years of U.S. involvement in the Second World War.
- Morris, Ian. War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots (2014). Morris argues that wars over the course of history have shaped a world that is richer and safer than it might have been otherwise.
- Pressfield, Steven. The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War (2014). Pressfield tells the story of the Six Day War through the accounts of the Israeli soldiers who fought it.
If you have any summer reading recommendations of your own, please mention them in the comments.