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What We’re Reading

Revisting Which Books You Should Own & Never Read, Which You Should Read & Which to Skip Altogether

Deep State Radio published a discussion of books on August 9, 2018.  In that episode titled, Which Books You Should Own and Never Read, and Which to Skip Altogether (which you can listen to here or via your podcast app), hosts David Rothkopf, Ed Luce, Kori Schake and Rosa Brooks highlighted the books they were currently reading (or intending to read) or recently had read.  The response to the episode was overwhelming, and led to the creation of a Twitter group called Deep State Radio Book Group, @state_book as well as a discussion group at Good Reads by a group of our podcast listeners.  We encourage you to connect with your fellow nerds to share your thoughts about the books we discussed.  We have created a special members-only forum to help members connect and keep the conversation going.  To join, simply become a member.  For a limited time, you can get 40% off your subscription using code: BOOK at checkout.  If you’re already a member, you can visit the forum directly.

We’ve compiled a list of several of the books (with links to purchase) that were discussed below.  Happy Reading!

The Perfect Weapon – by David Sanger

From the premiere New York Times Washington correspondent, a stunning and incisive look into how cyberwarfare is influencing elections, threatening national security, and bringing us to the brink of global war.

DSR Staff:  “The best book around on Cybersecurity”

I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future–a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Ed Luce:  “Extraordinary prescient; I strongly recommend it”

The Future of War, by George Saunders

An award-winning military historian, professor, and political adviser delivers the definitive story of warfare in all its guises and applications, showing what has driven and continues to drive this uniquely human form of political violence.

Kori’s take:  “A terrific book, really fun to read”

The Lion and the Eagle: The Interaction of the British and American Empires 1783–1972, by Kathleen Burk

An invigorating history of the arguments and cooperation between America and Britain as they divided up the world and an illuminating exploration of their underlying alliance.

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented.

The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document.

Locking Up Our Own, by James Forman Jr.

Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand the war on crime that began in the 1970s and why it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers.

Read by Rosa Brooks

Chokehold, by Paul Butler

Rosa’s take:  Smart, well-written, thoughtful

Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practices that treat every African American man like a thug. In this explosive new book, an African American former federal prosecutor shows that the system is working exactly the way it’s supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread—all with the support of judges and politicians.

The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy, by Stephen M. Walt

Clear-eyed, candid, and elegantly written, Stephen M. Walt’s The Hell of Good Intentions offers both a compelling diagnosis of America’s recent foreign policy follies and a proven formula for renewed success.  Coming October 16, 2018.

The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump, by Michiko Kakutani

With remarkable erudition and insight, Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and points toward a new path for our truth-challenged times.

David’s Take:  “Great book of the summer; whatever you do, buy this book, read this book”

Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

RUSSIAN ROULETTE chronicles and explores this bizarre scandal, explains the stakes, and answers one of the biggest questions in American politics: How and why did a foreign government infiltrate the country’s political process and gain influence in Washington?

David’s Take:  “Covers a lot, lots of specifics, ahead of the curve”

The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korea Nuclear Attacks Against the United States, by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, PhD

America lost 1.4 million citizens in the North Korean attacks of March 2020. This is the final, authorized report of the government commission charged with investigating the calamity.

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