More than 700 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘national security’

National security or insecurity?

A review of Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden, by Mark Hertsgaard @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Since 2013, when Edward Snowden released a flood of classified data from the National Security Agency to the public eye, whistle-blowers have come under increased scrutiny. Snowden’s courageous act has highlighted the earlier efforts of other men… Read More ›

The secret history of cyber war

A review of Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, by Fred Kaplan @@@ (3 out of 5) Occasionally, I come across a book on an important topic that’s crammed with information I was able to find nowhere else — but is a chore to read. Even though it is not an academic study… Read More ›

How the Department of Homeland Security went abroad to capture an Iranian arms dealer

A review of Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting, by John Shiffman @@@@ (4 out of 5) It shouldn’t be surprising that agencies such as the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security would go out of their way to trumpet their prowess by opening the files on their greatest successes… Read More ›

The 14 best nonfiction books of the past five years

Caveat emptor: I don’t pretend that the 14 books in this list are THE BEST nonfiction books published during the five years since I began reviewing books in this blog. However, they’re the best ones I read and reviewed, every one of them a source of enlightenment that deepened my understanding of the world we… Read More ›

Who makes national security decisions? Not the President!

A review of National Security and Double Government, by Michael J. Glennon @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Why does Barack Obama’s performance on national security issues in the White House contrast so strongly with his announced intentions as a candidate in 2008? After all, not only has Obama continued most of the Bush policies he decried when… Read More ›

Nixon, Kissinger, and the genocide we ignored

A review of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide, by Gary J. Bass @@@@@ (5 out of 5) When Americans today think of Richard Nixon, four or five episodes in his public life usually come to mind: Watergate, the Cambodia invasion, the opening to China, his TV debates with John F. Kennedy, and, perhaps,… Read More ›

Edward Snowden in context: the inside story

A review of  The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, by Luke Harding @@@@@ (5 out of 5) When the news broke late in May 2013 about a junior contract employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) who had fled to Hong Kong with a collection of top secret documents about… Read More ›

Five books every American should read

Stop. I’m not going to make you feel guilty by suggesting you read the Federalist Papers, the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Travels in America, and other works on every historian’s list of seminal books in our past. (After all, how many of us have actually read those books — I mean, actually… Read More ›

When America was united in common purpose

A review of Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, by Arthur Herman @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Since I was born six months before the U.S. entry into World War II, I grew up familiar with a long list of names — little-heard now, more than half a century later —… Read More ›

Shocked by the NSA revelations? You don’t know the whole story

A review of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, by Viktor Mayer-Schoeneberger and Kenneth Cukier. @@@@ (4 out of 5). An overview of the computer-based phenomenon that is playing an ever-larger role in our lives, our work, and our future, written by two world-class authorities in the field.