books

(USAF via AP/Corbis via Getty Images/AFP/Foreign Policy illustration)

Edward Lansdale and America’s Vietnam Demons

A new book explores a legendary advisor who may have had the secret to success in Vietnam — and in winning today’s forever war.

Major General Edward Lansdale, 1963 (U.S. Air Force Photograph)

Meet the Mild-Mannered Spy Who Made Himself the ‘American James Bond’

Edward Lansdale’s most successful covert operations may have been crafting his own reputation.

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Out With The Old: New Books on Collusion, Civil War, Doomsday, and Other Happy Tidings

FP staffers learn how democracies die and why Mussolini wrote a bodice ripper.

(Cover of Illusions of Victory by Carter Malkasian. Publisher: Oxford University Press. )

Excerpt From ‘Illusions of Victory’: Here’s Why the Iraqi Awakening Broke Down

In Iraq, the U.S invasion toppled over society and let sectarian dynamics run their course.

A rainbow glows in the sky behind trees in blossom on April 11, 2012 over the city of Geneva.  (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Reading Rainbow: Take a Look

With the holidays upon us, a collection of military and history books worth checking out.

General Ulysses S. Grant at Cold Harbor (Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons)

The reflective leader: A major lesson from the memoirs of U.S. Grant

Grant's memoirs show that self-awareness and honest reflection are crucial to leadership

The cover of "Destination Casablanca." (Public Affairs)

Book Excerpt: ‘Destination Casablanca’

The naval battle of Casablanca began with airplanes.

The fictional Red October, while modified, would look quite similar to this Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine. (Bellona Foundation via Wikimedia Commons)

Fiction: We often use it to make the strange more familiar, as in spy novels

Spy novels introduce us to unusual or technical information, potentially confusing events, and unfamiliar social or professional customs.

Cover of The Soldiers of Empire, by Tarak Barkawi. (Cambridge University Press)

Book excerpt: On soldiers’ use of racist language in the Asia-Pacific wars

The Allies [in WWII] often used analogies involving animals or insects that lived underground to describe the Japanese.

The cover of C.S. Forester's "The General." (William Collins)

Max Hastings on C.S. Forester’s classic tale of World War I, ‘The General’

C.S. Forester recognized that his fumbling half-hero was as much a tragic figure as the men whom he led, often to their deaths.

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Apocalypse, Soon: New Books on War, Plague, Famine, Demagogues, and the End of the World as They Knew It

FP staffers learn what really killed the Romans and why the 1930s should scare us to death.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover