What We’re Reading

Preei Aroon Niall Ferguson’s The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. Shorter Ferguson: All the violent conflicts in the 20th century were due to a combination of economic volatility and ethnic friction in areas of imperial decline. Just read the intro and the epilogue of this 654-page tome, and ...

604099_war_of_the_world_15.jpg
604099_war_of_the_world_15.jpg

Preei Aroon

Niall Ferguson's The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. Shorter Ferguson: All the violent conflicts in the 20th century were due to a combination of economic volatility and ethnic friction in areas of imperial decline. Just read the intro and the epilogue of this 654-page tome, and skip everything in between.

Henry Bowles

Preei Aroon

Henry Bowles

  • The Uncontainable Kurds, by Christopher de Bellaigue in the New York Review of Books. A lengthy examination of Kurdish politics in Turkey that grapples with what an increasingly autonomous Kurdistan will mean for the Kurdish diaspora.

NASA/Wallops

Mike Boyer 

  • Greenland’s Glaciers Take a Breather, by John Tierney at his new blog at the New York Times. Turns out Greenland’s glaciers aren’t melting after all.
  • Viewpoint, by Sarah Vine in the Times of London. Pierre Baynard, a French literary professor, has written a book that explains how to pretend you’ve read books you haven’t. Sorry, professor, but that’s something folks in Washington mastered long ago.

Michael Cognato

  • The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia is more than a decade old, but Peter Hopkirk’s landmark book is as relevant now as it ever has been. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the former Soviet states of Central Asia have been host, prize, and foil to great power schemes for more than a century. The real-life scheming and adventures are far more intriguing than fiction ever could be.

Prerna Mankad

  • Recasting the Euro-Atlantic Partnership (pdf), by Franklin D. Kramer and Simon Serfaty. This paper from the Center for Strategic and International Studies recommends the creation of a new “Euro-Atlantic Forum” to coordinate what are now ad hoc arrangements between the EU, individual European countries, NATO, and the United States. But will creating more bureaucracy really help solve the problems with the existing bureaucracy?

Carolyn O’Hara

  • Taking on Guantanamo, by Marie Brenner. Vanity Fair, March 2007. I never watched JAG. But if the military lawyers on the television show had been half as compelling as the JAGs who sued President Bush because they think his military tribunals are unconstitutional, I would have tuned in for sure.

Kate Palmer

  • Across Arab World, a Widening Rift, by Anthony Shadid. Washington Post, Feb. 12, 2007. The Sunni-Shiite rift in Iraq is old news; more and more, sectarian violence is breeding mistrust, hostility, and instability throughout the Middle East region and beyond, the Post reports.

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