Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

In Case You Didn’t Buy the ‘New York Times’ Yesterday: New Military Histories

The  Sunday New York Times Book Review ran my semi-annual survey of new books on military history.

A soldier reads to children. (U.S. Department of Defense)
A soldier reads to children. (U.S. Department of Defense)
A soldier reads to children. (U.S. Department of Defense)

The  Sunday New York Times Book Review ran my semi-annual survey of new books on military history. Some highlights for youse:

MY LAI: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent Into Darkness (Oxford University, $34.95).

“Likely to become the standard reference work on My Lai.”

The  Sunday New York Times Book Review ran my semi-annual survey of new books on military history. Some highlights for youse:

MY LAI: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent Into Darkness (Oxford University, $34.95).

“Likely to become the standard reference work on My Lai.”

THE SECOND WORLD WARS: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won (Basic Books, $40).

“Full of … novel perceptions…. The book might have been better called ‘A Classical Historian Assesses World War II.’”

STANLEY JOHNSTON’S BLUNDER: The Reporter Who Spilled the Secret Behind the U.S. Navy’s Victory at Midway (Naval Institute Press, $29.95).

“Perhaps the biggest single intelligence leak to a reporter in American military history came in June 1942.”

HANNIBAL’S OATH: The Life and Wars of Rome’s Greatest Enemy (Da Capo, $28).

Provides “context, both strategic and political.”

VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION: The Global Idea of the Communist Party (Princeton University, $35).

“It made me think that Communism arose in reaction to the Industrial Revolution, became a major force during the era of heavy industry, with all those spewing smokestacks — and then ended along with it. So, I wondered, will there be a similar political reaction to the Information Age? If so, is that new ideology already being born?”

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.