The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017
By Rashid Khalif
Metropolitan Books, January 2020
In 1899, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem, alarmed by the Zionist call to create a Jewish national home in Palestine, wrote a letter aimed at Theodore Herzl: the country had an indigenous people who would not easily accept their own displacement. He warned of the perils ahead, ending his note, “in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone.” Thus Rashid Khalidi, al-Khalidi’s great-great-nephew, begins this sweeping history, the first general account of the conflict told from an explicitly Palestinian perspective.
Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members―mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats, and journalists―The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict, which tend, at best, to describe a tragic clash between two peoples with claims to the same territory. Instead, Khalidi traces a hundred years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel, but backed by Britain and the United States, the great powers of the age. He highlights the key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the destruction of Palestine in 1948, from Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon to the endless and futile peace process.
“Rigorous and lucid . . . Rashid Khalidi, the intellectual heir to Edward Said, has written one of the great books on the Israeli-Palestinian question.”
“As in any book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is ample room for debate and controversy. And as in any book by Rashid Khalidi, there is history, erudition, politics and passion aplenty. There is also his tenacious conviction that ‘there are now two peoples in Palestine, irrespective of how they came into being, and the conflict between them cannot be resolved as long as the national existence of each is denied by the other.’”
―Rob Malley, International Crisis Group CEO and White House Coordinator for the Middle East under President Barack Obama
“This book is a remarkable interweaving of three distinctive strands: a deeply researched history of the struggle between Zionist aspirations and Palestinian resistance; an analytical framework that places the conflict within the context of settler colonialism; and a personal family history that brings the narrative alive. Newcomers and specialists alike will learn much from reading this sweeping account.”
―William B. Quandt, author of Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rashid Khalidi is the author of Palestinian Identity, Brokers of Deceit, and The Iron Cage, among others. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many other journals. He is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University in New York and editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.
Rethinking China’s Rise: A Liberal Critique
By Xu Jilin
Edited and Translated by David Ownsby
Cambridge University Press, May 2020
China’s rise to power is the signal event of the twenty-first century, and this volume offers a contemporary view of this nation in ascendancy from the inside. Eight recent essays by Xu Jilin, a popular historian and one of China’s most prominent public intellectuals, critique China’s rejection of universal values and the nation’s embrace of Chinese particularism, the rise of the cult of the state and the acceptance of the historicist ideas of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss. Xu’s work is distinct both from better-known voices of dissent and also from the ‘New Left’ perspectives, offering instead a liberal reaction to the complexity of China’s rise. Yet this work is not a shrill denunciation of Xu’s intellectual enemies, but rather a subtle and heartfelt call for China to accept its status as a great power and join the world as a force for good.
‘Within China today, there are many voices calling for reforms. Among them is the prominent liberal scholar Xu Jilin. And in Rethinking China’s Rise: A Liberal Critique, David Ownby has produced an excellent English translation of eight essays Xu has written over the past decade.’
- Kishore Mahbubani, Harper’s Magazine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR:
Xu Jilin is Professor of History at Shanghai Normal University, and is one of China’s most prominent public intellectuals. His many articles and books have focused on various aspects of China’s modern intellectual history.
David Ownby is Professor of History at the Université de Montréal. He worked on the history of societies in Brotherhoods and Secret Societies in Early and Mid-Qing China (1996) and popular religion in Falun Gong and the Future of China (2008), before returning to an earlier interest in contemporary Chinese intellectual life.
Such Splendid Prisons: Diplomatic Detainment in America During World War II
By Harvey Solomon
University of Nebraska Press,
Potomac Books, January 2020
In the chaotic days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Roosevelt administration made a dubious decision affecting hundreds of Axis diplomats remaining in the nation’s capital. To encourage reciprocal treatment of U.S. diplomats trapped abroad, Roosevelt sent Axis diplomats to remote luxury hotels—a move that enraged Americans stunned by the attack. This cause célèbre drove a fascinating yet forgotten story: the roundup, detention, and eventual repatriation of more than a thousand German, Japanese, Italian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian diplomats, families, staff, servants, journalists, students, businessmen, and spies.
The close, albeit luxurious, proximity in which these Axis power emissaries were forced to live with each other stripped away the veneer of false prewar diplomatic bonhomie. Conflicts ran deep not only among the captives but also among the rival U.S. agencies overseeing a detainment fraught with uncertainty, duplicity, lust, and romance. Harvey Solomon re-creates this wartime American period of deluxe detention, public outrage, hidden agendas, rancor and racism, and political machinations in a fascinating but forgotten story.
“It’s not every day that a significant piece of neglected WWII diplomacy comes to light, but it has done so in Such Splendid Prisons. . . .[I]t’s a fascinating lesson in how diplomacy is meant to function and should enthrall American history buffs, current and retired U. S. diplomats, and employees of the FBI and CIA whose predecessors played such crucial roles in this daring operation.”
— Peter F. Spalding, Foreign Service Journal
“Uncovering a hidden slice of wartime America, Harvey Solomon’s Such Splendid Prisons tells an intriguing story of elite Axis prisoners incarcerated by the U.S. government, replete with behind-the-scenes diplomatic machinations and political calculations.”
—Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump, The Generals, and The Allies
“In World War II the U.S. government detained thousands of the Axis powers’ diplomats and dependents—by putting them up in luxury hotels. In this absorbing, cinematic account, Harvey Solomon examines the one place where Germans, Italians, and Japanese all had to live together: the United States of America.”
—Stephen Wertheim, visiting assistant professor of history at Columbia University
“With sharp characterization, crackling prose, and an eye for humorous detail, Harvey Solomon takes us on a wild technicolor ride. . . . His prodigious research has cracked the code of silence surrounding the secretive detention of Axis diplomats and their families. This is the most detailed and lively account of this ironic wartime episode yet written.”
—Max Paul Friedman, Professor of History at American University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Harvey Solomon is a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including Book of Days: ’60s: A Day-by-Day Look at the Pop Culture Moments That Made History. He has written articles for dozens of publications, including the Boston Herald, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter, and Variety.
The Kill Chain
By Christian Brose
Hachette Books, April 2020
For generations, America has been the world’s dominant military power. How the US military fights, and the systems and weapons that it fights with, have been uncontested. That old reality, however, is rapidly deteriorating. America’s traditional sources of power are eroding amid the emergence of new technologies and the growing military threat posed by rivals such as China.
. . . .The future will be defined by artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and other emerging technologies that are revolutionizing global industries and are now poised to overturn the model of American defense. This fascinating, if disturbing, book confronts the existential risks on the horizon, charting a way for America’s military to adapt and succeed with new thinking as well as new technology. America must build a battle network of systems that enables people to rapidly understand threats, make decisions, and take military actions, the process known as “the kill chain.” Examining threats from China, Russia, and elsewhere, The Kill Chain offers hope and, ultimately, insights on how America can apply advanced technologies to prevent war, deter aggression, and maintain peace.
The Kill Chain is a tour-de-force. Few people are as knowledgeable and experienced as Christian Brose in thinking about the intersection of emerging technology and national defense. He pulls it all together in this compelling, unsettling, and outstanding book.”
―Eric Schmidt, former Chairman of Alphabet and CEO and Chairman of Google
“The Kill Chain is an exceptional–and an exceptionally stimulating–guide to thinking about the military and technological revolutions that will produce a fundamental change to the character of war.”
―General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, as well as former Director of the CIA
“Christian Brose understands like few others the serious challenges the U.S. military faces, especially in relation to China. He delivers a powerful wake-up call to the American people and our leadership–warning aptly that America’s military superiority is at grave risk unless we reimagine defense. Thankfully, Brose issues a thoughtful and compelling plan for America to adapt effectively in this gripping, must-read book.”
―Susan E. Rice, former US National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christian Brose is currently Chief Strategy Officer of Anduril Industries and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He served as Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee (2015-2018) and Senator John McCain’s senior policy advisor (2009-2015). Previously, he was a speechwriter to two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and a member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff.
Brazil Apart: 1964-2019
By Perry Anderson
Verso, October 2019
What does Brazil’s lurch to the hard right under Jair Bolsonaro portend for Latin America’s largest country, and how has it come about? Always something of a world unto itself, Brazil became, under the Workers’ Party from 2003 to 2016, “the theatre of a socio-political drama without equivalent in any other major state.” Bucking the global trend towards a tighter neoliberalism, former steelworker Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva swept aside the broken promises of previous years to invest in social transfers, defying vituperations in the Brazilian media to become the most popular ruler of the age. But in a second spectacular reversal, a parliamentary coup d’état against Lula’s successor—backed by forces in the judiciary and a youthful New Right—has been consolidated by Bolsonaro’s 2018 capture of the Planalto. With the PT’s lodestar now behind bars, a weighing up of his legacy, and of the contrasting Bolsonaro regime, is urgently needed. Brazil Apart is the sharp-edged, comprehensive analytic account.
One of the world’s great historians, unrivalled in his ability to master and synthesize vast historical literatures.”
—Jeet Heer, New Republic
“Masterfully recounts the rise and fall of the Brazilian Left.”
—Nick Burns, The American Interest
“Erudite and insightful.”
—Geoff Dyer, Financial Times
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Perry Anderson is the author of Spectrum, Lineages of the Absolutist State, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, Considerations on Western Marxism, English Questions, The Origins of Postmodernity, and The New Old World. He teaches history at UCLA and is on the editorial board of New Left Review.
Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America’s Alliances
By Mira Rapp-Hooper
Harvard University Press, June 2020
In Shields of the Republic, Mira Rapp-Hooper reveals the remarkable success of America’s unprecedented system of alliances. During the Cold War, a grand strategy focused on allied defense, deterrence, and assurance helped to keep the peace at far lower material and political costs than its critics allege. When the Soviet Union collapsed, however, the United States lost the adversary the system was designed to combat. Its alliances remained without a core strategic logic, leaving them newly vulnerable.
Today the alliance system is threatened from without and within. China and Russia seek to break America’s alliances through conflict and non-military erosion. Meanwhile, US politicians and voters are increasingly skeptical of alliances’ costs and benefits and believe we may be better off without them. But what if the alliance system is a victim of its own quiet success? Rapp-Hooper argues that America’s national security requires alliances that deter and defend against military and non-military conflict alike. The alliance system is past due for a post–Cold War overhaul, but it remains critical to the country’s safety and prosperity in the 21st century.
“Rapp-Hooper argues persuasively that the complex alliance system instituted after the devastation of World War II has proven remarkably successful…With Donald Trump’s active animosity toward our traditional allies, the author cautions about a glaring blind spot: rising nonmilitary coercion from China and Russia.”
“For seventy years, alliances have been central to American foreign policy. Where did they come from and where are they going? Mira Rapp-Hooper gives smart answers to both the historical and future questions about our alliances.”
―Joseph S. Nye, Jr., author of Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump
“The precarity of America’s alliances is one of the central political issues confronting the United States today. Mira Rapp-Hooper has delivered the essential guide for understanding these complex partnerships. This is a masterful exposition of how alliances can both extend and restrain American power in these transformative times.”
―Kurt Campbell, cofounder and CEO of The Asia Group and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
“Rapp-Hooper musters rock-solid evidence to demonstrate what policymakers have long believed: that America’s alliances are a remarkably effective foreign policy tool. Just as importantly, she gives an unambiguous account of why this system must be preserved and lays out a compelling plan for how to do so.”
―Stephen Hadley, Principal at RiceHadleyGates and former National Security Advisor
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mira Rapp-Hooper is Schwarzman Senior Fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Fellow at the China Center at Yale Law School.
Why Nation-Building Matters: Political Consolidation, Building Security Forces, and Economic Development in Failed and Fragile States
By Keith W. Mines
Potomac Books, August 2020
No one likes nation-building. The public dismisses it. Politicians criticize it. The traditional military disdains it, and civilian agencies lack the blueprint necessary to make it work. Yet functioning states play a foundational role in international security and stability. Left unattended, ungoverned spaces can produce crises from migration to economic collapse to terrorism.
Keith W. Mines has taken part in nation-building efforts as a Special Forces officer, diplomat, occupation administrator, and United Nations official. In Why Nation-Building Matters he uses cases from his own career to argue that repairing failed states is a high-yield investment in our own nation’s global future. Eyewitness accounts of eight projects––in Colombia, Grenada, El Salvador, Somalia, Haiti, Darfur, Afghanistan, and Iraq—inform Mines’s in-depth analysis of how foreign interventions succeed and fail. Building on that analysis, he establishes a framework for nation-building in the core areas of building security forces, economic development, and political consolidation that blend soft and hard power into an effective package.
“Keith Mines has been an omnipresent figure at nearly every nation-building enterprise the United States has attempted for the past forty years. . . . Mines has established a record of unparalleled service in the world’s most difficult places, recounted here with great insight and compassion.”
— James Dobbins, former American Special Envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan
“If you want to understand how a true aficionado sees the need to shape our strategy and tactics for the coming decades to deal with failed states, insurgencies, and terrorism, read this very important and well-crafted book for a host of ideas and wisdom.”
—Thomas R Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Ambassador to Russia, India, the United Nations, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan
“Mines speaks from almost unparalleled experience. . . . The result is a book that nation-building aficionado and nation-building doubter will find equally rewarding, in the lessons it provides, the questions it leaves unanswered, the real-life stories he tells so well.”
—Robert Malley, President and CEO of International Crisis Group
“Keith Mines’s major premise is that many of America’s security challenges abroad will not be manageable unless we address root causes—weak governance and institutions, political-criminal collaboration, organized violence and corruption, and abysmal educational efforts. Having viewed these problems as a soldier, foreign service officer, and expeditionary diplomat, Mines candidly assesses past successes and failures to distill how the United States can tackle similar problems we will face well into the future. Scholars and practitioners alike will find this book invaluable and very readable.”
—Roy Godson, Professor Emeritus of Government, Georgetown University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Keith W. Mines is a retired Foreign Service officer, most recently serving as the director of Andean affairs at the Department of State in Washington, DC. He has published numerous articles in the Foreign Service Journal, Parameters, Orbis, the Baltimore Sun, the Denver Post, and with the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the U.S. Institute of Peace.
A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World
By Susan Sloan
New Degree Press, April 2020
Many countries face challenges of migration, terrorism, climate change, and the spread of fast-paced technology. Those who are sitting around the table will change the course of history and redefine how we solve critical problems. A Seat at the Table: Women, Diplomacy, and Lessons for the World shares the impact of gender-diversified leadership and why varied voices lead to stronger resolutions and enhanced team dynamics. Research proves that when women are involved in peace processes, an agreement is 35% more likely to last at least 15 years. Additionally, higher levels of gender equality are associated with a lower tendency for conflict. Women ambassadors, deputy chiefs of mission, and government officials, spanning all the regions of the world, share their stories and provide insight into developing a unique leadership style.
“This is a remarkable book that clearly demonstrates the difference diversity and inclusion make for greater effectiveness in diplomacy and civil society organizations. The experiences related here provide invaluable lessons.”
—Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security and First U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues
“The voices, experiences, and perspectives of women have often been, and continue to be, overlooked in international affairs. This much-needed book brings to light the stories of women diplomats from around the world and provides lessons and insights for the next generation who seek to join the foreign service, and the partners who can support this.”
—Dr. Joana Cook, Johns Hopkins University Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London, Author of A Woman’s Place: U.S. Counterterrorism Since 9/11
“When the history of the 21st-century is written 300 years from now, the most important development will be not about the rise of China or India, but about the rise of women. Using the frame of diplomacy, this marvelous and timely book illuminates the beginning of that voyage, which will culminate in a far better world of true gender equality.”
–Admiral James Stavridis USN, Former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and Former Dean of Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
“This important book not only introduces us to the lives and careers of numerous path-breaking women, but it explains how men can serve as allies to expand the range of voices being heard and thereby improve the functioning of our institutions.”
–James Goldgeier, Former Dean of American University School of International Service and Former President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs
“Susan Sloan is right: women who’ve risked their lives as diplomats are making a difference worldwide. This is their story–which will strengthen their work and ours as the community of nations confronts perilous challenges ahead.”
–Swanee Hunt, Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria and Founder and Chair of Inclusive Security
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susan Sloan works for a global nonprofit advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. engaging with diplomats, government officials, community organizers, and international leaders. Her interactive approach to communications and coalition-building through diplomacy, advocacy, and experiential education has impacted groups around the world. At the age of 30, she completed a life goal of visiting all seven continents. She holds a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communications from Georgetown University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish from the University of Georgia.