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The Gun, The Ship, and The Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World By Linda Colley
Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad By Michela Wrong
From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist  Party By Tony Saich
Women as War Criminals: Gender, Agency, and Justice By Izabela Steflja and Jessica Trisko Darden
Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge By Murray Hiebert
Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order By Colin Kahl and Thomas Wright
The Gun, The Ship, and The Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World
By Linda Colley
Liveright, March 2021
512 pages
The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen reconfigures the rise of a modern world through the advent and spread of written constitutions. . . .(It) traces the global history of written constitutions from the 1750s. . . modifying accepted narratives and uncovering the close connections between the making of constitutions and the making of war. (It) both reappraises famous constitutions and recovers those that have been marginalized but were central to the rise of a modern world. . . Written constitutions are usually examined in relation to individual states, but Ms. Colley focuses on how they crossed boundaries, spreading into six continents by 1918 and aiding the rise of empires as well as nations. She also illumines their place not simply in law and politics but also in wider cultural histories, and their intimate connections with print, literary creativity, and the rise of the novel.
The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen is an absorbing work that―with its pageant of formative wars, powerful leaders, visionary lawmakers and committed rebels―retells the story of constitutional government and the evolution of ideas of what it means to be modern.
“[A] dazzling global history… pulling away the blinkers of national stories, widening the focus, and showing–as the current pandemic has done–how interconnected all our lives and interests are… Bold… Abounds with subtle arguments grounded in expertly marshaled sources, generously acknowledged. But perhaps the book’s most impressive aspect is its mobility, felt not only in the fluid narratives but in the movement of constitutional ideas themselves.”― Jenny Uglow, New York Review of Books
“Interestingly, Colley shows that early constitutions were not simply the result of demands from below…. The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen has important lessons for anyone interested in political development today.”― Sheri Berman, New York Times Book Review
“Colley writes with such elegance and verve that the journey, and the characters it involves, are always fascinatingly worthwhile. This is an original global history that adds to readers’ understanding of the world they live in….. The Gun, the Ship and the Pen is an ambitiously wide-ranging account of the forces that propelled the writing of constitutions – documents that have defined the modern world – from the middle of the 18th century to today.”― The Economist
Linda Colley, the Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University, is an expert on British, imperial and global history since 1700. Born in Britain, she graduated from Bristol University with First Class Honors in history, and completed her Ph.D. in history at Cambridge University. Colley is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Academia Europaea, and a non-resident Permanent Fellow in history at the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study. In 2009, she was awarded a C.B.E. She holds seven honorary degrees.

Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad
By Michela Wrong
Public Affairs, March 2021
488 pages
A powerful investigation into a grisly political murder and the authoritarian regime behind it: Do Not Disturb upends the narrative that Rwanda sold the world after one of the deadliest genocides of the 20th century.
Following the Rwandan genocide, an idealistic group of young rebels overthrew the brutal regime in Kigali, ushering in an era of peace and stability that made Rwanda the donor darling of the West, winning comparisons with Switzerland and Singapore. But the truth was considerably more sinister.
Vividly sourcing her story with direct testimony from key participants, Wrong uses the story of the murder of Patrick Karegeya, once Rwanda’s head of external intelligence and a quicksilver operator of supple charm, to paint the portrait of a modern African dictatorship created in the chilling likeness of Paul Kagame, the president who sanctioned his former friend’s assassination.
“[The book] stands out as perhaps the most ambitious attempt yet to tell the dark story of Rwanda and the region’s deeply intertwined tragedies for a general audience…There is a taut, cinematic quality to Wrong’s account.”―The New York Times Book Review
Do Not Disturb is part murder mystery and part sweeping history of an extended family tragedy spread over two countries, three wars, four decades and a genocide. Along the way, Wrong asks hard questions about the true nature of Kagame’s rule and the claims made for Rwanda’s rebirth.”―The Observer
“In this extremely important and profoundly disturbing book, Michela Wrong sets out all the miss-steps that were ignored, all the flagrant human rights abuses that were overlooked and all the criminality for which excuses were found, until the new horrors that have been visited upon that country were perpetrated. Ms Wrong is not suggesting that we become Afro-pessimists but telling us that not only is the price of freedom eternal vigilance, but also that we must, in the words of Amilcar Cabral, ‘tell no lies, claim no easy victories’”―Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
“A withering assault on the murderous Rwandan regime of Paul Kagame, and a melancholy love song to the lost dreams of the nations of Africa’s Great Lakes. Michela Wrong proves once again that she is an intrepid and highly professional researcher of the subject she knows best. It’s a major accomplishment, very driven, very impassioned.” ―John Le Carre, best-selling author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Michela Wrong has spent nearly two decades writing about Africa. As a Reuters correspondent based in first Cote d’Ivoire and former Zaire, she covered the turbulent events of the mid 1990s, including the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko and Rwanda’s post-genocide period. She is the author of three books of non-fiction and a novel.  She was awarded the 2010 James Cameron prize for journalism that combines “moral vision and professional integrity.” She is regularly interviewed by the BBC, Al Jazeera and Reuters on her areas of expertise. She has published opinion pieces and book reviews in the Observer, Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Standpoint Foreign Policy magazine. She is a consultant for the Miles Morland Foundation, which funds a range of literary festivals, workshops and scholarships for African writers.

From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist  Party
By Tony Saich
Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press, July 2021
560 pages
On the centennial of its founding, Tony Saich tells the authoritative, comprehensive story of the Chinese Communist Party―its rise to power against incredible odds, its struggle to consolidate rule and overcome self-inflicted disasters, and its thriving amid other communist parties’ collapse. Saich argues that the brutal Japanese invasion in the 1930s actually helped the party. As the Communists retreated into the countryside, they established themselves as the populist, grassroots alternative to the Nationalists, gaining the support they would need to triumph in the civil war. Once in power, however, the Communists faced the difficult task of learning how to rule. Saich examines the devastating economic consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the political chaos of the Cultural Revolution, as well as the party’s rebound under Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.
Leninist systems are thought to be rigid, yet the Chinese Communist Party has proved adaptable. From Rebel to Ruler shows that the party owes its endurance to its flexibility. But is it nimble enough to realize Xi Jinping’s “China Dream”? Challenges are multiplying, as the growing middle class makes new demands on the state and the ideological retreat from communism draws the party further from its revolutionary roots. The legacy of the party may be secure, but its future is anything but guaranteed.
“The Chinese Communist Party is one of the most important, yet least understood, political organizations in the world today. Saich has produced a superb interpretation of the party for its hundredth anniversary. From Rebel to Ruler is both deep and nuanced in the account of its history, and incisive on the unique combination in the party under Xi Jinping of ideology, pragmatism, and sheer brute force.”Rana Mitter, author of China’s Good War
“The definitive, candid, and absorbing history of a political organization that counts 90 million members and indisputably rules as America’s most powerful rival. Drawing on priceless contacts made in China over decades, Saich describes how ideological underpinnings, ruthless campaigns, and the ‘coercing of conformity’ pushed the CCP through revolutionary zeal to its current all-powerful position. A vital account, based on magnificent research, that shows the party as a colossal, relentless, and enduring machine.”Jane Perlez, former Beijing Bureau Chief, New York Times
“A sweeping history of the Chinese Communist Party, from its fledgling urban beginnings in 1921 Shanghai to today…Offers key insights into how the party survived the collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe and the steep challenges facing current leader Xi Jinping. This exhaustive, well-informed chronicle sheds light on one of the world’s most consequential political institutions.”―Publishers Weekly
Tony Saich is Daewoo Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. His books include Finding Allies and Making Revolution: The Early Years of the Chinese Communist Party and Governance and Politics of China.

Women as War Criminals: Gender, Agency, and Justice
By Izabela Steflja and Jessica Trisko Darden
Stanford Briefs/Stanford University Press, September 2020
180 pages
Women war criminals are far more common than we think. From the Holocaust to ethnic cleansing in the Balkans to the Rwandan genocide, women have perpetrated heinous crimes. Few have been punished. These women go unnoticed because their very existence challenges our assumptions about war and about women. Biases about women as peaceful and innocent prevent us from “seeing” women as war criminals—and prevent postconflict justice systems from assigning women blame. Women as War Criminals argues that women are just as capable as men of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition to unsettling assumptions about women as agents of peace and reconciliation, the book highlights the gendered dynamics of law, and demonstrates that women are adept at using gender instrumentally to fight for better conditions and reduced sentences when war ends.
“Feminists don’t imagine all women are angels. What they do know is that diverse women are analytically interesting. In their careful dig into these four war crimes trials, Izabela Steflja and Jessica Trisko Darden underscore this in neon.” —Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, author of Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link
“Women commit atrocities. The study of women who become human rights abusers, however, remains fraught with stereotype, taboo, and denialism. These distortions occlude the careful study of gender and violence and, what is more, marginalize the victims. Izabela Steflja and Jessica Trisko Darden’s courageous book responds to these gaps by providing a humanistic, grounded, and rigorous study of four women enmeshed in criminality. Justice for atrocity hinges upon recognizing gender in all aspects―perpetration, suffering, and rebuilding. Women as War Criminals brilliantly advances the accountability project.” — Mark A. Drumbl, Washington and Lee University, author of Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law
“Through a profile of four women war criminals, this concise book shines a spotlight on women who perpetrate or incite heinous acts of violence and on the ways in which gender stereotypes influence the interpretation of their behavior. Bold and clear, Women as War Criminals stands as a crucial corrective to assumptions about women in war and as an accessible analysis from which students and experts alike will learn.” —Scott Straus, University of Wisconsin, Madison, author of Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa
Izabela Steflja is Professor of Practice in Political Science and International Development at Tulane University. Jessica Trisko Darden is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at American University’s School of International Service. She is the author of Aiding and Abetting: U.S. Foreign Assistance and State Violence.

Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge
By Murray Hiebert
Rowan & Littlefield/CSIS, August 2020
600 pages
China’s rise and stepped-up involvement in Southeast Asia have prompted a blend of anticipation and unease among its smaller neighbors. The stunning growth of China has yanked up the region’s economies, but its militarization of the South China Sea and dam building on the Mekong River has nations wary about Beijing’s outsized ambitions.
This compelling book provides a snapshot of ten countries in Southeast Asia by exploring their diverse experiences with China and how this impacts their perceptions of Beijing’s actions and its long-term political, economic, military, and “soft power” goals in the region.
Hiebert analyses the relationship between China and Southeast Asia as Beijing continues to step up its activities in the region, detailing how ten countries’ experience with the emerging superpower has shaped their perceptions of it. The author suggests ways these countries could address what he calls the ‘China challenge’.― Survival: Global Politics and Strategy
Six hundred million people, three trillion dollar economy and strategic location – all reasons to pay close attention to Southeast Asia. . .Murray outlines the difficult choices each of the ten nations have as they wrestle with the promise and challenge of the bulk of China. Who better to do this than someone with 45 years of experience in the region? This book matters. — Richard Armitage, former assistant secretary of State
Murray Hiebert weaves together a compelling and comprehensive portrait of Southeast Asia’s complex relationship with China. This book draws on both historical context and recent developments to provide valuable insight into the balancing acts by regional governments seeking both benefits and protection from their powerful northern neighbor.— Danny Russel, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific
This fine book illuminates the economic, geopolitical and strategic challenges facing SE Asia, as China’s bilateral preferences increasingly influence each nation’s domestic and foreign policies, undermining a concerted regional response, and United States positioning inspires little long-term confidence. The most economically dynamic part of the world hangs in the balance. — Charlene Barshevsky, former U.S. Trade Representative
Murray Hiebert is a senior associate of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He earlier served as senior adviser and deputy director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program. Prior to joining CSIS, Hiebert was senior director for Southeast Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Earlier, he was a journalist in the China bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Prior to his posting to Beijing, he worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Washington, reporting on U.S.-Asia relations.

Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order
By Colin Kahl and Thomas Wright
St. Martins Press, August 20
464 pages
The COVID-19 crisis is the greatest shock to world order since World War II. Millions have been infected and killed. The economic crash caused by the pandemic is the worst since the Great Depression, with the International Monetary Fund estimating that it will cost over $9 trillion of global wealth in the next few years. Many will be left impoverished and hungry. Fragile states will be further hollowed out, creating conditions ripe for conflict and mass displacement. Meanwhile, international institutions and alliances already under strain before the pandemic are teetering, while the United States and China, already at loggerheads before the crisis, are careening toward a new Cold War. China’s secrecy and assertiveness have shattered hopes that it will become a responsible stakeholder in the international order. Aftershocks is both a riveting journalistic account of one of the strangest years on record and a comprehensive analysis of the pandemic’s ongoing impact on the foundational institutions and ideas that have shaped the modern world.
Aftershocks is a timely, gripping, and necessary call to action, showing the steps governments, international organizations and citizens must take to provide a more reliable and sustainable security for us all.”
―Ambassador Samantha Power, former US representative to the UN and author of The Education of an Idealist
“If you want to understand how and why the pandemic is reshaping the international order and revealing the dangers of unchecked nationalism, Aftershocks is the place to start. Informed by history, reporting, and a truly global perspective, this is an indispensable first draft of history and blueprint for how we can move forward.“
―Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security advisor to President Obama, and author of The World as It Is
“The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated and exposed the pre-existing conditions of an already-fading international order. I can’t think of two better observers to help us understand this profound moment of transition, or what it means for American strategy, than Colin Kahl and Tom Wright. Aftershocks promises to be an extraordinarily valuable book, as important as it will be timely.”―Ambassador William J. Burns, former President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Colin Kahl was Vice President Joe Biden’s national security advisor from 2013-2017 and deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East from 2009-13. He is currently Co-Director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, Steven C. Házy Senior Fellow, and professor of political science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. He has published numerous articles in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Politico, The Washington Post, and other popular outlets. . . .
Thomas Wright is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He has written several definitive pieces analyzing Donald Trump’s foreign policy, mixing research into the historical record of Trump’s remarks over three decades with reporting from contacts inside and near the administration. He is also author of the book All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power (Yale University Press 2017).


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