Reviews

Authoritative book reviews by subject experts. Tip: use the search box on the right and enter keywords to help locate reviews on the exact subject that interests you.

Review – No Higher Honour

Review – No Higher Honour

While Rice frequently exercises her right to settle scores and set the record straight, there are no revisions to the controversial foreign policy record of the Bush years.

Review – Globalization and Its Discontents

Review – Globalization and Its Discontents

Formerly Chief Economist at the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz explores the policies of the international financial community towards developing or crisis-stricken countries during the 1980s and 90s. As an isolated study of their failures it provides a useful insight but as a commentary on the ills of economic globalisation it fails to consider several other key factors.

Review – China: The Pessoptimist Nation

Review – China: The Pessoptimist Nation

Pessoptimist, coined to describe the combination of positive and negative feelings China has about itself and others, is an apt neologism to describe China’s bipolar sense of national identity, formed from a confused superiority and inferiorly complex that has emerged from its recent economic growth and historical humiliation.

Review – A Tactical Ethic: Moral Conduct in the Insurgent Battlespace

Review – A Tactical Ethic: Moral Conduct in the Insurgent Battlespace

Dick Couch is an individual well placed to deal with the issues of unit culture, training, combat experience, and the misconduct of the few, all of which forms the core of this text. Whilst the book does have several weaknesses, it provides a quick and easy to understand insight into a key issue affecting the US Military today.

Review – Democracy Promotion and Conflict-based Reconstruction

Review – Democracy Promotion and Conflict-based Reconstruction

Matthew A. Hill’s survey of America’s democratisation missions takes the reader on a journey through the horrors of post-conflict states, the cut-and-thrust of policy debate and the ever evolving idea of democracy. It will prove a valuable resource to any student or researcher seeking an understanding of the current situations in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Review – “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide

Review – “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide

In this damning indictment of American indifference to humanitarian crises, journalist and academic Samantha Power refutes the arguments that US leaders were either unaware of genocidal horrors in the Twentieth Century or unable to stop them. Instead, the majority of American leaders knowingly did nothing as millions suffered.

Review – Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

Review – Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

Jason Stearns’ recently released book ‘Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa’ brings an analytical lens to a conflict that until now has largely been discussed in sentimental terms, if at all. Stearns delivers a fresh perspective on the conflict and an understanding of not just its symptoms, but also its roots.

Review – Mao’s Great Famine

Review – Mao’s Great Famine

In 1957 Chairman Mao Zedong launched a programme of rapid industrialisation with the ostensible aim of overtaking British steel production within 15 years. Over the following four years millions died in the greatest famine in history. Using recently opened archival material, Frank Dikötter has exposed the scale of this disaster in greater detail than any writer before and illustrates Mao’s central role in the suffering and devastation.

Review – John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

Review – John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

As the product of a noted political scientist and longtime space policy specialist at George Washington University, John Logsdon’s John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon has been long awaited. It brings new insight into the history of the most spectacular U.S. and human space commitment ever accomplished.

Review – Counterstrike

Review – Counterstrike

Can al-Qaeda and like-minded terrorist groups be deterred? The Bush and Obama administrations both eventually concluded that they can be, according to a new book based on first hand accounts by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker.

Review – The Role of Energy in Russian Foreign Policy towards Kazakhstan

Review – The Role of Energy in Russian Foreign Policy towards Kazakhstan

This in-depth study into the complex and multi-faceted aspect of the role of oil and gas in Russian foreign policy goes beyond the headlines, taking the reader through the hydrocarbon fields, and into the backroom of energy contract negotiations between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan since 1991. It is recommended reading for all regional or country-experts and interested readers alike.

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