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Winter Break Reading/Viewing Suggestions from IWP Faculty

As we head into winter break, our faculty members have shared some book and viewing suggestions for the IWP community. Read about medieval radicals, a Chinese perspective of America, the prevention of Islamic radicalism, the politics of intelligence, the history of the Middle East, and more.

Dr. Anne Bradley’s Recommendations

Dr. Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and Academic Director at the Fund for American Studies and a former Economic Analyst for the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis.

Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet/strong>
by Marian L. Tupy and Gale L. Pooley

“This book is an important contribution to the literature on why things why and things are getting better. It confronts the narrative that the rich are getting rich at the expense of the poor.”

The Road to Socialism and Back: An Economic History of Poland, 1939-2019
by Peter J. Boettke,, Konstantin Zhukov, and Matthew Mitchell

“This is a new an important book which provides a detailed case story of the destruction due to socialism in Poland and the road back to freedom. Peter Boettke lectured on this book at IWP this fall.”

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz’s Recommendation

Dr. Chodakiewicz holds the Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies at IWP, where he also serves as the Director of the Center for Intermarium Studies.

The Pursuit of the Millenium
Norman Cohn

“Welcome to the world of medieval radicals. You’ll be surprised that you’ve met most of them on your college campus.”

Dr. Christopher C. Harmon’s Recommendation

Prof. Harmon is a former Director of Counterterrorism Studies Programs in Asia and Europe for the U.S. Government.

America Against America
by Wang Huning

“This volume of 1991 was recommended to me by our librarian Vilen Khlgatyan and Prof. Dennis Teti, and several of us recently held a seminar on it here on campus.  A Chinese academic, the author explored the USA at length; this is his worthy study of what he thinks our country to be, from the perspective of a ‘soft Marxist’ learned in sociology.  The book’s special value comes from the fact that Wang Huning went on to hold official posts in China and is now a senior advisor to Genl Secy. Xi Jinping.”

Dr. John Lenczowski’s Recommendations

Dr. John Lenczowski is the IWP Chancellor and former Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council.

Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism
Edited by Katharine Gorka and Patrick Sookhdeo

“This is one of the only books that covers the necessity of ideological warfare as a way of discrediting radical Islamism and preventing the radicalization of future jihadists.”

The Middle East in World Affairs, 4th Edition
by George Lenczowski

“This is the single best and most complete history of the 20th Century Middle East, up until about 1979. It provides excellent background on each of the different countries of the Middle East.”

Prof. John Sano’s Recommendations

Prof. Sano is the former Deputy Director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service.

Neutering The CIA: Why U.S. Intelligence Versus Trump Has Long-Term Consequences
by John Gentry

“John Gentry recently gave a presentation at IWP.  While a bit lengthy (over 500 pages), this book talks about the politics of intelligence and is certainly relevant.”

First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11
by Toby Harnden

“Toby Harnden also spoke at IWP last year.  His book describes the events surrounding the U.S. first casualty in Afghanistan (Mike Spann) post-9/11 and about the first U.S. boots on the ground there – an elite CIA team that avenged the 9/11 attacks.”

Prof. Paul Schilling’s Recommendation

Prof. Schilling formerly served with the CIA’s Office of General Counsel.

Band of Brothers
HBO Miniseries

“Band of Brothers (BoB) would make for good Christmas holiday ‘binge viewing.’

“An HBO ten-part series, BoB is a dramatic depiction of the World War II European Theatre campaign in 1944-45 on the Western Front.  It’s based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. It was created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who also served as executive producers, and who had collaborated on the 1998 World War II film Saving Private Ryan.  The series won the Emmy and Golden Globe awards for Best Miniseries.

“BoB follows the paratroopers of Easy Company, a unit of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, from their training camp days to the end of the war.  While the series as a whole is most entertaining and is a good historical treatment of various Western Front battles as well as a positive depiction of the American citizen-soldier, there are a few themes in various episodes that I think the IWP community will find particularly interesting and educational.

  • While on the theme of ‘leadership’ the entire series is informative, Parts 1, 2, and 7 are especially so.
  • On the theme of ‘rules’ in the national security area, or whether good results are due to good people, good rules, or a combination of both: Part 4
  • On the need for good writing ability even in the most trying circumstances: Part 5
  • On the Holocaust and the horrors of the Nazi regime: Part 9.”

Dr. Wayne Schroeder’s Recommendation

Dr. Schroeder is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.

The Origins of Victory: How Disruptive Military Innovation Determines the Fates of Great Powers
Andrew J. Krepinevich

“Andrew Krepinevich, one of America’s most brilliant military strategists, outlines in The Origins of Victory the role of disruptive military innovation in the Great Power Competition of the twenty-first century.  This ‘must-read’ defense book canvasses all the innovative technologies that will drive defense competition between the great powers — autonomy, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, hypersonics, robotics, and many others. The key theme is that the U.S. must compete — and compete in a way that leverages innovative technologies to our ultimate advantage.  For those interested in military history, Krepinevich also surveys the role of technology in earlier eras of defense competition, including the UK’s pre-World War I naval transition to steam and iron, Germany’s pursuit of the blitzkrieg revolution between the two world wars, the rise of U.S. naval aviation and radar, and the U.S. precision-guided munition revolution of the ’80s and ’90s.”

Dr. John J. Tierney, Jr.’s Recommendation

America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything
by Christopher F. Rufo

“This book describes how the Left has come to dominate everything, past and present.”