Potomac Books 2008-2013


            American Foreign Policy/History

McMahon, Robert J. Dean Acheson and the Creation of an American World Order

Munson, Peter. War, Welfare & Democracy: Rethinking America’s Quest for the End of History

War, Welfare and Democracy

Nojeim, Michael, and Dan Kilroy, Days of Decision: Turning Points in U.S. Foreign Policy

Prados, John.  How the Cold War Ended: Debating and Doing History

Rabe, Stephen G. John F. Kennedy: World Leader

Smith, Robert W. Amid a Warring World: American Foreign Policy, 1775-1815

Tripathi, Deepak. Imperial Designs: War, Humiliation & the Making of History

Walker, The Rise and Fall of the American Century, 1945-1979

Wiarda, Howard J. Divided America on the World Stage: Broken Government and Foreign Policy

            U.S. Diplomacy

Smith, Raymond. The Craft of Political Analysis for Diplomats

            (See also Neumann under “Afghanistan War,” Lippman under “Greater Middle East”)



Geraghty, Col. Timothy J. Peacekeepers at War: Beirut 1983—The Marine Commander Tells His Story

Rugh, Andrea B. Simple Gestures: A Cultural Journey into the Middle East.

El-Bendary, Mohamed.The “Ugly American” in the Arab Mind: Why Do Arabs Resent America?

See also Tripathi under “American Foreign Policy/History”


Farwell, The Pakistan Cauldron: Assassination, Conspiracy, and Instability


Hull, Edmund J. High-Value Target: Countering Terrorism in Yemen

Han, Carolyn. Where the Paved Road Ends: One Woman’s Extraordinary Experiences in Yemen


(See Salhani under “Islam”)


Arusy, Eitan. Trojan Horse in New York: Iranian Deception and Terrorism Financing

O’Hern, Steven. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: The Threat That Grows While America Sleeps

(See Parker under “Russia”)

(See Katz and Hendel under “Israel”)

(See Goforth under “Latin America”)


            Fleshler, Dan. Transforming America’s Israel Lobby: The Limits of Its Power and the Potential for Change

Hilliard, Constance. Does Israel Have a Future? The Case for a Post-Zionist State

Wiles, Rich. Behind the Wall: Life, Love, and Struggle in Palestine

Katz, Yaakov, and Yoaz Hendel, Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War

Kressel, Neil. The Sons of Pigs and Apes: Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence

Karpin, Michael. Peace in the Middle East

            Saudi Arabia

Lippman, Thomas. Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Perilous Future of an American Ally

Jordan, Robert, and Steven Fiffer. Tales of a Desert Diplomat


Kashmeri, Sarwar. America and Europe After 9/11 and Iraq: The Great Divide, Updated and Revised Edition

Cagaptay, Soner. Turkey Rising: The 21st Century’s First Muslim Power

(See Kashmeri also under “International Organizations”)


Parker, John. Persian Dreams: Moscow and Tehran Since the  Fall of the Shah

Bugajski, Janusz. Dismantling the West: Russia’s Atlantic Agenda

Lynch, Allen. Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft

Roberts, Geoff. Molotov: Stalin’s Cold Warrior

Gleason, Greg. Power Play: Eurasian Energy and the Rise of Russia


Bechtol, Bruce. Defiant Failed State: The North Korean Threat to International Security

Record, Jeffrey. A War It Was Always Going to Lose: Why Japan Attacked America in 1941

Vernezze, Peter. Socrates in Sichuan: Chinese Students Search for Truth, Justice, and the (Chinese) Way

Gunaratna, Rohan, and Arabinda Acharya, The Terrorist Threat from Thailand: Jihad or Quest for Justice?

Bluth, Christoph. Crisis on the Korean Peninsula

Bengtsson, Jesper. Aung San Suu Kyi

Wortzel, The Dragon Extends Its Reach: Chinese Military Power Goes Global

Karnad, Bharat. India’s Rise: Why It’s Not a Great Power (Yet)

Lejeune, Denis. Behind the Great Wall of China

Bechtol, Bruce. The Last Days of Kim Jong-il

Eldridge, Robert. Megaquake


Goforth, Sean. Axis of Unity: Venezuela, Iran, and the Threat to America

Perdue, John. The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism

Kan, Paul Rexton. Cartels at War:  Mexico’s Drug-Fueled Violence & the Threat to U.S. National Security

Shiraev, Eric, and Jens Laurson. The New Anti-American Alliances: Oil, Ideology, Religion, and Power

Fleischman, Luis. Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era

Holmes, Mexico Threat Assessment


            Iraq War

Munson, Peter J. Iraq in Transition: The Legacy of Dictatorship and the Prospects for Democracy

Record, Jeffrey. Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq

Graveline and Clemens, The Secrets of Abu Ghraib Revealed: American Soldiers on Trial

Gregg, Rothstein, and Arquilla, eds., The Three Circles of War

Whiteley, Jason. Father of Money: Buying Peace in Baghdad

Sobel et al., eds., Public Opinion and International Intervention: Lessons from the Iraq War

Luce, Thomas. Policing the Tribal Society

            (See also Minear and Diaz under “Veterans”)

            Afghanistan War

Neumann, Ron, The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan

Tripathi, Deepak. Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan

Tripathi, Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism

            Tripathi, Imperial Designs: War, Humiliation & the Making of History

            Gannon, James. Obama’s War: Avoiding a Quagmire in Afghanistan

            Green, Dan. The Valley’s Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heart of the Taliban

Barzilai, Yaniv. 102 Days of War

(See also Minear under “Veterans”)

            Vietnam War

Kulik, Gary. “War Stories: False Atrocity Tales, Swift Boaters, and Winter Soldiers—What Really Happened in Vietnam

            Schanberg, Sydney. Beyond the Killing Fields: War Writings

World War II

See Record in “Asia”

            Veterans/Home Front

Minear, Larry Through Veterans’ Eyes: The Iraq and Afghanistan Experience

Diaz, Minefields of the Heart: A Mother’s Stories of a Son at War

Schaller, Barry. Veterans on Trial: The Coming Court Battles over PTSD



Kemper, Bob.  Rubble: How the 9/11 Families Have Rebuilt Their Lives and Inspired America

Malcomson, Scott. Generation’s End: A Personal Memoir of American Power After 9/11

Allen, Michael. Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence after 9/11

After the September 11 attacks, the 9/11 Commission argued that the United States needed a powerful leader, a spymaster, to forge the scattered intelligence bureaucracies into a singular enterprise to vanquish America’s new enemies—stateless international terrorists. In the midst of the 2004 presidential election, Congress and the president remade the post–World War II national security infrastructure in less than five months, creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).
Blinking Red illuminates the complicated history of the bureaucratic efforts to reform America’s national security after the intelligence failures of 9/11 and Iraq’s missing weapons of mass destruction, explaining how the NSC and Congress shaped the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks. Michael Allen asserts that the process of creating the DNI position and the NCTC is a case study in power politics and institutional reform. By bringing to light the legislative transactions and political wrangling during the reform of the intelligence community, Allen helps us understand why the effectiveness of these institutional changes is still in question.
Selected Reviews
“The log-rolling and infighting that produced the unwieldy [director of national intelligence] structure is explained in [this] fascinating new book.”—David Ignatius, Washington Post
Blinking Red is the definitive historical account of intelligence reform after September 11th. A monumental work, it covers the politics and policies that transformed American national security. A must read for students of history and politics.” —Gen. Michael Hayden, principal at the Chertoff Group, former director of the CIA, and principal deputy director of national intelligence
“Though Mr. Allen argues that intelligence reform is a worthy work in progress—’while imperfect,’ the 2004 law ‘created a structure that has the potential to positively benefit national security’—his account is sobering history.—David Feith, Wall Street Journal

Berntsen, Gary. Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership: A Practical Guide

Cigar, Norman. Al-Qa’ida’s Doctrine for Insurgency: Abd Al-Aziz Al-Muqrin’s A Practical Course for Guerrilla War

Berko, Anat. The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers

Kobrin, Nancy H. The Banality of Suicide Terrorism: The Naked Truth about the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombing

Berger, J. M. Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam

Holcomb, Ray, and Lillian Weiss, Endless Enemies: Inside FBI Counterterrorism

Masse, Todd. Nuclear Jihad: A Clear and Present Danger?

Dunleavy, Patrick. The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection

Newell, Waller. Idealists of Death: The Pursuit of Utopia, from Robespierre to al Qaeda

Woods, Josh. Freaking Out: A Decade of Living with Terrorism

(See also Tripathi under “Afghanistan War”)


David, Maj. G. J., and Ted McKeldin, eds. Ideas as Weapons: Influence and Perception in Modern Warfare

Gray, Colin S. National Security Dilemmas: Challenges and Opportunities

Kan, Paul Rexton. Drugs and Contemporary Warfare

Schreier, Fred. WMD Proliferation: Reforming the Security Sector to Meet the Threat

Armistead, Leigh. Information Operations Matters: Best Practices

Engbrecht, Shawn. America’s Covert Warriors: Inside the World of Private Military Contractors

Gleis, Joshua. Withdrawing Under Fire: Lessons Learned from Islamist Insurgencies

Boutin, J. D. Kenneth. American Technology Policy: Evolving Strategic Interests after the Cold War

Innes, Michael, ed., Making Sense of Proxy Wars: States, Surrogates & the Use of Force

Harrison, Ross. Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals

Axe, David. Shadow Wars: Chasing Conflict in an Era of Peace

Williams, Brian. Predators: The CIA’s Drone War on al Qaeda

Riza, Shane. Killing without Heart: Limits on Robotic Warfare in an Era of Persistent Conflict

Whiton, Christopher. Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War

Waltz, Michael. Both Ends of the Spear: From the White House to Waziristan

Serwer, Daniel. Righting the Balance


Comras, Victor. Flawed Diplomacy: The United Nations & the War on Terrorism

Kashmeri, Sarwar. NATO 2.0: Reboot or Delete?


Lappin, Yaakov. Virtual Caliphate: Exposing the Islamist State on the Internet

Heffelfinger, Chris. Radical Islam in America: Salafism’s Journey from Arabia to the West

Salhani, Claude.  Islam Without a Veil: Kazakhstan’s Path of Moderation

Halverson, Jeffry. Searching for a King: Muslim Nonviolence and the Future of Islam

Betts, Robert. The Sunni-Shi’a Divide

Gregg, Heather. The Path to Salvation

(See also Berger under “Terrorism”)



            American Politics and Political History

Bookman, John. The Mythology of American Politics: A Critical Response to Fundamental Questions

Etzioni, Amitai. New Common Ground: A New America, a New World

Fogarty, Brian. Fascism: Why Not Here?

Carbone, Leslie. Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform

Sanders, Barry. American Avatar: The United States in the Global Imagination

Mitchell, Mark. The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place & Community in a Global Age

Neisser, Phil, and Jacob Hess, You’re Not as Crazy as I Thought

            Campaigns and Elections

Erdman, Sol, and Lawrence Susskind. The Cure for Our Broken Political Process: How We Can Get Our Politicians to Resolve the Issues Tearing Our Country Apart.

Shiraev, Eric, and Robert Dudley. Counting Every Vote: The Most Contentious Elections in American History

Rodriguez, Orlando. Vote Thieves: Illegal Immigration, Redistricting, and Presidential Elections

U.S. Presidents

Russomanno, Joseph. Tortured Logic: A Verbatim Critique of the George W. Bush Presidency

Wright, John. The Obama Haters: Behind the Right-Wing Campaign of Lies, Innuendo & Racism

Marlo, Francis H. Planning Reagan’s War: Conservative Strategists and America’s Cold War Victory

Reifowitz, Obama’s America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity

Klein, Woody. All the Presidents’ Spokesmen: Press Secretaries


Raskin, Marc, and Robert H. Spero. The Four Freedoms Under Siege: The Clear and Present Danger from Our National Security State

Pyle, Christopher. Getting Away with Torture: Secret Government, War Crimes, and the Rule of Law

Raymond, Not a Choice, Not a Job

(See also Clemens and Graveline under “Iraq War”)


See Raskin and Spero and Pyle under “Human Rights”

See Clemens and Graveline under “Iraq War”

See Schaller under “Veterans”

See Stack  under “Current Events”

See Raymond under “Human Rights”

See Pyle under “Human Rights”


Liotta, P.H., and James F. Miskel. The Real Population Bomb: Megacities, Global Security & the Map of the Future

Yoshihara, Susan, and Doug Sylva/Population Decline and the Remaking of Great Power Politics

Lyons, Callie, Body Burden: The Next Generation’s Toxic Chemical Load


Axe, David. From A to B: How Logistics Fuels American Power & Prosperity

Raskin, Marcus and Gregory Squires, Warfare Welfare: The Not-So-Hidden Costs of America’s Permanent War Economy

Elsdon, Ron, ed. Business Behaving Well: Social Responsibility, from Learning to Doing

Smith, Andrew O. Sand in the Gears: How Public Policy Has Crippled American Manufacturing

Friedman, Eric. Reinventing Philanthropy: A Framework for More Effective Giving


Miraldi, Rob. Seymour Hersh: Scoop Artist: The World According to Seymour Hersh, from My Lai to Abu Ghraib

(See also Schanberg in “Vietnam War”)


Brown and Wereschagin, Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History

Goldstein, Joel. No Stone Unturned: A Father’s Memoir of His Son’s Encounter with Traumatic Brain Injury

Wright, Blazing Ice: Pioneering the Twenty-First Century’s Road to the South Pole

Porterfield, Anita, and Marie Sprague. In the Crosshairs: The Fort Hood Massacre

Saporito, Ancient Furies

Bromark, Sven. Even If the Sun Don’t Shine (Norwegian terrorist attack)



Coates, David, and Peter M. Siavelis. Getting Immigration Right: What Every American Needs to Know

Gun Control

Henigan, Dennis. Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy

Health Care

Schimpff, Stephen. The Future of Health-Care Delivery: Why American Medicine Must Change and How It Affects You

Klosek, Jacqueline. Health Care Reform

Crime/Prisons/Death Penalty

Stack, Richard. Grave Injustice: Unearthing Wrongful Executions

Goldman, Ivan. Sick Justice: Inside the American Archipelago

Prostitution/Human Trafficking

See Raymond under “Human Rights”

Race Relations/Civil Rights

Hilliard, Constance. Straightening the Bell Curve: How Stereotypes About Black Masculinity Drive Research on Race and Intelligence

Jealous, Ann Todd and Caroline Haskell, Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief about Racism


Klein, Woody. American Poverty: Presidential Failures and a Call to Action

Disaster Preparedness

Eldridge, Robert. Megaquake (see also under Asia)