Book cover of Home, Land, Security: Deradicalization and the Journey Back from Extremism by Carla Power
Health and Psychology

Home, Land, Security: Deradicalization and the Journey Back from Extremism

What are the roots of radicalism? Journalist Carla Power came to this question well before the January 6, 2021, attack in Washington, D.C., turned our country’s attention to the problem of domestic radicalization. Her entry point was a different wave of radical panic—the way populists and pundits encouraged us to see the young people who joined ISIS or other terrorist organizations as simple monsters. Power wanted to chip away at the stereotypes by focusing not on what these young people had done but why: What drew them into militancy? What visions of the world—of home, of land, of security for themselves and the people they loved—shifted their thinking toward radical beliefs? And what visions of the world might bring them back to society?  […Learn More]

Book cover of The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine by Ben Ehrenreich
History

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine

From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the everyday struggles of Palestinian life 

Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a remarkable New York Times Magazine cover story […Learn More]

Book cover of Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East by Philip Gordon
History

Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East

Since the end of World War II, the United States has set out to oust governments in the Middle East on an average of once per decade―in places as diverse as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan (twice), Egypt, Libya, and Syria. The reasons for these interventions have also been extremely diverse, and the methods by which the United States pursued regime change have likewise been highly varied, ranging from diplomatic pressure alone to outright military invasion and occupation. What is common to all the operations, however, is that they failed to achieve their ultimate goals, produced a range of unintended and even catastrophic consequences, carried heavy financial and human costs, and in many cases left the countries in question worse off than they were before. […Learn More]

History

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War

The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about the longest war in American history by Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives.
[…Learn More]

Book cover for Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle over Islam is Reshaping the World by Shadi Hamid
History

Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World

In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, “exceptional” in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren’t just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS.  […Learn More]

History

The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice

In 2014, northeastern Syria might have been the last place you would expect to find a revolution centered on women’s rights. But that year, an all-female militia faced off against ISIS in a little town few had ever heard of: Kobani. By then, the Islamic State had swept across vast swaths of the country, taking town after town and spreading terror as the civil war burned all around it. From that unlikely showdown in Kobani emerged a fighting force that would wage war against ISIS across northern Syria alongside the United States. In the process, these women would spread their own political vision, determined to make women’s equality a reality by fighting—house by house, street by street, city by city—the men who bought and sold women. […Learn More]

Book Cover of Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR by Bruce Riedel
International & World Politics

Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR

An insider’s account of the often-fraught U.S.-Saudi relationship

Saudi Arabia and the United States have been partners since 1943, when President Roosevelt met with two future Saudi monarchs. Subsequent U.S. presidents have had direct relationships with those kings and their successors―setting the tone for a special partnership between an absolute monarchy with a unique Islamic identity and the world’s most powerful democracy. […Learn More]

History

Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ghost Wars, the epic and enthralling story of America’s intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11

Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. […Learn More]

History

The Hundred Year War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917 – 2017

Renowned scholar and historian Professor Khalidi draws on primary sources to give an intensely personal account of a century of conflict in Palestine.

This is not a happy story. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 promised the Jews a homeland where the Palestinians already lived. The 1917 capture of Jerusalem by British forces and the formalisation of British colonial power over what became Mandatory Palestine under the terms of the treaty of Versailles. […Learn More]

Book cover for Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Forty - Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East by Kim Ghattas
History

Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty – Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East

Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy.

With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979.  […Learn More]