Lawrence D. Freedman

Capsule Review
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

In his thorough exploration of why and how foreign fighters get involved in wars far away from their homes, Malet focuses on the importance of transnational identity.

Capsule Review
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

This curious book addresses what Scarry describes as the incompatibility of nuclear weapons and democracy.

Capsule Review
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

Ginsberg’s book is a direct challenge to the optimism of the celebrated cognitive neuroscientist Steven Pinker, whose 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, argued that violence is playing a diminishing role in human affairs.

Capsule Review
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

Martin van Creveld's latest book provides a history of war games, which he defines very broadly to include almost any activity that links play and conflict.

Capsule Review
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

In addition to providing new insights into the debate over missile defense, Slayton raises valuable questions about the broader interaction between scientific expertise and advocacy.

Capsule Review
Lawrence D. Freedman

Castner commanded an explosive ordnance disposal unit in Iraq. His style is gripping, and the book is surprisingly informative about the history and practice of bomb disposal, but it is also chaotic, as he moves back and forth between his wartime experiences and his later struggles to cope with PTSD, which he refers to as his “Crazy.”

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

In this thoughtful meditation on technology and ethics, Riza, a fighter pilot and colonel in the U.S. Air Force, worries that robotics make it easier to go to war.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

Kilcullen argues that most future conflicts will occur in cities, thanks to the extraordinary growth in urban populations and the interconnectedness wrought by new technologies, which will create novel opportunities for crime and political violence.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

In this terrific book, Farmelo tells the story of the United Kingdom’s nuclear program, which began with pioneering work in Cambridge before World War II and ultimately merged with the United States’ Manhattan Project.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
Lawrence D. Freedman

Terrorist organizations are no different from other political entities, except that their resources tend to be as meager as their ambitions are huge

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

Although U.S. forces are now out of Iraq and are quickly withdrawing from Afghanistan, debate still rages over counterinsurgency (COIN) and the concept of “winning hearts and minds.” These three books look at the different sides of the COIN.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

These three books illuminate different aspects of World War II using diaries, letters, and memoirs to capture what the war meant for people caught up in it.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

Three new books on counterterrorism cover new ground, focusing on U.S. drone policy; the "lone wolf" terrorist; and counterterrorist financing.

Capsule Review
May/June
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

This elegantly produced collection tells the story of modern warfare, beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Capsule Review
May/June
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

Gavin is concerned that U.S. nuclear policy is distorted by myths about the past, and he believes that a better understanding of the history of the nuclear age would improve the contemporary approach.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

Wirtz and Lavoy assembled top experts to consider which countries might go nuclear next. Solingen’s team makes the case for using both sticks and carrots but notes that positive incentives are harder to design.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

Three short, sad books report on the effects of war on those who fight.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

O’Connell, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, analyzes the development of the corps’ culture from World War II to the Vietnam era.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013

This superb book is Kennedy’s best. His simple but striking proposition is that the Allied victory rested not only on the work of grand strategists in presidential cabinets and high military commands but also on the efforts of middle managers, such as the logisticians, engineers, and operational analysts who addressed the major obstacles to success.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

In narrating the history of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Gordon and Trainor finish the job they started in Cobra II, their 2006 book on the origins of the Iraq war. Their Iraqi and American sources are extraordinary, allowing them to describe events with an enormous, and sometimes overwhelming, amount of detail.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Lawrence D. Freedman

Boot's conclusions confirm that although guerrillas, insurgents, and terrorists have had their successes, the strong normally prevail over the weak. Invisible armies work best when they are able to build up visible political support and link up with (or become) even more visible conventional forces.