Books & Reviews

Review Essays

Review Essay,
Jan/Feb
2015
James Surowiecki

In recent decades, most innovation has come from a single sector (information technology) and a single place (Silicon Valley). Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators and Peter Thiel’s Zero to One shed light on how that happened and what drives innovation more generally.

Review Essay,
Nov/Dec
2014
Gregory Fried

Scholars have long known that Martin Heidegger was a Nazi, but many doubted that his philosophy had anything to do with Hitler’s ideology. Now Peter Trawny, drawing on Heidegger’s hidden notebooks, argues that the philosopher’s anti-Semitism was deeply entwined with his ideas.

Review Essay,
Nov/Dec
2014
Michael Mandelbaum

According to Ian Morris, the author of a sweeping history of conflict from prehistoric times to the present, war can sometimes produce safety. But his account runs into difficulties as it approaches the present.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Review,
Peter Tomsen

Carlotta Gall, a reporter for The New York Times, spent 13 years covering Afghanistan and Pakistan and has a lifelong connection to the region: her father, Sandy Gall, is a well-known British journalist who himself spent a good portion of his career covering Afghanistan. Her deep knowledge of the region lends authority to the basic argument her book makes about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, which might sound reductive if it came from a less well-informed source: “Pakistan, not Afghanistan, has been the true enemy.” 

Capsule Review,
John Osburg

On the surface, the prediction that Chinese economic and political reform would go hand in hand seems not to have panned out. In truth, however, the story is more complicated. As Evan Osnos suggests in Age of Ambition, the optimistic view of China’s evolution wasn’t entirely wrong; it merely relied on a conception of politics too narrow to capture a number of subtle but profound shifts that have changed China in ways that are not always immediately visible.

Capsule Review,
Tyler Cowen

Every now and then, the field of economics produces an important book; this is one of them. Thomas Piketty’s tome will put capitalist wealth back at the center of public debate, resurrect interest in the subject of wealth distribution, and revolutionize how people view the history of income inequality. On top of that, although the book’s prose (translated from the original French) might not qualify as scintillating, any educated person will be able to understand it -- which sets the book apart from the vast majority of works by high-level economic theorists.

Foreign Affairs Books

Foreign Affairs Books are collections of seminal essays which first appeared in the pages of Foreign Affairs. Whether policy analysis, reportage or review essay each piece offers lasting value. Collectively these articles frame current debates over crucial issues in American foreign policy and world politics. You can find ordering information for Foreign Affairs Books on the individual book pages listed below.

The annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is the premier gathering place for the global elite. As background reading, the 2015 attendees received a special Foreign Affairs book produced just for them: The New Global Context: A Davos Reader.

Catch up on everything you've missed in 2014—from John Mearsheimer on the West's responsibility for the Ukraine crisis, to Elizabeth Economy on Xi Jinping's seizure of power in China, to Tyler Cowen's evisceration of Thomas Piketty's bestseller on economic inequality, and 17 more.

After the latest round of Middle East peace talks collapsed earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before Israelis and Palestinians came to blows yet again. Our latest eBook, Clueless in Gaza, brings together top-notch experts from all perspectives to tell the full story of the recent fighting, from causes to consequences