Books & Reviews

Review Essays

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Deborah R. Coen

A new book by Geoffrey Parker examines how the Little Ice Age of the seventeenth century contributed to an era of war and upheaval. But it offers a blinkered view of the implications for current environmental policy.

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Jack Shafer

In his new book, Rahul Sagar asks when it is legitimate for a government official to disclose secrets. Although conventional, his answer is far too restrictive -- as the case of Edward Snowden shows.

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Minxin Pei

As the United States and China try to keep their relationship from exploding, one might think that leading technocratic experts in both countries would be a force for calm rather than conflict. A new collection of essays dispels any such hope.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Review,
Mar/Apr
2014
G. John Ikenberry

Scholars have offered a variety of explanations for the rise and triumph of the nation-state. Reus-Smit argues that most accounts fail to explain why people wanted independent statehood in the first place. His answer is human rights. The book looks closely at the three great waves of state expansion: in Europe in the seventeenth century, in Latin America in the nineteenth century, and in the worldwide decolonization movements that took place after World War II.

Capsule Review,
Mar/Apr
2014
Nicolas van de Walle

Academics no longer need lament the absence of a good textbook on African politics for undergraduates. Englebert and Dunn have produced what will no doubt become the standard text for years to come: a sharply written, well-informed, and completely up-to-date book that should find a wide audience beyond the classroom, as well. Exceptional scholars in their own right, Englebert and Dunn introduce the reader to a wide variety of debates about the region, which they examine evenhandedly and with a minimum of jargon. The discussions of civil conflict and security issues are particularly good.

Capsule Review,
Mar/Apr
2014
Nicolas van de Walle

Schmidt’s history of military intervention in the region during the last half century breaks no new empirical or theoretical ground, but it does provide a good introduction to the Africa policies of outside powers. She starts with the interventions that accompanied the decolonization of the parts of the continent long dominated by Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom (with a particularly good chapter on the Congo crisis in the early 1960s), then examines the conflicts surrounding the later decolonization of Portuguese-speaking Africa and the end of apartheid in South Africa.

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.

Crisis in Ukraine sets the intellectual stage for understanding the turmoil in eastern Europe, what is really at stake, and what will come next.

This special collection pulls together a broad range of pieces that illuminate Iran’s turn toward negotiations, the pros and cons of the interim agreement, and the geopolitical and psychological intricacies of the crucial U.S.-Iranian-Israeli triangle.

Foreign Affairs has pulled together ten of our top print pieces and ten Web-only ones in this special collection. It includes everything from diplomacy and national security to economics to science and technology to culture, all done with our signature combination of expertise and accessibility.