Books & Reviews

Review Essays

Review Essay,
Tansen Sen

Since at least the first half of the twentieth century, Chinese and Indian elites have justified present-day friendship between China and India on the basis of allegedly harmonious ancient ties. But an increasing number of scholars are acknowledging that this narrative drastically distorts historical reality.

Review Essay,
2014
Joseph S. Nye Jr.

During the early Cold War, the Dulles and Bundy brothers played critical roles in shaping U.S. foreign policy. New biographies make clear that the all four men had some common ideological blindspots. But how much of their worldview and behavior can be attributed to their WASP establishment backgrounds is an open question.

Review Essay,
2014
Keith Gessen

Two recent books about Soviet history help answer questions raised by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine: What is wrong with Russia and why, despite two decades of optimistic predictions that it was on track to become a “normal” country, has it never become one?

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Review,
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

Al-Ali, whose father was a former Iraqi diplomat who fled into exile, returned to Iraq as a legal adviser to the United Nations during the U.S. occupation. All his attempts to reform the post-Saddam state failed; this book is his lament. He inveighs against the returned Iraqi exiles who now wield power in Iraq, such as Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki, criticizing them, along with Paul Bremer, who served as the head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003–4, for needlessly leading Iraq into sectarianism and regionalism. Much of al-Ali’s analysis is useful but not original.

Capsule Review,
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

These books present two very different takes on the most dynamic part of the Arab world. Cooke explores tribalism in the hypermodern Gulf; Wehrey examines the causes of the region’s Shiite-Sunni divide.

Capsule Review,
May/June
2014
Andrew J. Nathan

Conventional wisdom has long held that the Maoist system of totalitarianism differed from its Soviet and Eastern European counterparts by relying solely on the mobilized masses to very publicly dispense terror, rather than on a system of covert informants. That turns out to be wrong. Schoenhals discovered piles of documents in flea markets and used bookshops that reveal an extensive citizen-agent apparatus at work in urban areas under the direction of the Ministry of Public Security.

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.

Twenty-five years after the protests, we are delighted to bring you Tiananmen and After, which includes a trove of secret documents showing why China’s leaders opted for violence at Tiananamen Square along with expert commentary on what happened back in June 1989, what it meant, and how China has—and hasn’t—changed since then.

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.