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The James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard College selects the most important books on the United States reviewed during the last year. Here are his reviews, culled from recent issues of the magazine.
Click here to see all of the best books on international relations of 2013.
In the most entertaining and depressing book about the U.S. political system published in many years, Leibovich lets readers peep behind the curtain and see what goes on in the greenrooms and at the parties of the Washington elite.
McChrystal, a retired four-star U.S. Army general, is a great American soldier and has written one of the best memoirs of life in the U.S. military. The U.S. Army that McChrystal joined after graduating from West Point in 1976 was a wounded organization, filled with anxiety, widely unpopular in the country at large, and struggling painfully with the complex experience of the Vietnam War. McChrystal vividly describes his significant role in restoring the army and reinventing the military as a more flexible, flatter, faster, and more information-driven organization.
Toobin, a strong opponent of what he sees as a conscious and deliberate Republican strategy to politicize the Supreme Court, tells the story of the Court’s lurch to the right under Chief Justice John Roberts and argues that Roberts’ vote to uphold Obamacare represented the triumph of a long-term conservative judicial strategy over a short-term political one.