Three things to keep in mind for 2017:
"Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body."
-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(4 B.C.-A.D. 65) Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist

"What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass."
Lord Melbourne (1779-1848) 

"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." Harry S. Truman

In case you are looking for books for your summer reading.


"Inside Terrorism" by Bruce Hoffman (newest edition to be released in August, 2017)
"The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force"  by Eliot Cohen; recommended by Tom McNaugher, Bob Murray, Joseph Collins and Raphael Cohen
"War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success into Political Victory" by Nadia Schadlow; recommended by Tom McNaugher and Joseph Collins
"Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam" by Fredrik Logevall; recommended by David Edelstein and Albert Willner
"The Signal and The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't" by Nate Silver; recommended by Toni Gidwani and Sean McFate
"The Origins of Totalitarianism" by Hannah Arendt; recommended by Gregg Jones and Peter Belk
Please note that, in order to avoid redundancy, titles are only listed under one concentration, but could certainly apply to more than one, so please peruse them all!
"The Masters" by C.P. Snow; recommended by Bruce Hoffman
"Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" by Giles Milton; recommended by Bruce Hoffman
"A Coffin for Dimitrios" by Eric Ambler; recommended by Bruce Hoffman
"1984" by George Orwell; recommended by Liz Grimm Arsenault
"The Sellout" by Paul Beatty; recommended by Oriana Mastro
"A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan; recommended by Oriana Mastro
"The Three- Body Problem" by Liu Cixin; recommended by Oriana Mastro
"The Tragedy of Great Power Politics" by John J. Mearsheimer; recommended by Keir Lieber
"The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy" by Adam Tooze; recommended by David Edelstein
"Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought" by Michael Handel; recommended by David Maxwell
"Strategy: A History" by Sir Lawrence Freedman; recommended by David Maxwell
"War Comes to Garmser: Thirty Years of Conflict on the Afghan Frontier" by Carter Malkasian; recommended by Bob Murray
"Managing Conflict in a World Adrift" by Chester A Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, Pamela Aall; recommended by Syed Mohammed Ali
"The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries" by Andrei Soldatove, Irina Borogan; recommended by Toni Gidwani
"The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB" by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin; recommended by Raphael Cohen
"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, translated by Thomas Cleary; recommended by Sean McFate
"Antifragile" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb; recommended by Sean McFate
"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman; recommended by Sean McFate
"China's Military Power: Assessing Current and Future Capabilities" by Roger Cliff; recommended by Scott Harold
"China's Incomplete Military Transformation: Assessing the Weakness of the People's Liberation Army" by Michael Chase, Jeffrey Engstrom, et al.; recommended by Scott Harold
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling; recommended by Gary Shiffman
"Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway" by Walter Lord; recommended by Gregg Jones
"The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu" by Joshua Hammer; recommended by Gregg Jones 
"The Lost Art of Finding Our Way" by John Huth; recommended by Gregg Jones
"Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China" by Evan Osnos; recommended by Albert Willner
"Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing; recommended by Albert Willner
"Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb" by Feroz Hassan Khan; recommended by Charles Lloyd
"The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda In Flight" by Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy; recommended by Bruce Hoffman
"Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia" by Moeed Yusuf; recommended by Syed Mohammed Ali
"The Things They Carried" by Tom O'Brien; recommended by Liz Grimm Arsenault
"Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction" by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner; recommended by Sean McFate
"Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet" by Andrew Blum; recommended by Toni Gidwani
"Capital in the Twenty- First Century" by Thomas Piketty; recommended by Peter Belk
"About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior" by David Hackworth and Julia Sherman; recommended by Oriana Mastro
"Presidents and Their Generals: An American History of Command in War" by Matthew Moten; recommended by James M. Dubik
"The Art of Peace: Engaging a Complex World" by Juliana Geron Pilon; recommended by David Maxwell
"The Federalist Papers" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay; recommended by Bob Murray
"Combined Arms Warfare in the Twentieth Century" by Jonathan House; recommended by John Gordon
"Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World" by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, David Silverman, Tantum Collins, Chris Fussel; recommended by Peter Belk
"Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" by Robert Gates; recommended by Charles Paquale
"Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency" by Barton Gellman; recommended by Charles Paquale
"The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames" by Kai Bird; recommended by Daniel Byman
"SuperIntelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies" by Nick Bostrom; recommended by Sean McFate

David S. Maxwell
Associate Director
Center for Security Studies &
Security Studies Program
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University
Office: 202-687-3834
Cell: 703-300-8263
Alt email:
SSP Web Site:
Associate Director News Blog:
Global Security Studies Review: