So much for summer reading

Faculty affiliated with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) have apparently moved on from the usual summer reading of spy thrillers and detective mysteries.

Instead, they offer some serious reading recommendations about subjects ranging from national security policies to the Vietnam War to post-Soviet Union reality. It’s no wonder: CISAC tackles critical security issues in the world today to better understand an increasingly complex international environment.

Martha Crenshaw
Martha Crenshaw is among the CISAC scholars with book recommendations as the summer ends. She suggests Muslims in a Post-9/11 America.

Among those recommending books is MARTHA CRENSHAW, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). She suggests Muslims in a Post-9/11 America: A Survey of Attitudes and Beliefs and Their Implications for U.S. National Security Policy.

She explains, “I am recommending a book for late summer, to be published by University of Michigan Press in August. The author is Rachel Gillum, who recently received her PhD in political science from Stanford. It is the definitive account of who American Muslims are and what they think, a much-needed antidote to prejudice and misconception, and a clear warning about the unintended consequences of counterterrorism policies.”

SCOTT SAGAN, the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and FSI senior fellow, recommends Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches by S.C. Gwynne.

“Summer for me should include time away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to vacation in the wilds of the American West,” he explains. “Gwynne’s book brilliantly captures the story of both Quanah Parker, the last independent chief of the Comanche, and his mother, Sarah Ann Parker, who was captured by raiding warriors as a young girl and then lived with the Comanche until captured a second time, by white relatives, after having raised a family with her Native American husband. This book, and the great John Wayne film The Searchers, provides a summer window through which to glimpse dark elements of American history and culture.”

AMY ZEGART, co-director of CISAC and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, recommends two books: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink, and Educated by Tara Westover.

“[Pink’s book] is chock-full of useful, and sometimes frightening, research about timing – with implications for how to improve efficiency and outcomes in a wide array of activities, from when to get medical procedures to how to get the most out of a nap. In international security, it is easy to overlook the human dimensions of good decision-making. One of McGeorge Bundy’s best decisions during the Cuban missile crisis was to let President Kennedy sleep before telling him about the U2 photos showing Soviet missile installations. Pink’s book grounds this essential intuition in research,” she says.

Westover’s book, Zegart explains, is a “moving memoir about a young woman’s journey from a survivalist family in Idaho to Cambridge University, where she earned a DPhil in History. Told with a sense of love and brutal honesty, the book provides a penetrating glimpse into segments of American society that are literally and figuratively off the grid and one woman’s singular determination to make a different future for herself.”

Read the entire list of reading suggestions on the CISAC web pages.