This has been a good year for policy books — particularly ones that I think have moved the policy needle in better directions than they have been going.
The Washington Post has just published its roster of “Best Books of 2008.”
Many of the books that the Post has highlighted are on the best book lists of the New York Times — scoring big time Northeast corridor support. I haven’t seen a Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, or Chicago Tribune list yet — but it would be great if my book project with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and David Ignatius scored in other parts of the country as well.
Of particular note to me from this new Washington Post roster are:
America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, and David Ignatius. (This book was a joint project of the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program which I direct and Basic Books.) (Here is a program I moderated with Brezinski and Scowcroft.)
The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew J. Bacevich (Here is a set of excerpted Bacevich comments at an excellent book salon hosted by Fire Dog Lake with Bacevich.)
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Barton Gellman (see my conversation with the author — one hour program including Gellman and Steve Coll and alternatively 5-minute clip)
They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by Jacob Heilbrunn (here is a transcript of a session I moderated with the author at Fire Dog Lake)
The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood by Helene Cooper (This is a five minute interview I did with Helene Cooper — and this is a great one hour program she did at the New America Foundation)
The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll (Steve Coll is my colleague and President of the New America Foundation. Here is a video of Coll, Peter Bergen and myself talking about this book.)
The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer (Here is a video file of my interview with Jane Mayer)
Business and Economics
High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families by Peter Gosselin (Here is a video of a program I did with Peter Gosselin at the New America Foundation.)
All of these are eye-opening treatments of important political and policy issues. Any (or all) of these would make great holiday gifts.
— Steve Clemons