The holidays offer the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and reflect on the past year and the year to come, and also catch up on that reading list. In the spirit of the season, the Brookings Institution Press has prepared a holiday reading list of insightful and relevant books to inform and engage readers on a variety of topics of the past, present, and future.
Divided Politics, Divided Nation: Hyperconflict in the Trump Era
Darrell M. West
Based on conversations over the past 40 years with friends, colleagues, and family, Darrell West presents a memoir of the political differences that have escalated into today’s partisan conflict. In Divided Politics, Divided Nation, West explores the political, economic, and cultural aspects of this polarization and offers the warning that we must overcome these divisions if there’s any hope to maintain a functioning democracy.
Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates
Elaine C. Kamarck
The 2020 primaries are set to begin soon with the Iowa caucuses. In Primary Politics, Elaine Kamarck explains how the primary process has evolved as candidates have sought to alter the rules in their favor and how candidate’s failures and success have led to more changes. In time for the 2020 election, Primary Politics is the guide to understanding how we select our presidential nominees.
Beirut 1958: How America’s Wars in the Middle East Began
It’s difficult to imagine an American intervention in the Middle East going well—but that’s exactly what happened when President Eisenhower sent the U.S. Marines to Lebanon in 1958. In Beirut 1958, Bruce Riedel tells the now-forgotten story of the first U.S. combat operation in the region to help end Lebanon’s first civil war. Beyond the fascinating cast of characters, Riedel’s book offers lessons learned from this unprecedented engagement.
For more information on Beirut 1958, read Bruce Riedel’s essay on the Order From Chaos blog. Also, listen to a podcast with Riedel.
From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future
The pace of change is disrupting our work, privacy, education, and media. It all seems unprecedented, but we’ve been here before. In From Gutenberg to Google, former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recalls the two great network revolutions of the past—movable-type printing and the combination of the railroad and telegraph—to put today’s rapidly changing networks into perspective.
Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump
Despite countless hours in pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, the United States has repeatedly come up short. In examining the history of U.S.-Palestinian relations, Khaled Elgindy argues in Blind Spot that not addressing Israel’s superiority in power and internal Palestinian politics perpetuates this “blind spot” from administration to administration.
For more books, please visit the Brookings Institution Press.
Header image by Chris Peters, videographer/editor, Office of Communications