You will find some newsy revelations in Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda (Times Books, $27). But what really makes this book significant is the overarching story Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker have pieced together about the evolution of thinking within the Bush and Obama administrations. They explain in considerable detail how the strategy for combating violent extremism has progressed from President Bush’s initial instinct to dispatch U.S. forces to kill or capture terrorists, to what is now a much more nuanced and complex approach aimed at trying to deter terrorism through all sorts of means. This can range from going after the financing of terrorist networks to information operations designed to discredit al Qaeda among the larger Muslim public. Just like deterrence policy during the Cold War, this new deterrence strategy against terrorists and their supporters can, the authors suggest, eventually succeed in altering enemy behavior.

Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250012197
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 7th, 2012

In this important and illuminating book, journalist and poet Eliza Griswold roams The Tenth Parallel (Picador, $16) to discover how the globe’s largest populations of Muslims and Christians mingle, co-exist, and clash “from village to village and street corner to street corner.” Griswold spent nearly a decade in Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, where competition—for resources as well as souls—is fierce. She skillfully fills out individual stories with lessons in history and geography: the legacy of colonialism, the implications of climate change. Her sharp curiosity and intimate, compassionate style of reporting highlight the daily realities in some of the world’s most perilous places.

The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312569365
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2011

The first book in Richard Rhodes’s nuclear trilogy, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, was an early favorite at Politics and Prose, and it was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in nonfiction. When the Cold War ended, nine nations together possessed a staggering 60,000 nuclear weapons.  And today? THE TWILIGHT OF THE BOMBS (Knopf, $27.95), the final book in the series, states that since the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the arsenals of the superpowers have diminished. Although the current threat of nuclear war lies with the smaller and less stable nations like India and Pakistan, Rhodes believes that the possibility of a world without nuclear weapons is now within our reach. But how that is going to be accomplished is what Rhodes wants to explore, and he does so by reviewing the  past 65 years of successes and failures, both political and diplomatic, in nuclear-arms negotiations.

The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307267542
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - August 24th, 2010

Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307387417
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 6th, 2011