Staff Pick

America is a nation disillusioned by its recent wars and largely averse to becoming embroiled again in foreign conflicts. But Eliot Cohen makes a strong, historically grounded and clearly reasoned case in The Big Stick for America not to pull back from its leadership role in the world and to be ready and willing to use force if necessary. Cohen, who is a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, urges preparedness, not belligerence, as Philip Zelikow says in a blurb for the book. Given today’s major multiple threats—China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, the Islamic State, cyberwarfare, space-based weapons—and given the reluctance or inability of other powers on our side to act, Cohen argues that a failure to exercise military power could prove calamitous. He notes that today’s array of challenges has no exact comparison with the past, so new approaches will need to be devised, and he puts forward his own set of general guidelines for when to use force.

The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465044726
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - January 3rd, 2017

Many of us think we know something about those in the United States who’ve been charged with some kind of jihadist terrorist crime. We might think that most of them are foreigners, or that they turned to terrorism as a result of some traumatic life experience. Well, get ready to have these and other common preconceptions proved wrong. In United States of Jihad, Peter Bergen examines the 330 people in the United States who have faced terrorism charges since 9/11. Drawing on years of experience writing about terrorism issues, he looks at what has motivated homegrown terrorists and how U.S. institutions have responded while trying to balance security and liberty. Janet Napolitano, the former Homeland Security secretary, called Bergen’s work “the best one-volume treatment available on the current state of jihad in America.”

United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804139540
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - February 2nd, 2016

United States of Jihad: Who Are America's Homegrown Terrorists, and How Do We Stop Them? Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804139564
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Crown - February 7th, 2017

Black Flags is an incredible look inside the history of ISIS, how it got it's origins and how it grew into the force we know it as today. It uncovers how some mishandling of the conflicts from the past decade and a half gave the group it's boost and shows how, once it got going it proved near impossible to halt. If you want a book to better understand this current threat, this book will not disappoint.

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385538213
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - September 29th, 2015

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804168939
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - September 6th, 2016