264 épisodes

Interviews with Scholars of National Security about their New Books

New Books in National Security Marshall Poe

    • Sciences sociales

Interviews with Scholars of National Security about their New Books

    Evy Poumpouras, "Becoming Bulletproof" (Atria Press, 2020)

    Evy Poumpouras, "Becoming Bulletproof" (Atria Press, 2020)

    Former Secret Service agent and star of Bravo’s Spy Games, Evy Poumpouras, shares lessons learned from protecting presidents, as well insights and skills from the oldest and most elite security force in the world to help you prepare for stressful situations, instantly read people, influence how you are perceived, and live a more fearless life.
    Becoming Bulletproof means transforming yourself into a stronger, more confident, and more powerful person. Evy Poumpouras—former Secret Service agent to three presidents and one of only five women to receive the Medal of Valor—demonstrates how we can overcome our everyday fears, have difficult conversations, know who to trust and who might not have our best interests at heart, influence situations, and prepare for the unexpected.
    When you have become bulletproof, you are your best, most courageous, and most powerful version of you. Poumpouras shows us that ultimately true strength is found in the mind, not the body.
    Courage involves facing our fears, but it is also about resilience, grit, and having a built-in BS detector and knowing how to use it. In Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, and Live Fearlessly (Atria Press), Poumpouras demonstrates how to heighten our natural instincts to employ all these qualities and move from fear to fearlessness.
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.
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    • 46 min
    David Shimer, "Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference" (Knopf, 2020)

    David Shimer, "Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference" (Knopf, 2020)

    The "guard is tired." With that simple phrase, the newly installed Bolshevik regime in Russia dismissed the duly elected Constituent Assembly in January 1918. And, one might say, so started Russia's century-long interference in elections and electoral outcomes. In his new book Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference (Knopf, 2020), David Shimer narrates in meticulous but page-turning detail a century of covert electoral interference, by both the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and continuing to this day with a focus on post-Soviet Russia's efforts to affect US politics. His account of the lead up to the 2016 US Presidential election makes for frightening and gripping reading. Its implications for the 2020 election are equally clear. The US needs to come up with a means to counter Russia's now well-developed expertise in disrupting and weakening American democracy. Time is running out.
    Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @HistoryInvestor or at http://www.strategicdividendinvestor.com
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    • 55 min
    S. Moskalenko and C. McCauley, "Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    S. Moskalenko and C. McCauley, "Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Terrorism and radicalization came to the forefront of news and politics in the US after the unforgettable attacks of September 11th, 2001. When George W. Bush famously asked "Why do they hate us?," the President echoed the confusion, anger and fear felt by millions of Americans, while also creating a politicized discourse that has come to characterize and obscure discussions of both phenomena in the media.
    Since then the American public has lived through a number of domestic attacks and threats, and watched international terrorist attacks from afar on television sets and computer screens. The anxiety and misinformation surrounding terrorism and radicalization are perhaps best detected in questions that have continued to recur in the last decade: "Are terrorists crazy?"; "Is there a profile of individuals likely to become terrorists?"; "Is it possible to prevent radicalization to terrorism?" Fortunately, in the two decades since 9/11, a significant body of research has emerged that can help provide definitive answers.
    In Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2020), Sophia Moskalenko and Clark McCauley propose twelve mechanisms that can move individuals, groups, and mass publics from political indifference to sympathy and support for terrorist violence. Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know synthesizes original and existing research to answer the questions raised after each new attack, including those committed by radicalized Americans. It offers a rigorously informed overview of the insight that will enable readers to see beyond the relentless news cycle to understand where terrorism comes from and how best to respond to it.
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.
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    • 58 min
    Vincent Bevins, "The Jakarta Method" (Public Affairs, 2020)

    Vincent Bevins, "The Jakarta Method" (Public Affairs, 2020)

    Why did the word “Jakarta” appear as graffiti on the streets of Santiago in 1973? Why did left-wing Chilean activists receive postcards in the mail with the ominous message “Jakarta is coming”? Why did a Brazilian general lose his temper in an interview with university students, threaten their safety, and yell the name of Indonesia’s capital city?
    In The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World (Public Affairs, 2020) journalist Vincent Bevins links the history of the overthrow of Sukarno – a leader of 1960s Third Worldism –, the rise of the Suharto – one of the most brutal and corrupt dictators – , and the slaughter of 500,000 to one million Indonesians allegedly linked to the Indonesian Community Party (the PKI) to the Latin American “dirty wars”, including Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Central America. This is a major achievement and something that very few scholars have been able to do.
    Bevins persuasively argues that the long-ignored and even silenced history of Indonesia 1965 was of truly world historical significance.
    The Jakarta Method joins a growing body of scholarly work on what some call a “political genocide” and what a 1968 CIA report deemed “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century”. By showing how the overthrow of the radical Sukarno, the rise of the pro-American Suharto, and the brutal destruction of the largest Communist party outside of the USSR and the PRC impacted both right-wing generals and left-wing revolutionaries from the streets of Rio de Janeiro to the jungles of Cambodia, The Jakarta Method is a much needed and very welcome globalization of this history.
    Vincent Bevins is a native Californian who attended UC Berkeley before he began his career as an international correspondent in Venezuela. He worked for the Financial Times in London, covered Brazil and the southern cone for the Los Angeles Times, and then moved to Jakarta where he reported on Southeast Asia for the Washington Post. He spoke to us from Sao Paulo, Brazil about The Jakarta Method. An excerpt of the book appeared in a recent issue of the New York Review of Books.
    Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford, 2018). When he’s not quietly reading or happily talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.
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    • 1h 25 min
    Michael Schuman, "Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World" (PublicAffairs, 2020)

    Michael Schuman, "Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World" (PublicAffairs, 2020)

    We stand on the eve of a different kind of world, but comprehending it is difficult: we are so accustomed to dealing with the paradigms of the contemporary world that we inevitably take them for granted, believing that they are set in concrete rather than themselves being the subject of longer-run cycles of historical change.
    – Martin Jacques, When China Rules the World
    The biggest question of the twenty-first century is: What does China want? China is without question the rising power of the age. What that means for the current global order, crafted and led by the United States since the end of World War II, is the topic of think tank studies, Congressional hearings, vats of newsprint, and dinner conversations from Washington to Tokyo. What exactly will China do with its new power? Will China become a partner to the West and its allies, or will it wish to change the world, to promote new values, institutions, and patterns of trade and finance? Will it play by our rules, or write new ones? … The answer to these questions is, at its heart, quite simple: China wants what it always had. China was a superpower for almost all of its history, and it wants to be a superpower again.
    This comes from the first chapter of Schuman’s Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World (Public Affairs Press, 2020). A perceptive and interesting selective historical narrative that identifies China’s exceptionalism and points out key moments in its long-standing existence as a superpower – militarily, economically, and culturally. A key and recurring theme is how China’s own perception of itself has changed over the centuries and should prove helpful to anyone trying to better understand our current historical moment. Schuman’s purpose is to help readers better develop a more nuanced background concerning China’s role in the world today and the future, as well as the West’s relationship with this Confucian-based civilization. Nicely written with a critical and cohesive theme linking back to his opening notion that ‘there is so such thing as world history – at least not one that holds the same meaning for everyone.’ Available in Audible, Kindle, and hardcover versions.
    Michael Schuman has been a journalist based in East Asia since 1996 and writes extensively about the region’s history and current affairs. Formerly a correspondent with The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine he now writes for The Atlantic and Bloomberg Opinion – this is his third book.
    Keith Krueger lectures at the SHU-UTS Business School in Shanghai.
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    • 53 min
    E. Bruce Geelhoed, "Diplomacy Shot Down: The U-2 Crisis and Eisenhower's Aborted Mission to Moscow, 1959–1960" (U Oklahoma Press, 2020)

    E. Bruce Geelhoed, "Diplomacy Shot Down: The U-2 Crisis and Eisenhower's Aborted Mission to Moscow, 1959–1960" (U Oklahoma Press, 2020)

    The history of the Cold War is littered with what-ifs, and in Diplomacy Shot Down: The U-2 Crisis and Eisenhower's Aborted Mission to Moscow, 1959–1960 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2020), Professor of History, E. Bruce Geelhoed of Ball State University explores one of the most intriguing: What if the Soviets had not shot down the American U-2 spy plane and President Dwight D. Eisenhower had visited the Soviet Union in 1960 as planned?
    In August 1959, with his second term nearing its end, Eisenhower made the surprise announcement that he and Soviet premier Nikita S. Khrushchev would visit each other’s countries as a means of “thawing some of the ice” of the Cold War. Khrushchev’s trip to the United States in September 1959 resulted in plans for a four-power summit involving Great Britain and France, and for Eisenhower’s visit to Russia in early summer 1960. Then, in May 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 surveillance plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers.
    The downing of Powers’s plane was, in Professor Geelhoed’s unorthodox recounting of this episode in Cold War history, not just a diplomatic crisis. The ensuing collapse of the summit and the subsequent cancelation of Eisenhower’s trip to the Soviet Union amounted to a critical missed opportunity for improved US-Soviet relations at a crucial juncture in the Cold War.
    In a blow-by-blow description of the diplomatic overtures, the U-2 incident, and the aftermath, Diplomacy Shot Down draws upon Eisenhower’s projected itinerary and unmade speeches and statements, as well as the American and international press corps’ preparations for covering the aborted visit, to give readers a sense of what might have been. Eisenhower’s prestige within the Soviet Union was so great, Geelhoed imaginatively observes, that the trip, if it had happened, could well have led to a détente in the increasingly dangerous US-Soviet relationship.
    Instead, the cancellation of Ike’s visit led to a heightening of tensions that played out around the globe and nearly guaranteed that the “missile gap” would reemerge as an issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. A detailed account, based almost entirely on American sources of an episode that some would say helped to define the Cold War for a generation, Diplomacy Shot Down is, in its narrative, something rarer still—a behind-the-scenes look at history in the unmaking.
    Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, and the University of Rouen’s online periodical Cercles.
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    • 54 min

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