Experts > Chris Abbott

Chris Abbott's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Chris Abbott recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Chris Abbott's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Blair's Wars

No Prime Minister in modern times has led Britain into as many wars as Tony Blair. In six years in office he has committed forces to action in Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. This work shows how Blair's government has sought to be at the forefront of a new and turbulent world order. less
Recommended by Chris Abbott, and 1 others.

Chris AbbottKampfner talks about the failure of government decision-making and focuses on the fact that the style of decision-making was very presidential and involved a very small group of political appointees… (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

When Losing Control was first published a decade ago it was years ahead of its time. Its argument was simple - the real causes of global insecurity were the widening socio-economic divide, global marginalisation and environmental limitations, especially climate change and conflict over energy resources.

Paul Rogers, one of the most original thinkers on international security, pointed to a world in which irregular warfare from the margins would prevent powerful states from maintaining their position. He even predicted accurately how the United States would respond to a...
Recommended by Chris Abbott, and 1 others.

Chris AbbottThe reason why this is top of my list, is that it introduces a key concept, the notion of liddism. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

Award-winning reporter Jason Burke shows how the threat from Islamic terrorism comes not from a single criminal mastermind, or even from one group. In this revealing account, he characterizes it is a broad movement with profound roots in the politics, societies and history of the Islamic world. Using hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents, Burke shows how "Al-Qaeda" is a convenient label applied misleadingly to a diverse, disorganized global movement dedicated to fighting a "cosmic battle" with the West. This is the definitive account of the mysterious organization, retelling its... more
Recommended by Peter Bergen, Chris Abbott, and 2 others.

Peter BergenThis is a very deeply reported book but I don’t agree with its analysis of Al-Qaeda’s structure. Burke sees Al-Qaeda as more of a disorganised movement, which grew up organically in Afghanistan. I think that that is incorrect. (Source)

Chris AbbottBurke argues that al Qaeda isn’t a structured terrorist organisation. It’s a core of bin Laden and his supporters, then the wider network and then the ideology of it, of freeing Muslim lands… (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...



A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this hardcover edition.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave...

Richard BransonToday is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime. (Source)

Steve Jobscalled this book "one of his favorite" and recommended it to the hires. The book also inspired one the greatest TV ad (made by Jobs) (Source)

D J TaylorIn terms of how technology is working in our modern surveillance powers, it’s a terrifyingly prophetic book in some of its implications for 21st-century human life. Orwell would deny that it was prophecy; he said it was a warning. But in fact, distinguished Orwell scholar Professor Peter Davis once made a list of all the things that Orwell got right, and it was a couple of fairly long paragraphs,... (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

An American Coup & the Roots of Middle East Terror
Half a century ago, the United States overthrew a Middle Eastern government for the first time. The victim was Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran. Although the coup seemed a success at first, today it serves as a chilling lesson about the dangers of foreign intervention.In this book, veteran New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer gives the first full account of this fateful operation. His account is centered around an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the events of August 1953, and concludes with...
Recommended by Demetri Sevastopulo, Chris Abbott, and 2 others.

Demetri SevastopuloOn a totally different topic, this book by @stephenkinzer is a great look at US & UK relations with #Iran before the revolution. Lots of interesting similarities with the situation today. (Source)

Chris AbbottKinzer gives a good and quick introduction to Iranian history and its relationships with America and Britain. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

Don't have time to read Chris Abbott's favorite books? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.