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John David Lewis's Top Book Recommendations

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

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the 1999 National Book Award for Nonfiction, finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, Embracing Defeat is John W. Dower's brilliant examination of Japan in the immediate, shattering aftermath of World War II.

Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could...
Recommended by John David Lewis, and 1 others.

John David LewisThis is a key study in the effects on the Japanese of the defeat of Japan by the United States in World War II. It shows the actual effects of a ruthless military victory magnanimously enforced by the victor over a defeated nation, and the beneficial consequences that followed for millions of people. The fundamental reason for this success is the shift in the ideas held by the Japanese people. In... (Source)

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America's foreign policy, Mr. Schwartz argues, is driven by the view that the pursuit of self-interest is morally tainted--i.e./ that if we wish to do what is right, we must sacrifice our interests for the sake of other nations. This is why we are so appeasingly apologetic when it comes to asserting our right to live free from the threat of force. It is why we are so hesitant in implementing our moral obligation to eliminate all such threats by military means. It is why we are failing in our war against terrorism. In this uncompromising manifesto, the author calls for a radically different... more
Recommended by John David Lewis, and 1 others.

John David LewisThis book is also about the ideas at the foundation of foreign policy. It establishes a broad framework for an alternative to the problems that Journo finds in his book. What Schwartz maintains is that a foreign policy, like a domestic policy, should be based solely on the self-interest of the nation involved. This is another controversial point of view. But this idea needs to be understood... (Source)

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Eight years after 9/11 and in the shadow of two protracted U.S. military campaigns in the Middle East, the enemy is not only undefeated but emboldened and resurgent. What went wrong_and what should we do going forward? Winning the Unwinnable War shows how our own policy ideas led to 9/11 and then crippled our response in the Middle East, and it makes the case for an unsettling conclusion: By subordinating military victory to perverse, allegedly moral constraints, Washington's policy has undermined our national security. Owing to the significant influence of Just War Theory and... more
Recommended by John David Lewis, and 1 others.

John David LewisJourno has promoted a controversial thesis. He says that America has crippled itself in the war against terrorism by a failure to forthrightly identify its enemies, and to defend itself against them. He says this stems from altruism, which values others over self, which leads to the idea that America must not defeat enemies but rather bow down and appease them. He maintains that the war against... (Source)

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An Obituary For An Idea

An obituary so soon! Surely the reports of neoconservatism's death are greatly exaggerated. C. Bradley Thompson has written (with Yaron Brook) the most comprehensive and original analysis of neoconservatism yet published and in the process has dealt it a mortal blow. "Neoconservatism" reveals publicly for the first time what the neocons call their philosophy of governance their plan for governing America. This book explicates the deepest philosophic principles of neoconservatism, traces the intellectual relationship between the political philosopher Leo Strauss and contemporary... more
Recommended by John David Lewis, and 1 others.

John David LewisThis book focuses deeply on the ideas behind one of the most important political movements of modern day – neoconservatism. Like all of the books I have chosen here, the concern is for how ideas affect human action, and how ideas will lead them to make certain wilful decisions. What Thompson and Brook do is to dissect neoconservatism in terms of its fundamental ideological source, and to trace... (Source)

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The Rise of the Roman Empire

Polybius, himself a Greek and an active contemporary participant in political relations with Rome, wrote the forty books of his Universal History primarily to chronicle and account for the Roman conquest of Greece between 200 and 167 B.C. He saw that Mediterranean history, under Rome's influence, was becoming an organic whole, so he starts his work in 264 B.C. with the beginning of Rome's clash with African Carthage, the rival imperialist power, and
ends with the final destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C.
Recommended by John David Lewis, and 1 others.

John David LewisThe ancient writer Polybius narrates Rome’s rise to dominance over the Mediterranean within a 53-year period, an achievement that he calls unprecedented. He is very concerned with the causes of war. He thinks that war and foreign policy events have definite causes, and he presents a method to understand those causes. For example, he sees Hannibal’s attack on Italy as caused by Hannibal’s... (Source)

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