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Mary Kaldor's Top Book Recommendations

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

From the Athenian attack on Melos to the My Lai Massacre, from the wars in the Balkans through the first war in Iraq, Michael Walzer examines the moral issues surrounding military theory, war crimes, and the spoils of war. He studies a variety of conflicts over the course of history, as well as the testimony of those who have been most directly involved--participants, decision makers, and victims. In his introduction to this new edition, Walzer specifically addresses the moral issues surrounding the war in and occupation of Iraq, reminding us once again that "the argument about war and... more
Recommended by Mary Kaldor, Cécile Fabre, and 2 others.

Mary KaldorThere is a long history of literature on what counts as a just war. (Source)

Cécile FabreI should say that I disagree with many of the claims that Walzer makes in the book (Source)

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David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, a ground-breaking theorist whose ideas "are revolutionizing military thinking throughout the west" (Washington Post). Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the Surge," now recognized as a dramatic success.
In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Kilcullen takes us "on the ground" to uncover the face of modern...
Recommended by Mary Habeck, Mary Kaldor, and 2 others.

Mary HabeckKilcullen writes from both a theoretical and an experiential point of view. (Source)

Mary KaldorCounter-insurgency, according to Kilcullen, is about protecting people and about separating the accidental guerrillas from the real Al-Qaida people. (Source)

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We are just beginning to see a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make the stuff of I, Robot and the Terminator all too real. More then seven thousand robotic systems are now in Iraq. Pilots in Nevada are remotely killing terrorists in Afghanistan. Scientists are debating just how smart - and how lethal - to make their current robotic prototypes. And many of the most renowned science fiction authors are secretly consulting for the Pentagon on the next generation.
Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies...
Recommended by Daniel H Wilson, Mary Kaldor, and 2 others.

Daniel H WilsonIn terms of science fiction becoming real, this book just blows you away. (Source)

Mary KaldorIn 2004 there were 150 robots being used in Iraq. By 2008 there were 12,000. (Source)

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From a highly decorated general, a brilliant new way of understanding war and its role in the twenty-first century.

Drawing on his vast experience as a commander during the first Gulf War, and in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland, General Rupert Smith gives us a probing analysis of modern war. He demonstrates why today’s conflicts must be understood as intertwined political and military events, and makes clear why the current model of total war has failed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other recent campaigns. Smith offers a compelling contemporary vision for how to secure our world...
Recommended by Mike Maclay, Mary Kaldor, and 2 others.

Mike MaclayWhat Smith sees is that making war has increasingly had to encompass the disciplines usually understood in diplomacy. (Source)

Mary KaldorThe era of industrial war, of Clausewitzian war, is over, that war is not fought by soldiers against other soldiers any more. (Source)

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On War

Carl von Clausewitz's On War has been called, "not simply the greatest, but the only truly great book on war." It is an extraordinary attempt to construct an all-embracing theory of how war works. Its coherence and ambition are unmatched by other military literature. On War is full of sharp observation, biting irony, and memorable phrases, the most famous being, "War is a continuation of politics by other means."

About the Author
Except for a brief stint in 1812 when he served in the Russian army, Clausewitz spent his whole career, from the age of...


Reid HoffmanReid read Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu as a boy, which informed his strategic thinking. (Source)

Ryan HolidayI know this will offend many strategy purists, but for most audiences I recommend these two books only with a pretty strong disclaimer. While both are clearly full of strategic wisdom, they are hard to separate from their respective eras and brands of warfare. As budding strategists in business and in life, most of us are really looking for advice that can help us with our own problems. The... (Source)

Mary KaldorThis is the sort of Bible of military strategists. (Source)

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