Want to know what books Stephen Glain recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Stephen Glain's favorite book recommendations of all time.
Challenging conventional wisdom about the origins of the war, Porter argues that the main impetus for military intervention in Vietnam came not from presidents Kennedy and Johnson but from high-ranking national security officials in their administrations who were heavily influenced by U.S. dominance over its Cold War foes. Porter argues that presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson were all strongly opposed to sending combat forces to Vietnam, but that both Kennedy and Johnson were strongly pressured by their national security advisers to undertake military intervention. Porter reveals for the first time that Kennedy attempted to open a diplomatic track for peace negotiations with North Vietnam in 1962 but was frustrated by bureaucratic resistance. Significantly revising the historical account of a major turning point, Porter describes how Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara deliberately misled Johnson in the Gulf of Tonkin crisis, effectively taking the decision to bomb North Vietnam out of the president's hands. less
Stephen GlainThe author, Gareth Porter, makes some very interesting points, backed up by his source notes, that put things in a different perspective for me. For example, he points out how utterly weak the Soviet Union was, throughout much of the Cold War, relative to the US. And how defensive its posture was, relative to the US. How it lacked the technology and weaponry that could have allowed it to do the... (Source)
Too influential, according to some. While Rostow inspired respect and affection, he also made some powerful enemies. Averell Harriman, one of America's most celebrated diplomats, described Rostow as "America's Rasputin" for the unsavory... more
Too influential, according to some. While Rostow inspired respect and affection, he also made some powerful enemies. Averell Harriman, one of America's most celebrated diplomats, described Rostow as "America's Rasputin" for the unsavory influence he exerted on presidential decision-making. Rostow was the first to advise Kennedy to send U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam and the first to recommend the bombing of North Vietnam. He framed a policy of military escalation, championed recklessly optimistic reporting, and then advised LBJ against pursuing a compromise peace with North Vietnam.
David Milne examines one man's impact on the United States' worst-ever military defeat. It is a portrait of good intentions and fatal misjudgments. A true ideologue, Rostow believed that it is beholden upon the United States to democratize other nations and do "good," no matter what the cost. America's Rasputin explores the consequences of this idealistic but unyielding dogma. less
Stephen GlainThis is a wonderful book. I came across it because I read a review and it became clear to me that Walter Rostow, the subject of the book, was a singular personality in the panoply of foreign policy militarisation. It’s a very good read. I believe it’s David Milne’s first book, and he just knocks it out of the park. He opens with this amazing anecdote about Robert McNamara. It was his last day in... (Source)
Now Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tim Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA—and everything is on the record. LEGACY OF ASHES is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of... more
Now Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tim Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA—and everything is on the record. LEGACY OF ASHES is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten Directors of Central Intelligence. It takes the CIA from its creation after World War II, through its battles in the cold war and the war on terror, to its near-collapse after September 11th, 2001.
Tim Weiner’s past work on the CIA and American intelligence was hailed as “impressively reported” and “immensely entertaining” in The New York Times.
The Wall Street Journal called it “truly extraordinary . . . the best book ever written on a case of espionage.” Here is the hidden history of the CIA: why eleven presidents and three generations of CIA officers have been unable to understand the world; why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than he found it; and how these failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security. less
Stephen GlainYes. This book reads like the Keystone Kops. It’s amazing how often the CIA just blundered, going from one screw-up to the next, despite having some very intelligent people. But I once listened to Tim Weiner giving an interview and he said something very profound. He said every president since it was created under Truman has abused the CIA. Too often it’s used to prove a presumed fact, a fact... (Source)
Stephen GlainYes, and this gives it an intimacy which other books of this genre don’t necessarily have. He does a great job of twinning his own experiences and memories with the towering personalities of the Cold War, like Curtis LeMay. LeMay figures very heavily in my book, because he is the ultimate militarist who was also in the military. In my book I am very careful to point out that most of the... (Source)
Barack ObamaAccording to the president’s Facebook page and a 2008 interview with the New York Times, these titles are among his most influential forever favorites: Moby Dick, Herman Melville Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson Song Of Solomon, Toni Morrison Parting The Waters, Taylor Branch Gilead, Marylinne Robinson Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton Souls of Black... (Source)
Chad DickersonJust finished Best and the Brightest (long and detailed book on the Vietnam War) & if I learned one thing it’s that many assume people in charge of a war have a clear plan that should be supported out of patriotic duty & it’s highly possible they don’t. Skepticism is patriotic. (Source)
Martin BellI started off doing tribal massacres in Nigeria. Then in early 1967 I went to Vietnam and was back there in 1972. David Halberstam was the main New York Times correspondent in Vietnam during that time. Lyndon Johnson lent very heavily on the newspaper’s editor to get him withdrawn because he didn’t like his reports. Halberstam was very truthful about what he found. (Source)
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