White House Books & Reviews

The Cowboy Patriot

In retrospect, the film Green Berets serves rather neatly, in conjunction with reviews in the New York Times and other high-toned publications, to illustrate the period's sharp split between elite and mass opinion on the Vietnam War.

Home and Abroad

At this point, it is too early to tell whether to be optimistic or whether the only healthy response to our current domestic economic discontents will be to lower expectations. Perhaps books like The End of Affluence and The Good Life

Through the Garbage Can, Darkly, Review of David Williams's Japan and the Enemies of Open Political Science

This is a work of criticism ranging over the more fashionable social sciences and humanities, assessing and mostly rejecting them as unsuitable for elucidating the Japanese political system and berating their exponents for ignoring that system in

The Bureaucrat Spy, Review of Robert M. Gates' From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

Robert M. Gates entered CIA toward the end of its best years, and the history he recounts of the ensuing twenty-odd years is strewn with untidy crises and a mix of CIA successes and disasters, brilliant insights, and woeful miscalls. Gates describ

Road Hogs, Review of Joshua Muravchik's The Imperative of American Leadership

Two of the books reviewed here describe how Joshua Muravchik and the late Eric Nordlinger read the post-Soviet map and would have us travel upon it. Both recommend sharp turns at high speeds. The third contains the counsel of Peter Rodman, a man l

The Man Who Liked Reporters

Marlin Fitzwater was the most effective and well-liked press secretary since John F. Kennedy's Pierre Salinger. Fitzwater spent six years working for two presidents of markedly different public styles, Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and lived to t

Vietnam Made Him; Review of Colin Powell's My American Journey

As members of the Washington elite go, Colin Powell is an exceptionally attractive person.

Best of Buddies; Review of Anatoly Dobrynin's In Confidence

Washington has lived by leaks and rumors for a very long time, but until the collapse of communism there was one person in town with whom it was always safe to let your hair down.

Bernadotte and Shamir

Marton's qualifications to write a book about the Middle East are slightly higher than Bernadotte's were to make peace there, but in the end it comes to the same: two boy scouts setting up pup-tents in minefields.

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April 21, 2014