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Books by FPRI Scholars

Image of Clio's Battles: Historiography in Practice

Clio's Battles: Historiography in Practice

Jeremy Black

To write history is to consider how to explicate the past, to weigh the myriad possible approaches to the past, and to come to terms with how the past can be and has been used. In this book, prize-winning historian Jeremy Black considers both popular and academic approaches to the past. His focus is on the interaction between the presentation of the past and current circumstances, on how history is used to validate one view of the present or to discredit another, and on readings of the past that unite and those that divide. Black opens with an account that underscores the differences and developments in traditions of writing history from the ancient world to the present. Subsequent chapters take up more recent decades, notably the post-Cold War period, discussing how different perspectives can fuel discussions of the past by individuals interested in shaping public opinion or public perceptions of the past. Black then turns to the possible future uses of the then past as a way to gain perspective on how we use the past today. Clio’s Battles is an ambitious account of the engagement with the past across world history and of the clash over the content and interpretation of history and its implications for the present and future.

Image of The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts

The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts

Dominic Tierney

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Why has America stopped winning wars?

Image of The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today

The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today

Colin Dueck

By mid-2015, the Obama presidency will be entering its final stages, and the race among the successors in both parties will be well underway. And while experts have already formed a provisional understanding of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals, the shape of the "Obama Doctrine" is finally coming into full view. It has been consistently cautious since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, but recent events in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Far East have led an increasingly large number of foreign policy experts to conclude that caution has transformed into weakness.

Image of The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators

The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators

Sarah Bush

Few government programs that aid democracy abroad today seek to foster regime change. Technical programs that do not confront dictators are more common than the aid to dissidents and political parties that once dominated the field. What explains this 'taming' of democracy assistance? This book offers the first analysis of that puzzle. In contrast to previous research on democracy aid, it focuses on the survival instincts of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that design and implement democracy assistance.

Image of A Short History of Britain

A Short History of Britain, 2nd Edition

Jeremy Black

Covering over 2,000 years in under 200 pages, Jeremy Black takes the reader on a breathless tour of British history, providing invaluable context for students of any period. A truly British overview, this book covers all four constituent parts of the UK, as well as migration to and from Britain, and introduces questions of national identity and collective memory. 

Image of What Good Is Grand Strategy?: Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush

What Good Is Grand Strategy?: Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush

Hal Brands

Grand strategy is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. In this important book, Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring―and so elusive―to those who make American statecraft. He explores what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right amid the turbulence of global affairs and the chaos of domestic politics. At a time when “grand strategy” is very much in vogue, Brands critically appraises just how feasible that endeavor really is.

Image of US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Evolution of an Incidental Superpower

US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Evolution of an Incidental Superpower

Mackubin Thomas Owens

Safe from the battlefields of Europe and Asia, the United States led the post-World War II global economic recovery through international assistance and foreign direct investment. With an ardent decolonization agenda and a postwar legitimacy, the United States attempted to construct a world characterized by cooperation. When American optimism clashed with Soviet expansionism, the United States started on a path to global hegemony.

Image of China's Challenges

China's Challenges

Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein

When the "fifth generation" of Communist Party leaders in China assumed top political positions in 2012-2013, they took the helm of a country that has achieved remarkable economic growth, political stability, and international influence. Yet China today confronts challenges at least as daunting as any it has faced since the reform era began in the late 1970s. In November 2013, the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee announced ambitious reforms to address vital issues, such as giving market forces a "decisive role" in the economy, strengthening the social safety net, assigning greater weight to factors other than economic growth and social order in evaluating local officials, promoting urbanization, and relaxing the "one child" policy.

Image of A Century of Conflict: War, 1914-2014

A Century of Conflict: War 1914-2014

Jeremy Black

The centenary of the start of World War One in 1914 provides an opportunity to assess the role and impact of conflict in the history of the last century, and also to consider how warfare has changed. A Century of Conflict offers a clear, global study of these topics that is both conceptually and methodologically up to date. Renowned historian Jeremy Black gives special consideration to Asia, Africa, and Latin America, placing the more conventional cast of conflicts--namely the two World Wars and the Cold War--into wider geographical and social contexts.

Image of War in the Modern World, 1990-2014 (Warfare and History)

War in the Modern World, 1990-2014

Jeremy Black

In War in the Modern World, 1990-2014, Jeremy Black looks at the most modern of conflicts from the perspective that war is a central feature of the modern world. Arguing that understanding non-Western developments is crucial if the potential of Western war-making is to be assessed accurately, the book also asserts that knowing the history of conflict can only help future generations.

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