Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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September's books of the month

Today is the fifth anniversary of this blog. I'll have more to say about that in the next post, but it informs my book choices for this month. In celebration of five years, I'm shamelessly picking books written by close friends.

This month's international relations book is Amy Zegart's Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11. The book examines the intelligence failures that preceded September 11 -- and why the CIA and FBI did not adapt to post-Cold War threats. To do this, she examines the innumerable reform and panel proposals made prior to 9/11 -- and why they were not carried out.

No one really likes Spying Blind -- oh, except for a chair of the 9/11 Commission, a chair of the Hart-Rudman commission, the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, and three of the leading scholars on organizational behavior. Oh, and Lee Hamilton.

Zegart has been this blog's Official Advisor on All Matters Pertaining to Foreign Policy Bureaucracies since its inception. Any smart presidential candidate should put Zegart on their speed dial before they say anything about intelligence or homeland security reform.

The general interest book is Jack Goldsmith's The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration. Jack really doesn't need the blog endorsement, as his book has apparently caught some people's eye.

You can click on my take on Goldsmith here.

posted by Dan on 09.12.07 at 02:08 PM


I haven't read Zegart yet, but another go to guy on intelligence reform should be Richard Posner.

posted by: Dan on 09.12.07 at 02:08 PM [permalink]

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