Highly recommend this biography of James Baker, Washington’s Republican dealmaker. From the early years to the Gulf War, from the disputed election of George W. Bush to the invasion of Iraq, this book gives insights into the life and decision making of one of the most influential Washington insiders of our time. Trusted friend, advisor, and confidante to the Bush family; the ultimate Washington power broker.
Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
A carefully researched and well written work on the last twenty years of US involvement in Afghanistan. Offering a clear eyed assessment of flawed US policy based on changing mission scope, lack of understanding of the enemy, mismanaged global alliances, and a naïve march toward democracy in the region.
The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War
A worthwhile read from Malcolm Gladwell describing how typically unsuccessful we are at discerning other peoples’ veracity. And how we want to believe that others are transparent and truthful, though we are often mistaken. Eye opening and thought provoking.
Talking to Strangers
A truly excellent cradle to grave biography of the incomparable Winston Churchill – his tenacity, fortitude, and courage, as well as his quirks and peccadilloes. A worthwhile read about a man who changed the course of 20th century history.
Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny
An inspiring yet incredibly sad story of the destruction of the town of Villeret, on the border of Belgium and France, during World War I. Bravery in the face of severe hardship and danger on the part of some, and complicity on the part of others. With a range of very human emotions and experiences throughout. An engaging read by Ben McIntyre.
The Englishman’s Daughter
Yet another fabulous tale meticulously written by Ben McIntyre about Operation Mincement, the great deception that preceded the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. A turning point in the War, magnificently told.
An interesting story about a young man in Milan late in WWII as the war is waning, and the Nazis recognize that the end is near. Upon coming of age, he survives the war by joining the Nazis in northern Italy and ultimately becoming the personal driver of a German General. Through this, he gains an inside seat to the Nazi war machine and works in secret to feed information to the Italian resistance. A worthwhile read, and such a story of courage from someone quite young.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
A clear and thoughtful description of the serious limitations of today’s AI. The AI that functions well within narrow contexts but cannot begin to approach broad or general intelligence, or human sentience. AI today as machine learning functioning on large data sets – a far cry from deep understanding and cognitive reasoning. The authors present well developed and reasoned insights into how much more is required for true, sustainable, general artificial intelligence. An enlightening read.
Gary Marcus and Ernest David
Rebooting AI:Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust
An insightful discussion of the factors that have led to inequality within and across the nations of the world, and to a mistrust of global elites and governments. Challenges stemming from technology, globalization, and climate change, as well as lack of effective education, current skills, and broad opportunity. Bremmer methodically compares and contrasts various programs that have been implemented to try to address growing inequality, such as universal basic income and cash transfers. Cogent, thought provoking observations and predictions: the best explanation I have read of the rise of populism in the 21st center, and the “underlying emergencies” that have fomented so much anger and division in our social fabric.
Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism
A delightful and engaging set of allegories from the fascinating life of Admiral William McRaven. Always good to be reminded that persistence matters. And that everything worth achieving takes hard work and support from others.
William H. McRaven
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World
A book every senior executive needs to read! Yes, it has a bit of cyber jargon, but it is almost impossible to discuss the security challenges of cyber and new technologies thoughtfully without some understanding of the underlying components. Bravo to Dick Clarke and Rob Knake on a book deep with real insight and practical, smart recommendations. Well done, gentlemen! This is a book I read with a pen in my hand.
Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake
The Fifth Domain
A wonderful book by Melinda Gates on the importance of empowering women in the developing world, starting with family planning. Melinda Gates’ kindness, humility, intellect, and generosity of sprit come through in the early and late chapters that highlight her own family and professional experiences.
The Moment of Lift
A book everyone should read! A rigorously researched and thoughtfully presented economic history of the US. From the founding of the country and the roots of the Civil War to modern day capitalism and the rise of populism. A wonderful reminder of how the American pioneer spirit set the foundation for innovation and creative destruction. And how today’s dialogue is putting that spirit at risk.
Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge
Capitalism in America: A History
A series of very relatable vignettes about how people have used data and objective information to make better decisions, often contradicting their instincts. Stories of everything from the NBA to the military.
The Undoing Project
AI in geopolitics and big picture implications in everything from international relations to healthcare. Extremely worthwhile if you have interest in AI, the global changes that may occur, and particularly China’s role.
One of the seminal works on cybersecurity. A must read.
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
Reads like a great cyber spy novel – but it’s true. A required read.
Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It