I finished two short books at the end of 2008. While I don't think either book was particularly spectacular, both books were insightful. Even if I disagreed with much of what I read in one of the books.
The first book I finished was Norman Podhoretz's World War IV:The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism Podhoretz, longtime editor of the conservative magazine Commentary,
and in the words of Publisher's Weekly, "one of the few proud
neoconservatives remaining", passionately defends the Bush
administration's war on terrorism and above all, the current war in
Iraq. While my disagreements with Podhoretz are legion, his book is
incredibly well written. If nothing else, World War IV is a terrific window into the collective mind of the neoconservative movement.
Well the other book I finished this is James Mann's The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression. Mann's book is short collection of essays on how our leaders,
both Democrat and Republican, justify our nation's rather close
relationship with China. If you are making a list of foreign policy
books to read in 2009, you might want to add Mann's book to your list.
While his book might not be impressive it is short, readable and well