Editor’s note: War Books is a weekly MWI series, in which we ask interesting guests—practitioners, experts, or experienced students of war—to list five books that have shaped the way they understand war, warfare, and strategy. This edition of War Books originally appeared last year.
Top Five Books
Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Evelyn Waugh, Sword of Honour Trilogy
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
Stanley Kubrick (director), Dr. Strangelove
Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History
The One That Shaped Me The Most
In my judgment, Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History, published in 1952, remains the most important book ever written about US foreign policy. It makes the crucial point that the origins of US policy come from within. We do what we do in the world largely in response to our own illusions of who we are as a people and what we are summoned to do as a nation.