The Spine

Reading List

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New Republic Books is a publishing imprint of the Yale University Press. Its first two titles are just about to appear, and they can be ordered from Powells online.

The first is Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World by Joshua Kurlantzick, special Asia correspondent for TNR. China has had many successes in foreign policy and there have been commensurate defeats for the United States. Thus far, China has specialized in using "soft power." But not always. And there are the obvious alternatives for Beijing about which Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Pakistan and Australia are very conscious. Soft power, not exactly a peaceful world.

The second book to be published by TNR/Yale is Michael Makovsky's Churchill's Promised Land: Zionism and Statecraft. I first knew it when the author was preparing a Ph.D. dissertation in History at Harvard University, where his thesis supervisor was perhaps the most noted diplomatic historian of the age, Ernest May. In any case, it is now a tense and beautifully written narrative, tense because the stakes were always enormous and beautifully written perhaps to meet the romance of the story. Churchill was a Zionist, a Christian Zionist entranced by the romance of the Jewish restoration. But he was primarily a servant of his country and the empire.
Still, he believed that the Jewish writ to Palestine was "of right, not by sufferance."

There is a long list of books in process, so to speak. One of them, designated for the fall, is edited by the magazine's editor, Frank Foer. It is called Election 2008: A Voter's Guide, and that's what it's about. What you need to know about the presidential candidates, and a lot that you don't actually need to know... but will make you very informed at a party and, more importantly, to yourself.

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