January 03, 2011

Some Great Stuff I Read Over the Holidays

When not drinking whisky with relatives, watching college football, or sitting in a deer blind -- or, uh, drinking whisky with relatives while sitting in a deer blind and getting updates on bowl games via text messages* -- I read some great essays and books over the holiday season. Here are a few of them to kick off your new year:

1. "Counterinsurgency as a Cultural System," by David B. Edwards. This is a gem of a paper published by the author of this magisterial book
on Afghanistan. (And this one
as well.) The U.S. military should welcome such constructive criticism from a leading anthropologist and Afghanistan expert.

2. "Solitude and Leadership," by William Deresiewicz.

3. "Quartered Safe Out Here,"
by George MacDonald Fraser, author of another classic, must-read book on, um, Afghanistan. (I bought this handsome edition
of the latter for my brother-in-law for Christmas.)

4. "The Generals' Victory," by Peter Bergen.

Enjoy, and leave your own suggestions in the comments section.

*I did not actually drink whisky while in a deer blind, though I did sit with relatives and receive bowl game updates. Alcohol and firearms don't mix, kids. And stay in school while you're at it.