Your Mid-August Reading Tips, Part I

Suarez.jpg1) Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez. Over the months Atlantic writers have considered how much less attractive military-drone technology will seem, from the American perspective, when it is no longer a U.S. monopoly. See installments by Steve Clemons, Robert Wright, and me, including allusions to David Ignatius's novel Bloodmoney.

In Ignatius's book, drones were an incidental motivating factor. In Daniel Suarez's Kill Decision, they are the center of the action. Timely, cautionary -- and of course very interesting.

2) The Party Is Over, by Mike Lofgren.

Lofgren is a long-time Congressional staff member, recently retired, whom I have quoted frequently in this space. His new book, which came out just last week, is an expansion of the jeremiad from him that I discussed last year. For a gloss on his topic and appropriately sympathetic book review, see this essay by my friend (and also Lofgren's) Chuck Spinney in Counterpunch. Also this essay by Kelley Vlahos in The American Conservative.

3) "7 Reasons Why Israel Should Not Attack Iran's Nuclear Facilities," by the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, over the weekend on our site. I have one percent as many contacts in Israel as Jeff Goldberg does, but even I have started getting messages from friends there saying that the bomb-Iran drumbeat is reaching new intensity.

From the start, the main problem I have had believing that the Netanyahu team could be serious about these threats is that a bombing attack on Iran would be so recklessly self-defeating, above all for Israel. Goldberg's item lays out the self-defeating aspects systematically and convincingly. Let's hope they are convincing to the audience that matters within the Israeli government.

Stay tuned for Part II, with a China theme, this evening (or when I get to it).
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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