James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Showing posts for "TWE Recommended Reading"

The United States Air Force Celebrates Its 67th Birthday Today

by James M. Lindsay
Air Force Birthday Fly Over The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 fighters perform a fly-over. (Joe Skipper/Courtesy Reuters)

The United States Air Force (USAF) turns 67 years-old today. On September 18, 1947, Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in Stuart Symington as the first secretary of the air force, officially founding a new branch of the U.S. military. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF’s first chief of staff eight days later on September 26, 1947. Read more »

TWE Remembers: Top Ten World War I Films

by James M. Lindsay
World War I The African Queen Likenesses of Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, in character in their roles in the movie "The African Queen," at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Los Angeles. (Courtesy The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

World War I has provided source material for gripping novels and powerful poetry. It also has provided source material for some great movies. Here are my ten favorites in alphabetical order. Read more »

TWE Remembers: World War I Poetry

by James M. Lindsay
World War I Cemetery Soldier A French officer stands near a cemetery for soldiers killed on the front lines of World War I at Saint-Jean-sur-Tourbe on the Champagne front, December 1916. (Collection Odette Carrez/Courtesy Reuters)

I think that I shall never see / A poem as lovely as a tree.” Most Americans know the opening lines of the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. What they probably don’t know is that Kilmer was a war hero—the French government awarded him the Croix de Guerre for bravery—or that he was killed by a German sniper at the Second Battle of the Marne on July 30, 1918. Sadly, Kilmer was far from the only accomplished poet to die while serving during the Great War. Rupert Brooke, John McCrae, Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Charles Sorely, and Edward Thomas were among the poets who did not live to see the war’s end. Read more »

TWE Remembers: World War I Novels

by James M. Lindsay
World War I Soldiers Trenches French soldiers aim an anti-aircraft machine gun from the trenches during World War I. (Collection Odette Carrez/Courtesy Reuters)

Yesterday, I recommended several great books on the origins of World War I. I’m a history buff, so books about what world leaders said and did are my thing. But friends who prefer novels to histories tell me that “fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.” So in that spirit, here are recommendations for novels about World War I. But be warned. These are mostly books about the war’s brutality and senselessness, not its glories and heroics. Read more »

TWE Remembers: World War I Histories

by James M. Lindsay
World War I Books French General Emile Eugene Belin visits the front line near Arras, Northern France. (Collection Odette Carrez/Courtesy Reuters)

You can learn a lot about the origins, events, and consequences of World War I by surfing the Internet. But if you really want to understand why the Great War happened, you should read serious histories on the subject. The problem is that historians have turned out more than 25,000 books and articles on World War I. So where should you start? Here are some recommendations. Read more »

TWE Remembers: World War I on the World Wide Web

by James M. Lindsay
World War I Verdun Medals French General Joseph Joffre congratulates and awards medals to soldiers who fought in the Battle of Verdun. (Collection Odette Carrez/Courtesy Reuters)

On July 28, 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia, triggering what became World War I. Known at the time as the Great War, it was a defining event of the twentieth century. Directly and indirectly it led to the deaths of more than 15 million people, cast four empires on the ash heap of history, and set Europe on the path to World War II. The Internet is full of information on the World War I. Like all things online, however, some resources are better than others. Here are some useful English-language websites to learn more about the war that changed the course of history. Read more »

More Books to Read This Summer

by James M. Lindsay
Books Summer Reading Library Visitors read books at the Liyuan Library in Beijing. (Barry Huang/Courtesy Reuters)

Last week, Bob McMahon, Gideon Rose, and I offered up our summer reading suggestions on The World Next Week podcast. India Adams and her colleagues on the CFR Library staff were not to be outdone. They generated their own, much longer summer reading list, organized by topic. They had a lot of good suggestions, so I thought I’d share the ones that Bob, Gideon, and I haven’t already recommended: Read more »

The World Next Week: Books to Read This Summer

by James M. Lindsay
Summer Reading Books Bookstore A woman reads a book at her open air book store in Skopje, Macedonia. (Ognen Teofilovski/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. This week, Bob McMahon and I took a break from our regular discussion of next week’s news to kick off the summer with some reading recommendations. We were joined by Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, who also gave his suggestions. Read more »

Friday File: Cherry Trees Blossom in Washington, DC

by James M. Lindsay
The cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin are in full bloom in Washington, DC. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters) The cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin are in full bloom in Washington, DC. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters)

Above the Fold. Washington, DC, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Tokyo. It was one hundred years ago next Tuesday that Japan’s largest city gave our nation’s capital 3,000 cherry trees to plant along the banks of the Tidal Basin. (No, George Washington did not plant them, and no, he did not cut down any cherry trees. That story was invented by Parson Mason Weems who wrote a not-quite-accurate biography of Washington shortly after America’s greatest president died.) First lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two trees. Thanks to the splendid caretaking of the National Park Service, the trees have thrived. Seeing them in full bloom brings to mind the lovely words that Henry Wadworth Longfellow wrote long ago: Read more »