Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 11:04 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 11:04 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: Vietnam and books

7 December 2011 16:11

Below, Alexander Burns answers Andrew Carr's call for books of the year. But first, an anonymous reader responds to Sam Roggeveen's request for online resources about Vietnam.

For starters, I'd recommend Ben Bland's (FT Hanoi correspondent) occasional column.

Also, UNSW/ADFA Prof Carl Thayer, probably the leading academic expert on contemporary Vietnamese politics, publishes all of his thoughtful analysis for free.

Interestingly, US academic Tran Huu Dung — who took over the excellent Arts & Letters Daily — also runs a Vietnam politics newsroll, though mainly in Vietnamese.

And for laughs, Australian expat perspectives on Hanoi.

Alexander Burns:

I'm doing a Monash University PhD on strategic culture. My list of best books for 2011 include:

  • Richard K. Betts, American Force: Dangers, Delusions and Dilemmas in National Security (Columbia University Press).
  • Jason Burke, The 9/11 Wars (Penguin Global).
  • Colin S Gray, The Strategy Bridge: Theory for Practice (Oxford University Press USA).
  • Antti Ilmanen, Expected Returns: An Investors' Guide to Harvesting Market Returns (John Wiley & Sons).
  • Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux).
  • William C Martel, Victory in War: Foundations of Modern Strategy (Cambridge University Press, 2011 revised edition).
  • Ali Soufan, The Black Banners: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda (WW Norton & Company).
  • William Strunk, The Elements of Style (The Elements of Style Press, 2011 revised edition).

A few 2010 books that I discovered in 2011:

  • Beatrice Heuser, The Evolution of Strategy: Thinking War from Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Michael C Horowitz, The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics (Princeton University Press, 2010).
  • Mark Schafer & Scott Crichlow, Groupthink Versus High-Quality Decision-Making in International Relations (Columbia University Press, 2010).

Highly recommended for its conceptual framework, which I re-read in 2011:

  • Terry L Diebel, Foreign Affairs Strategy: Logic for American Statecraft (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

On my 2012 'must read' list:

  • Milton Leitenberg, Raymond A Zilinskas & Dr Jens H Kuhn, The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History (Harvard University Press, June 2012).