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David Priess

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22 books on the list
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Doom
The Politics of Catastrophe
Niall Ferguson - May 04, 2021
Goodreads Rating
All disasters are in some sense man-made. Setting the annus horribilis of 2020 in historical perspective, Niall Ferguson explains why we are getting worse, not better, at handling disasters.Disasters are inherently hard to predict. Pandemics, like earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises. and wars, are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of...
David Priess
Apr 25, 2021
This is an excellent book, highly recommended—thoughtfully linking everything from earthquakes to pandemics to wars to dystopian sci-fi. You’ll hear me discussing it with @nfergus soon on the Lawfare Podcast.      source
Also recommended by
Hugh Hewitt
The Cabinet
George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
Lindsay M. Chervinsky - Apr 07, 2020
Goodreads Rating
The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet--the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government?On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries--Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, He...
David Priess
Feb 26, 2021
For definitive analysis of what led to this first cabinet session—and how it set the stage for all that has followed it—you’ll do no better than @lmchervinsky’s excellent book “The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution”      source
U.S. Intelligence and the Confrontation in Poland, 1980-1981
Douglas MacEachin - Jul 01, 2004 (first published in 1998)
Goodreads Rating
Despite the U.S. government's sophisticated intelligence capabilities, policy makers repeatedly seemed to be caught off guard when major crises took place during the Cold War. Were these surprises the result of inadequate information, or rather the use made of the information available? In seeking an answer to this question, former CIA analyst Doug...
David Priess
Feb 19, 2021
A legendary intel officer, Doug MacEachin, has left us. Much of his impact, as Joe mentions below, was in improving the critical thinking and writing of those working with him. He also wrote one hell of a book, “U.S. Intelligence and the Confrontation in Poland, 1980–1981.”      source
The Storm Before the Storm
The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
Mike Duncan - Oct 16, 2018 (first published in 2017)
Goodreads Rating
The creator of the award-winning podcast series The History of Rome and Revolutions brings to life the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in centra...
David Priess
Feb 17, 2021
@DennisDonoghue2 @mikeduncan It’s such a great book. And I cited it again, in more detail, on the @BulwarkOnline Podcast just recorded, posting later today!      source
Raven Rock
The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die
Garrett M. Graff - May 22, 2018 (first published in 2017)
Goodreads Rating
A fresh window on American history: The eye-opening truth about the government's secret plans to survive a catastrophic attack on US soil--even if the rest of us die--a roadmap that spans from the dawn of the nuclear age to today. Every day in Washington, DC, the blue-and-gold 1st Helicopter Squadron, codenamed "MUSSEL," flies over the Potomac Rive...
David Priess
Nov 16, 2020
@aussieintel Not my area of expertise. But this book is a great primer:      source
After Trump
Reconstructing the Presidency
Bob Bauer - Aug 31, 2020
Goodreads Rating
In After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency, Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith provide a comprehensive roadmap for reform of the presidency in the post-Trump era—whether that comes in four months or four years.In fourteen chapters they offer more than fifty concrete proposals concerning presidential conflicts of interest, foreign influence on election...
David Priess
Oct 19, 2020
If you predicted five years ago that @BarackObama would praise the ideas of @jacklgoldsmith to 124 million people, stand up. Sit down, liars. Nobody predicted this. These are strange times we’re living in. (Oh, and the book really is good—order here:      source
Debunking 9/11 Myths
Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts
Popular Mechanics - Aug 02, 2011 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
A decade after the World Trade Center disaster, rampant speculation abounds on what actually happened. Wild talk flourishes on the Internet, TV, and radio. Was the Pentagon really struck by a missile? Was the untimely death of Barry Jennings, who witnessed the collapse of Tower 7 and thought he heard “explosions,” actually an assassination ? Not ev...
David Priess
Jul 31, 2020
Today’s 2 books on one topic: when logic and evidence trumps conspiracy theories. “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” by Vincent Bugliosi “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts” by Popular Mechanics      source
Reclaiming History
The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Vincent Bugliosi - May 15, 2007
Goodreads Rating
This extraordinary and historic book required twenty years to research and write. The oft-challenged findings of the Warren Commission Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot and killed President John F. Kennedy are here confirmed beyond all doubt. But "Reclaiming History" does much more than that. In addition to providing a powerful and unprecedente...
David Priess
Jul 31, 2020
Today’s 2 books on one topic: when logic and evidence trumps conspiracy theories. “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” by Vincent Bugliosi “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts” by Popular Mechanics      source
31 Days
Gerald Ford, the Nixon Pardon and A Government in Crisis
Barry Werth - Feb 13, 2007 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
In 31 Days, acclaimed historian Barry Werth takes readers inside the White House during the tumultuous days of August 1974, following Richard Nixon's resignation and the swearing-in of America's "accidental president," Gerald Ford. The Watergate scandal had torn the country apart. In a dramatic, day-by-day account of the new administration’s inner ...
David Priess
Jul 14, 2020
@WTF_Again_ Ford explained his dilemma, and his reasoning, forthrightly in his memoirs. One need not agree with his decision to appreciate his careful deliberation and principled reasons for choosing that option. And this book is a great deep dive into that period:      source
The Targeter
My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House
Nada Bakos - Jun 04, 2019
Goodreads Rating
The story of a young woman from Montana who joined the CIA and worked her way up through the ranks to the frontline of the fight against Islamic extremists.In 1999, 30-year-old Nada Bakos moved from her lifelong home in Montana to Washington, DC, to join the CIA. Quickly realizing her affinity for intelligence work, Nada was determined to rise thro...
David Priess
Jul 05, 2020
Today’s 2 books on one topic: former CIA women telling their stories. “The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House” by Nada Bakos “In the Dark of War: A CIA Officer's Inside Account of the U.S. Evacuation from Libya” by Sarah Carlson      source
Also recommended by
Mark HertlingRyan Goodman
In the Dark of War
A CIA Officer's Inside Account of the U.S. Evacuation from Libya
Sarah M. Carlson - Jun 23, 2020
Goodreads Rating
A CIA officer’s inside account of how Libya’s descent into rampant violence precipitated the harrowing overland evacuation of the entire U.S. Mission from Tripoli after being trapped in the city for weeks.Most of the world is aware of the tragic events surrounding the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Most are also aware ...
David Priess
Jun 22, 2020
Sarah Carlson offers unusual insight into the dramatic evacuation of the US Embassy in Libya in 2014 in this deeply personal account of her traumatic experience as an intelligence analyst supporting that breakneck withdrawal. Read this book!      source
Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis
No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins
Contact by Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden
Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden
The Assault on Intelligence by Michael V. Hayden
Playing to the Edge by Michael V. Hayden
Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor
The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor
Nuking the Moon by Vince Houghton