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David Priess

Recommended Books

26 books on the list
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The Field of Blood book cover
The Field of Blood
Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War
Joanne B. Freeman - 2019-09-10 (first published in 2018)
Goodreads Rating
The previously untold story of the violence in Congress that helped spark the Civil WarIn The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legi...
David Priess
One of the most rewarding books I’ve read in recent years—and I read *a lot* of books. If you have even a passing interest in American history or things congressional, you’ll love it. I promise.      source
Also recommended by
Norman Ornstein
Why We Did It book cover
Why We Did It
A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell
Tim Miller - 2022-06-28
Goodreads Rating
Former Republican political operative Tim Miller admits what no one else on the right ever will: they all encouraged the madness that has overtaken the party. The Trumpification of the American right was the inevitable result of a series of decisions made by people like Tim Miller over the past decade. In a book that is part memoir, part anatomy of...
David Priess
I’ve resisted tweeting about @Timodc’s book WHY WE DID IT because, well, I haven’t read it. But I just finished the audiobook version—read masterfully by @BloombergVO—and … WOW. It’s blisteringly honest, blisteringly insightful, and blisteringly funny. Read it—or listen. Now.      source
Rising Tiger book cover
Rising Tiger
A Thriller (The Scot Harvath Series Book 21)
Brad Thor - 2022-07-05
Goodreads Rating
Deadly operative Scot Harvath faces down the country’s most powerful enemy in #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Brad Thor’s new white-knuckle thriller. An unprecedented, potentially nation-ending threat has materialized on the world stage. Though the United States has long been aware of the growing risk, administration...
David Priess
I’ve finished the new @BradThor book RISING TIGER. And it delivers! It’s fiction, yes—but its rich in-story context of the US-India-Japan-Australia “Quad, the Russia-Ukraine war, and Havana Syndrome makes it eerily compelling as a “what if” for national security watchers. 👍🇺🇸🎯      source
A Taste for Poison book cover
A Taste for Poison
Eleven Deadly Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them
Neil Bradbury - 2022-02-01
Goodreads Rating
As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, poison is one of the most enduring—and popular—weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we ...
David Priess
@almakatsu Neil’s book “A Taste of Poison” is a great resource for writers—full of symptoms, timelines, etc. for many poisons      source
Doom book cover
The Politics of Catastrophe
Niall Ferguson - 2021-05-04
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
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 HewittPeter Boghossian
The Cabinet book cover
The Cabinet
George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution
Lindsay M. Chervinsky - 2020-04-07
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
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 book cover
U.S. Intelligence and the Confrontation in Poland, 1980-1981
Douglas MacEachin - 2004-07-01 (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
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 book cover
The Storm Before the Storm
The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
Mike Duncan - 2018-10-16 (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
@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 book cover
Raven Rock
The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die
Garrett M. Graff - 2018-05-22 (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
@aussieintel Not my area of expertise. But this book is a great primer:      source
After Trump book cover
After Trump
Reconstructing the Presidency
Bob Bauer - 2020-08-31
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
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
In the Dark of War book cover
In the Dark of War
Sarah M. Carlson - 2020-06-23
Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor
Nuking the Moon by Vince Houghton
The Targeter by Nada Bakos
The Assault on Intelligence by Michael V. Hayden
Contact by Carl Sagan
Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden
Playing to the Edge by Michael V. Hayden
Debunking 9/11 Myths by Popular Mechanics
The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor
Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis
Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi
Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden
31 Days by Barry Werth
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins