Encyclopedic in its approach, Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Viking, $30) provides the most comprehensive and penetrating portrait yet of the legendary black activist. Marable, a historian who died on the eve of this book’s publication, drew on diaries, letters, FBI and CIA documents, and interviews with people who had been silent for decades. He peels away the layers of myth that have arisen around Malcolm as a result of Malcolm’s own memoir and the efforts of both supporters and opponents after his assassination in 1965 at the age of 39. The result is a biography that meticulously charts the complex and contradiction-filled evolution of Malcolm’s political and religious beliefs and also sets Malcolm’s life within the larger context of 20th-century racial developments.

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143120322
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - December 28th, 2011

For those who read the initial installments of Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (Little, Brown, $27.99) in The Washington Post, this book offers an even more extensive, astonishing, alarming, and ultimately dismaying look at the growth of America’s classified world. Authors Dana Priest and William M. Arkin go beyond startling statistics about the rising numbers of security clearances, intelligence reports, and mysterious office complexes to provide case after case documenting the bloat and chaos of the security state. Among the issues they examine are the proliferation of government anti-terrorism programs, the wasteful redundancy of Northern Command, the adoption by local law-enforcement of programs and equipment originally developed to fight terrorists, and the admission by several top intelligence and military officials that even they don’t fully grasp all the programs under their responsibility. In fact, one of the most revealing aspects of the book is how many of those involved in this secret world are themselves upset about all the duplicative or necessary programs.

Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316182201
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - September 11th, 2012

You will find some newsy revelations in Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda (Times Books, $27). But what really makes this book significant is the overarching story Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker have pieced together about the evolution of thinking within the Bush and Obama administrations. They explain in considerable detail how the strategy for combating violent extremism has progressed from President Bush’s initial instinct to dispatch U.S. forces to kill or capture terrorists, to what is now a much more nuanced and complex approach aimed at trying to deter terrorism through all sorts of means. This can range from going after the financing of terrorist networks to information operations designed to discredit al Qaeda among the larger Muslim public. Just like deterrence policy during the Cold War, this new deterrence strategy against terrorists and their supporters can, the authors suggest, eventually succeed in altering enemy behavior.

Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250012197
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 7th, 2012