The best books on The Non-Aligned Movement, recommended by Paul Stubbs

The Non-Aligned Movement was a loose alliance of more than 100 member states whose heyday was during the Cold War, though it continues to exist today. Here, sociologist Paul Stubbs chooses five books to illustrate the cultural, political and economic influence of the Non-Aligned Movement and argues the ideas that animated it are still of vital importance.

The best books on Neoliberalism, recommended by Gary Gerstle

Neoliberalism is, arguably, the dominant political and economic ideology of the Western world, although its dominance is contested and the ills of the world are often laid at its door. Here Cambridge historian Gary Gerstle discusses five books that will help you understand neoliberalism’s origins, its ambitions and why it has been supported and opposed with such partisanship.

The best books on Bosnia, recommended by Velma Šarić

As a teenager, Velma Šarić’s hometown of Kladanj welcomed refugees from eastern Bosnia as it was bombed and shelled, her primary school eventually becoming a shelter for people fleeing the massacre at Srebenica. Now she runs Sarajevo’s Post-Conflict Research Centre, trying to prevent anything like it from ever happening again. She recommends books to read on the Bosnian War and explains that it was not a war between different communities, but rather an assault on the country’s multiethnic, multicultural identity.

The best books on Brexit, recommended by Anand Menon

Brexit shook British politics in 2016 and, six years on, its long-term consequences both for the UK and for the European Union remain highly uncertain. Here political scientist and Brexit expert Anand Menon recommends books to help you understand Brexit, what caused it and why, and puts those trends in a wider global political context.

The best books on The Civil Rights Era, recommended by Lerone Martin

The struggle for Black freedom in America has been going on since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the continent, but it was the civil rights era of 1954 to 1968 that finally resulted in a raft of legislation that gave equal citizenship to Black people in the United States. Here, Professor Lerone Martin of Stanford University recommends the best books to understand the American civil rights movement, with a focus on some of the individuals who were key to its success.

The best books on The Cold War, recommended by Archie Brown

American military and economic superiority cannot explain why the Cold War came to an end in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to the historian Archie Brown, you need to accept the primacy of politics and human agency both in the USSR and the West. He chooses five books to understand the Cold War and offers some broader reflections on the qualities of good political leadership—then and now.

The best books on Chernobyl, recommended by Kate Brown

While widely regarded as the world’s worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl’s legacy remains fiercely contested, with death tolls ranging from 31 to 200,000. MIT historian Kate Brown, who has spent years in the Chernobyl archives, picks the best books on the disaster, compares its impact with atomic bomb testing, and argues for more research into low-dose radiation exposure

The Best Vietnam War Books, recommended by Karl Marlantes

In 1968 Karl Marlantes was a 22-year old Rhodes scholar and did not have to go to Vietnam. He nonetheless joined the US Marine Corps, ending up with multiple medals but also lifelong PTSD. In this interview, he recommends the best Vietnam War books, exploring its moral ambiguities, the warrior mentality and the humanity of ‘the enemy.’

The best books on June 4th, 1989, recommended by Jeffrey Wasserstrom

In contrast to Eastern Europe, the 1989 protests in China did not lead to the overthrow of the Communist Party. But if China’s leaders chose the right course on June 4th, 1989, why are they still frightened to come to terms with it? Sinologist and historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom picks the best books to understand events at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and around China on that hot summer night.

The best books on Viruses, recommended by Dorothy H. Crawford

Many of us have developed a new fascination for viruses and virology during the global COVID-19 crisis. Here, Dorothy Crawford, professor of medical microbiology and the author of Viruses: A Very Short Introduction, selects five of the best books on viruses for the general reader.

The best books on The Korean War, recommended by Bruce Cumings

Before Vietnam, America fought in the Korean War—but its role in that conflict has been far less examined. Award-winning historian Bruce Cumings talks about the misconceptions many people still hold, and how they distort our understanding of the current North Korean regime.

The best books on 9/11, recommended by Yosri Fouda

Who was Osama bin Laden? How critical was he to the 9/11 attacks on the United States? What happened in the first 100 days at Guantanamo Bay? Who was in charge of the United States when George W Bush went into hiding? What should we make of all the conspiracy theories that have sprung up around the events of that day? Yosri Fouda, the veteran Egyptian investigative reporter, author and TV host talks us through his choice of the best books on 9/11.

The best books on Osama bin Laden, recommended by Peter Bergen

Many thought that 9/11 was the start of an Al-Qaeda assault on the West, but it turned out to be Bin Laden’s Pearl Harbor – a victory that led to strategic defeat – says Peter Bergen, one of the few reporters who met the Saudi-born militant.

The Best Speeches of All Time, recommended by Clarence B Jones

Which were the best speeches ever made? Clarence B Jones, lawyer, friend and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr—and contributor to the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech—chooses his top five, and explains what is that makes these famous speeches so good.

The best books on Modern British History, recommended by Andrew Hindmoor

What will historians say about the latest period in British history? What has stayed the same, and what is vastly different from our parents’ generation? Andrew Hindmoor, professor of politics at the University of Sheffield and author of Twelve Days that Made Modern Britain, recommends books that give insights into contemporary British history.

The best books on 20th Century Russia, recommended by Francis Spufford

Reading about Russia’s 20th century is like finding another vision of how the world might have been. Francis Spufford, author of Red Plenty, recommends books that tell the story of Russia in the last century — from Soviet science fiction set in capitalist wastelands to Khrushchev as raconteur.