The best books on Who Terrorists Are, recommended by Jessica Stern

International terror expert Jessica Stern takes a close look at the mind of the terrorist. She explores why people are drawn to extreme violence and how, in many cases, terrorists can build their identities around ideologies that they hold in an ultimately shallow way

The best books on Drone Warfare, recommended by Hugh Gusterson

The introduction of drones “makes possible perpetual war without costs”, warns the anthropology professor and security expert Hugh Gusterson. Here he selects the best books that examine their ethical, psychological and political impact upon 21st century warfare.

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 books on Al-Qaeda, recommended by Peter Taylor

The award-winning BBC documentary maker Peter Taylor tells us what he learned in his ten years investigating Al-Qaeda, and suggests what we should read to understand where the group came from, and what it’s still trying to do

The best books on Yemen, recommended by Bernard Haykel

Princeton professor Bernard Haykel’s fascinating selection of books paints a worrying picture of a country at odds with the cultural riches of its past. With internal conflicts and poor governance, Al Qaeda is the least of its problems.

The best books on National Security, recommended by Juliette Kayyem

National security isn’t just about foreign policy and counterterrorism, but has a broad set of concerns—including climate change, national disasters and pandemics. Juliette Kayyem, Senior Lecturer in International Security at Harvard and author of Security Mom, recommends books to get us all thinking about national security and the challenges we face.

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 The French Revolution, recommended by Peregrine Worsthorne

For anybody wanting to go into politics a mastery of the French Revolution is an enormous help and a knowledge of history essential, says Peregrine Worsthorne, the columnist and former editor of Britain’s Sunday Telegraph. He recommends the best books on the French Revolution, both for and against.