Here’s a roundup of several early-2013 politics books with publishers’ descriptions:
January 2. Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Fred Kaplan’s The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (Simon & Schuster) looks to be one of the first important books of 2013 — with glowing blurbs from national security heavies like George Packer, Tim Weiner and Peter Bergen. (And probably a tacked-on postscript about the Paula Broadwell scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus).
The Insurgents is the inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars, led by General David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize one of the largest, oldest, and most hidebound institutions—the United States military. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the post–Cold War age: not massive wars on vast battlefields, but “small wars” in cities and villages, against insurgents and terrorists. These would be wars not only of fighting but of “nation building,” often not of necessity but of choice.
January 29. Former Vice President Al Gore’s The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change (Random House), looks like a prescriptive along the lines of Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum’s That Used to be Us but with a global focus. The Future is oriented around six “emerging forces”: economic globalization, digital communications, shifting international power, sustainable growth, scientific advances, and the disruption in the relationship between people and the environment.
With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change [in An Inconvenient Truth], and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world.
In this sequel to his bestselling The Promise, Jonathan Alter digs into the back story of the campaign and Obama’s performance as president. This will be the most penetrating account of how Obama won or lost the election and how he confronted the implacable forces arrayed against him—a sluggish economy, vicious partisan opposition, his own failures as a politician and communicator.