As diplomats and international officials head off on their summer vacations, most will want to stop thinking about world affairs for a few weeks. 2022 has been a grueling year, thanks to Russia’s war on Ukraine and a worsening global economic crisis. Foreign policy professionals will want to read nothing more taxing than a frivolous thriller.
Nonetheless, the summer break—which will be no break at all if more major crises erupt—is a good moment to delve into books that can cast light on the state of geopolitics. This week, I’ll highlight a big-picture book on warfare, a memoir, a biography and, yes, a thriller that could be good reading material for officials who deal with multilateral issues and institutions.
(Full disclosure: Some, but not all, of the authors of these tomes are friends, and a number are published by Hurst, a U.K. publishing house whose managing director has repeatedly tried and failed to get me to write a book of my own. But I like all the titles on their own merits.)