This week has been Aspects of War week at with a huge range of book selections and views on the mechanics of foreign policy, the conflicts in Sudan and Burma, and the poetry and works of art that influence our views. 

Monday, August 2nd

Professor at Duke University, Lewis says that only victory over the enemy’s will to fight can ensure long-term peace. He chooses examples from the First Punic War to today’s Afghanistan and chooses five books on the real cause of war.

Tuesday, August 3rd

The Africa editor of the Economist chooses five books on Sudan, including War Child by Emanuel Jal, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who went into combat as a child soldier against North Sudanese forces, fighting hand to hand and committing terrible atrocities.

Wednesday, August 4th

The Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Advanced Study looks at politics and ideology as influenced by cultural trends and recommends books that take a holistic view of war, including how paintings can influence policy.

Thursday, August 5th 

The Dutch army captain whose unit secured Tuzla airbase for the incoming UN aid in 1994 talks about the books he kept with him in Bosnia and the inspiration for his Yugoslav novel, King of Tuzla. Hear Arnold recite the title poem from his poetry collection, Yugoslav Requiem.

Friday, August 6th 

Chris Abbot of talks about ‘liddism’ – if you try to keep the lid on a pressure cooker of international threats by force it will eventually blow up in your face. He chooses five books on what not to do (and, of course, we’ve already done it).

Saturday, August 7th 

Emma Larkin, a pseudonym that protects the author’s identity while in Burma, says Burmese stories are vanishing, history is being rewritten, memories are being eroded by the regime. She chooses five books that make Burma’s people heard.

Sunday, August 8th 

In its best and most influential period, American conservatism made a specialty of puncturing liberal shibboleths, says Frum, a leading conservative blogger and pundit. A generation on, however, the right coddles too many shibboleths of its own.