MixedNPRGates is right that the State Department is both woefully underfunded and also lacking experts who can help in places like Afghanistan ... Gates bemoans the loss of USIA (United States Information Agency) due to budget cuts in the late 1990s, which was key in opening libraries and cultural centers around the world and also bringing students to the U.S. for study. But can an exchange of young people from, let\'s say, Egypt, counter American support for repression?
RaveNPR[Verini] ... has written a vivid and bare-knuckles account of the fight against ISIS. They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate will stand up with some of the best war reporting. He takes an unblinking look at the dirtiest kind of battle — urban combat — and the human wreckage it leaves in its wake ... Some of his observations may be too harsh for gentle readers ... Still, it\'s important for readers to understand what the world faces with such groups ... Verini\'s book is an important firsthand account of the human cost of war, the civilians caught up in this special kind of hell, and the difficulty of fighting a terrorist group in an urban environment. There will be other such fights. Hopefully, reporters of the caliber of James Verini will be on the front lines.
PositiveNPR\"This retelling [of the beginnings of European contact] is the weakest part of the book, although there are some nice historical tidbits ... The author shines, instead, when he heads out on the road to meet with his relatives at Leech Lake or members of other tribes across the country. There are a delightful collection of characters ... [Treuer] succeeds in this fine and timely work. It will certainly help usher in a new narrative for Native Americans.\
RaveNPRWe\'ve seen a shelf-load of histories, analyses, memoirs, and novels on Vietnam. But what Hastings does in Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy (1945-1975) is pull all these genres together in a highly readable and vivid narrative that, I think, will become the standard on the war for many years to come ... This is a thoughtful and balanced work — and an aggressive one. He takes on all sides ... Hastings was once a journalist — and it shows. He\'s a vivid story teller, and his vast knowledge of military operations adds weight to every chapter ... It\'s how he crafts his story with color and detail and pathos that makes Hasting\'s Vietnam a great book. It\'s sort of a blend of David Halberstam\'s The Best and the Brightest, Tim O\'Brien\'s The Things They Carried and Truong Nhu Tang\'s A Vietcong Memoir.