Presidential Reading List

Foreign Policy's David Kenner has a reading list for President Obama to help him get read for his big speech to recast our relationship with the Arab world. Topping the Persian Gulf section is Crossroads Arabia, by our own John Burgess.

Foreign Policy‘s David Kenner has a reading list for President Obama to help him get read for his big speech to recast our relationship with the Arab world. Topping the Persian Gulf section is Crossroads Arabia, by our own John Burgess.

I’ve been reading John’s blog since long before he started contributing at OTB and obviously agree with the selection!

Crossroads Arabia is exactly the sort of thing that catapulted the medium to the forefront of public policy discussion. While most blogs, like most everything else, are complete crap, a handful are better at what they do than any of the slick professional outfits. Crossroads Arabia is a painstakingly curated set of readings on Saudi Arabia and its environs by a retired career Foreign Service Officer with decades of experience. As much talent as, say, the New York Times can collect–for example, the invaluable C.J. Chivers, also on Kenner’s list–they quite literally can’t match that kind of expertise.

In the age before blogging, the most a John Burgess could do was pitch a book and hope someone would publish it. Nowadays, though, someone with a passion and genuine expertise needs simply to self-publish one’s thoughts and hope enough people notice and find it worthwhile.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Middle East, OTB History, Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    Those books would have to be put on a teleprompter before Comrade Obama could read them.

    I would add to the list. Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren
    http://goo.gl/hhV2c