StrifeReads: Dr. Tim Stevens’ Top 5 Books to Read this March

 

StrifeReads features a monthly selection of the favourite, or most thought provoking, books hand picked by leading experts from around the world. This month, StrifeReads is excited to showcase the library of Dr. Tim Stevens.

Speaking on his picks, Dr. Stevens suggested “I have gone for five books that leaped out at me from my shelves as highly memorable reads. All are radical in the sense that they shifted the way I thought about particular issues.”

 



Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone (London: Bloomsbury, 2006)

 

One of the most staggering true stories of modern military mismanagement. Like Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (1961) but with no need to play up the absurdity and incompetence.


Paul N. Edwards, The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 1996)

 

 

Required reading for anyone rediscovering the histories of computing and cybernetics, this book explores the links between military information technologies and the emergence of our present man-machine hybrid subjectivities. Not as celebrated as Haraway, Hayles or DeLanda, Edwards deserves greater recognition for this reading of hi-tech militarisation through the cyborg lens.


Reinhart Koselleck, Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979/2004)

 


Koselleck was one of the most important historians of the 20th century and this book showcases his dazzling erudition. Essential reading for anyone concerned with the changing meanings of history over time.


Daniel Pick, War Machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1993)

 

A flawed but fascinating account of the emergence of total war that deserves a wider readership. Pick traces the developing relationships between war, technology and the self in the 19th century, leading to the ‘perfect abattoir’ of World War I.


Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation (London and New York: Verso, 2007)


This extraordinary book details how Israel has reconfigured urban planning, land use and architecture as tools of Palestinian occupation and colonisation. Fiercely political and impeccably researched, this book changed the way I thought about conflict and the built environment more than any book since Paul Virilio’s Speed and Politics (1977).


Feature image source: http://www.listchallenges.com/lists/books/popular

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