To read and watch in August

As you prepare the nicest “out-of-office” reply, a few reading and watching suggestions.

If you’re into serious PoliSci/IR reading, a few great books came out earlier this year. We mention two, one on intrastate and the other on inter-state wars: Laia Balcells’ Rivalry and Revenge. The Politics of Violence during Civil War discusses civilian victimization in civil wars with empirics from the Spanish Civil War. Graham Allison’s Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (reviewed by NYT here).

More into fiction? Omar el Akkad’s American War brings readers to a fictional Second Civil War in the US, a dystopian analysis of effects of climate change and political radicalization (reviewed here). The Man Booker Prize Longlist just came out. We’ll go for Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West (reviewed in The Guardian here), on migration and magic. All this while we patiently wait for the third installment of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, the Mirror and the Light, which might not be published earlier than 2019.

Summer movies: the easy one is Dunkirk, where the latest Batman’s director Christopher Nolan brings you to the shores of the French coastal city that witnessed the most famous evacuation in the history of war. IR theory-lovers that appreciated how well the security dilemma was depicted in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) will be inevitably attracted by the sequel War for the Planet of the Apes, directed by Mark Reeves.

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