#ReadingWomen: The List

In tandem with this week’s blog piece, we are also publishing the first installment of the #ReadingWomen bibliography. Because the participation of the individuals is as important as the items listed, we will be posting its progress in groups of about five contributors, building a critical bibliography that will suit a broad range of syllabi and reading lists. And so, this is only a start, the early days building these recommended readings from women in the broad fields which comprise national security.

Strategy and Policy:

Albright, Madeline, Madam Secretary, Secretary Albright’s Memoirs

Arsenault, Elizabeth, How the Gloves Came off, from Columbia Press. The work, by Dr Elizabeth Arsenault, examines how the norms against torture were tested and disrupted after 9/11, and how the norms established in the Geneva Convention remain unresolved today. As a person who worked in counterterrorism for the past 15 years, I found it to be an enlightening read on an important topic.

Bacevich, AJ, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, “I’ve used it in classes since it came out and students really appreciate the basic premises presented, even if overcome by time.”

Gholz, Eugene, Daryl Press, and Harvey Sapolsky, eds., Come Home America, “All the “new” arguments have been heard before.”

Hudson, Valerie and Patricia Leidl, The Hillary Doctrine

Johnson-Freese, Joan, Space Warfare in the 21st Century: Arming the Heavens

Meir, Golda, My Life, Autobiography of Israel’s first female Prime Minister

National Security:

NDU Press, Women on the Frontlines of Peace & Security, 2014.

Reich, Robert, The Work of Nations, “I can almost see the lightbulbs going off over students’ heads when we talk about this book. Interestingly the topic is updated in the 2/26/17 NYT.”


Alexander, Karen, and Mary E. Hawkesworth War and terror: feminist perspectives

Bloom, Mia, Bombshell: Women and Terrorism

Sjoberg, Laura and Caron Gentry, Women, Gender, and Terrorism

Military History:

Child, Julia, Covert Affair, Her life in the OSS before she was a famous chef

Gruber, Ruth, Raquela, My absolute favorite book, Raquela was a Seventh Generation (Jewish) Jerusalemite who became a nurse during WWII. Anything by Ruth Gruber is pretty fantastic. She was a force to be reckoned with. (She passed away in November at age 105.) When she earned her doctorate, she was the youngest person in the world to do so (American born, earned her PhD in Germany). She was a journalist before WWII (as a Jew covering first the rise of Naziism). She worked for the US Dept of the Interior and spent time in the Soviet Arctic during the 40s. She escorted the one ship of (mostly) Jewish refugees out of Europe to NY during the Holocaust. She was a woman before her time, and very modest about all of it.

Holmstedt, Kirdten Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq

Kennedy, Claudia, Generally-Speaking, Lt General Kennedy is the Army’s first female 3-star.

Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach, Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soliders on the Special Ops Battlefield

Tax, Meredith, A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State

International Relations:

Hudson, Bailif, Spanvill, Caprioli & Emmet, Sex & World Peace

Regional Studies:

Bell, Gertrude, Queen of the Desert, Arabian Diaries, Gertrude Bell talks about her life in post-Ottoman Iraq.

Salbi, Zainab, Between-Two-Worlds, Life under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.

Education and Learning:

Johnson-Freese, Joan, Educating America’s Military

Reveron & Cook, Joint Forces Quarterly, “Strategy 101”


Kalashnikitty (@CustosDivini), Tricia Bacon, Diane Leigh Maye, Jodi Lasky, Joan Johnson-Freese

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.