Three new titles highlight the challenges facing the incoming administration
As supporters of Barack Obama celebrate their candidate’s historic victory, political observers and potential appointees are already turning their attention to questions of transition and governing. Three new titles from the Brookings Institution Press bring timely and expert analysis to bear on the changing political landscape and the immediate challenges facing the incoming administration. Each has garnered considerable attention already and should continue to do so.
• Stephen Hess, the nation’s most experienced expert on presidential transitions, is author of What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-Elect. His book already has been positively reviewed in Library Journal and featured in U.S. News and World Report. What Do We Do Now? will be launched and excerpted as part of an ambitious Brookings-wide initiative on the presidential transition. On Thursday, November 6, Hess will appear on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Fox 5 DC morning news, and will also participate in a Washington Post on-line chat. The book will also be excerpted in tomorrow’s edition of Politico.
• Kurt Campbell and James Steinberg are the authors of Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Presidential Power. Drawing on decades of high-level government service and public policy experience, former presidential advisers Kurt Campbell and James Steinberg review past foreign policy episodes and identify the major pitfalls that a president-elect must try to avoid in the early days of an administration. Both authors are well known in policy circles — e.g Steinberg has been widely mentioned as a potential National Security Adviser. The book will be launched with fanfare on November 13 at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank. The dust jacket includes endorsements from Brent Scowcroft, Richard Holbrooke, and Madeleine Albright.
• Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and current director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, head up a stellar cast of authors on Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President. This is the first book to leverage fully the resources of these eminent foreign policy organizations. The goal is a new, nonpartisan strategy toward the tinderbox Middle East. The book will be rolled out in both New York and Washington with launch events on Tuesday, December 2, and it will receive a heavy publicity push from both institutions. It may ride the coattails of last week’s cover story in Newsweek, coauthored by Haass. Among the other authors are Steve Simon (coauthor of The Next Attack), Kenneth Pollack (A Path Out of the Desert), and Bruce Ridel (The Search for al Qaeda).