End of Summer Reading List

The end of summer is always bittersweet. To help smooth the transition back to the real world, the YPFP New York staff presents 10 recommendations for books, podcasts, and articles. Enjoy!


Bring Out the Dog by Will Mackin, a collection of short stories by a Navy veteran that capture the psychological weirdness of military life throughout his time in the Middle East and at home. It’s at times comical and lighthearted and others a bit heavy, but a very unique perspective. It’s fiction but based off of notes he scribbled on his forearm during combat.

From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein, a casual read in the vein of a literary soap opera, From the Corner of the Oval is a new memoir from a young woman, who in 2012 unknowingly applies for and gets the job of stenographer for President Barack Obama. In between all the love triangles and post-graduate angst is a fun, smart perspective of Obama’s travels across the world and his handling of complex domestic and foreign policy issues from someone almost constantly right at his side.

Safe Passage: the Transition from British to American Hegemony by Kori Schake, a fascinating dive into the crucial moments and events that secured the only peaceful transition of hegemonic power in history. With a look to the future Schake concludes that the unique transition is unlikely repeat itself.

Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years by David Litt, authored by the so-called “Comedian-in-Chief,” Thanks, Obama offers a good balance of humor, honesty, and realism from the man who wrote a number of speeches and jokes for President Obama.

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David Sanger, is a dramatic story of how great and small powers alike slipped into a new era of constant sabotage, misinformation, and fear, in which everyone is a target. The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb.


Deep State Radio: twice a week, Deep State Radio takes you on a smart, direct, sometimes scary, sometimes profane, sometimes hilarious tour of the inner workings of American power and foreign policy. Hosted by noted author and commentator David Rothkopf and featuring regulars Rosa Brooks, Kori Schake, David Sanger, and Ed Luce, as well as a rotating cast of special guests.

Bombshell: a bi-weekly podcast from Loren DeJonge Schulman, Radha Iyengar Plumb, and Erin Simpson (and special guests) that dissects today’s foreign policy crises and tomorrow’s security challenges. They talk military strategy, White House mayhem, and the best cocktails known to (wo)man. It’s brought to you by War on the Rocks.

Pod Save the World: a weekly foreign policy podcast by former White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.


Too many men: Examining the gender imbalances of India and China by Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen, this article examines the policies and cultural preferences that led to stark gender imbalance in both countries. It’s a sobering and slightly depressing read about the world’s two most populous countries.

To the Graduate Who Wants to Work in International Affairs by Morgan Courtney, this evergreen piece offers frank advice to graduates looking to build a career in international affairs.