Press Release - Dutton

Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to Write Inside Account of America's Defense

| April 2018

New York, NY – Renowned statesman, technologist, and manager Ash Carter has helped to shape and lead America’s defense for 35 years. Today, Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House, announced that the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense will share his story of fighting – and winning – some of America’s most consequential battles in a new retrospective, Inside the Five-Sided Box: How America’s Defense Works – And What to Do When It Doesn’t. Wayne Kabak at WSK Management sold world rights to Christine Ball, SVP, Publisher of Dutton, with VP, Editor-in-Chief John Parsley editing.

From the Situation Room to the South China Sea to helicopters above Afghanistan, Carter’s book will detail not only high-stakes decisions about combat operations but also the realities of managing the world’s largest and most complex organization.

“The Defense Department furnishes the most basic human need – security,” said Ash Carter, now Director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. “Security is like oxygen: When you have enough of it, you pay no attention. When you don’t, you can think of nothing else. At a time when America’s role in the world is being questioned, I want this book to explain not only the purposes but also the actual workings of our common defense.”

Inside the Five-Sided Box reveals not just what happens in the Pentagon but why. Carter will take readers on a tour from inside the Pentagon’s E-Ring to high-tech centers in Seattle, Boston, and Silicon Valley to show how America’s mysterious military-industrial complex really works. Carter, a Rhodes Scholar and physicist, also looks ahead to the future of warfare and the moral and policy issues raised by artificial intelligence and other new technologies.

“Secretary Carter is one of the only people in the world who could write this book,” said John Parsley. “He’s seen everything and knows how everything works, and we are thrilled to bring his expertise, insight, and leadership lessons to readers.”

Serving both Republican and Democratic presidents from Reagan to Obama, Carter’s bipartisan experience covers every strategic era from the Cold War through the fall of the Berlin Wall, both Iraq wars, 9/11, Afghanistan, the defeat of ISIS, and humanitarian missions at home and abroad.


About Secretary Carter

Carter served as U.S. Defense Secretary from 2015 to 2017, and earlier served as the department’s number two and number three official. He transformed its strategic thinking and operations on global challenges across the domains of armed conflict, including space and cyberspace. He engineered a lasting defeat of ISIS while standing up to aggression from Russia, China, and North Korea. Carter also designed and executed the strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, and launched the Defense Department’s cyber strategy.

Carter developed six transformative “Force of the Future” initiatives to change the way the department recruits, trains, and retains quality people, and he directed the opening of all military positions to women without exception. He brought tech experts from Silicon Valley and beyond into the Pentagon for a tour of duty and established the first Chief Innovation Officer position. He also opened Pentagon outposts in America’s tech hubs, and established the Defense Innovation Board, which attracted visionary private sector leaders including Google Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt.

Today, he is the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs, and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at Harvard Kennedy School. He is an Innovation Fellow at MIT and a board member of Delta Air Lines.

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to Write Inside Account of America's Defense.” Press Release, Dutton, April 2018.