- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Hot Off the Presses

| Fall 2020

In this issue, we highlight five new books by Belfer Center members.

"...a brisk, authoritative, and candid biography, and a wonderfully compelling history of America’s heady and troubled mid-century rise."

—  Jill Lepore, author of "These Truths: A History of the United States"

JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956 front cover

JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956

By Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Penguin Random House, September 2020

This volume explores the first thirty-nine years of JFK's life—from birth through his decision to run for president— to reveal his early relationships, his formative experiences during World War II, his ideas, writings, and political aspirations. Logevall’s writing illustrates a more serious, independently minded Kennedy than we've previously known, whose international sensibility would prepare him to enter national politics at a critical moment in modern U.S. history.



"...an important contribution to our understanding of extralegal violence, marshaling novel cross-national data on lynchings... "

—  Michael Weintraub, Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes

Lynching and Local Justice front cover

Lynching and Local Justice: Legitimacy and Accountability in Weak States

By Danielle F. Jung and Dara Kay Cohen, Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Elements in Political Economy Series, Cambridge University Press, September 2020

What are the social and political consequences of poor state governance and low state legitimacy? Under what conditions does lynching — lethal, extralegal group violence to punish offenses to the community — become an acceptable practice? The authors argue lynching emerges when neither the state nor its challengers have a monopoly over legitimate authority. When authority is contested or ambiguous, mass punishment for transgressions can emerge that is public, brutal, and requires broad participation. 



"...this book offers thoughtful analyses about the current state of homeland security as well as recommendations for its future."

—  Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (2009–2013)

Beyond 9/11 front cover

Beyond 9/11: Homeland Security for the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Chappell Lawson, Alan Bersin, Inaugural Fellow, Homeland Security Project, and Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Senior Lecturer in International Security, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Studies in International Security, MIT Press, August 2020

The contributors discuss counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure protection; border security and immigration; transportation security; emergency management; combating transnational crime; protecting privacy in a world of increasingly intrusive government scrutiny; and managing the sprawling homeland security bureaucracy. They offer crucial strategic lessons and detailed recommendations on how to improve the U.S. homeland security enterprise.



"...a highly accessible and engaging history of U.S. diplomacy written by one of the country's smartest and most capable foreign policy practitioners."

—  Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

America in the World Front Cover

America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

By Robert B. Zoellick, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Twelve: Hachette Book Group, 2020.

Both a sweeping work of history and an insightful guide to U.S. diplomacy past and present, America in the World serves as an informative companion and practical adviser to readers seeking to understand the strategic and immediate challenges of U.S. foreign policy during an era of transformation.



"...an original archival history of government secrecy, public relations and the debate surrounding nuclear weapons in Britain from 1970 to 1983."

Secrecy, Public Relations, and the British Nuclear Debate front cover

Secrecy, Public Relations and the British Nuclear Debate: How the UK Government Learned to Talk about the Bomb, 1970–83

By Daniel Salisbury, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

Routledge, 2020

The book contrasts the secrecy and near-silence of the Heath, Wilson, and Callaghan governments on nuclear issues in the 1970s with the increasingly vocal case made for the possession of nuclear weapons by the first Thatcher government following a shift in approach in 1980.

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For Academic Citation:

"Hot Off the Presses." Belfer Center Newsletter, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. (Fall 2020)