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Friday, September 10, 2010

Political Science Quarterly

Iraq in Transition was reviewed in the fall edition of Political Science Quarterly by Jack J. Porter, a professor at the Citadel. He called it a "noteworthy and significant contribution" to the expanding body of knowledge on Iraq. He goes on, "The exhaustive and detailed analysis of the numerous sub-state groups struggling for political and economic power is perhaps the bookʼs most important contribution." Porter concludes, "Munsonʼs analysis is an incredibly useful summary of the historical lega- cies, social conditions, and policy missteps that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war. His sensitivity to tangible and intangible factors ensures that this book will be useful to both scholars and policymakers alike."

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Article and Some Reviews

My latest article was published this week in the Marine Corps Gazette. Entitled "Doing More With Less," the article is about focusing on what truly matters (winning the Nation's battles), by re-prioritizing our efforts and clearing the bureaucratic deadwood that impedes mission accomplishment. As one friend said, it will ruffle some feathers, but the intent is to make people consider better ways of doing business. You can find the article here. At the link, there are buttons to share on Facebook and Twitter. Please do so!

Second, my book, "Iraq in Transition," was featured in a review essay by Adeed Dawisha, a well known political science scholar, specializing on the Middle East. His essay is entitled, "The Long and Winding Road to Iraqi Democracy," was published in the latest edition of "Perspectives on Politics," a Cambridge University journal. In it, Dawisha labels my book "a sweeping historical study of the Saddam and post-Saddam eras." A review essay is a bit different than a typical book review so there is no direct praise or criticism of any of the books used, but the fact that such a prestigious scholar used it in a Cambridge journal alongside 3 books published by university presses, written or edited by PhD professors of political science speaks to the seriousness of my book. It is an honor.

Finally, the full text of Michael Rubin's review of "Iraq in Transition" is now available on the web in full text. Rubin is a member of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative (neocon) think-tank. Rubin's reviews of many books on Iraq are scathing due to his viewpoint. His review of my book finds some fault that I would disagree with, but is overall very positive. He closes by saying,
Iraq in Transition is one of the better post-Iraq war overviews, a well-written summary of developments after coalition forces occupied Baghdad. While the authors of the first versions of the history of this period were sweeping in their judgments, Munson is more nuanced and has a better grasp of government and military decision-making.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

San Diego Book Awards Finalist

"Iraq in Transition" is a finalist in the general non-fiction category of the San Diego Book Awards. The list of all finalists can be found here. The winners of the book awards will be announced at a dinner on June 5th in San Diego. Unfortunately, I will be deployed and unable to attend, but my wife will be going in my stead. I hope she has a good night.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Preliminary Election Results

Initial analysis of the Iraqi parliamentary election results suggests that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law List is in the lead, with former Prime Minister Ayad al-Allawi's Iraqiya List a close second. The close race means that the coalition-forming required to create a government and select a prime minister will probably be drawn out and complicated, and potentially very contentious.

Some reports can be found at:
Institute for the Study of War
Reidar Visser
Reidar Visser 2