Summer Reading #4

WHITNEY GRESPIN

This fall I’ll be adjunct instructing a course on “Defense Contracting in Practice” at George Washington University’s Elliott School.  Inspired by my participation last year in Bridging the Gap’s International Policy Summer Institute, I pitched a course that directly ties my scholarship in to practitioner and policy interests.  In preparation for this, I am reading and revisiting a variety of books.  First up draws on an institution I used to work with – Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed – that gives a great overview of how (and why) the US Government relies on contractors for technical development of advanced capabilities.  Another is The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping by Jere Van Dyk, which will contribute to conversation about less traditional private firm insurance needs, such as kidnap and ransom coverage.  I’m still vetting some other books for the syllabus, so feel free to ping me later in the summer if you’re interested in an expanded reading list.

Changing gears, in anticipation of reading for pleasure after the submission of my thesis I have the following stack of books piled high for ‘later’.  Alan Clark’s Barbarossa was highly recommended by more than one ICSC-L student during their Land Warfare viva discussion of their works cited, and I plan to read it alongside two books detailing the history of the OSS Society, of which I hold membership in Washington DC:  Patrick O’Donnell’s Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of WWII’s OSS and Ann Todd’s OSS Operation Blackmail: One Woman’s Covert War Against the Imperial Japanese Army.  On my way between London and Washington, DC I often stop at the Frontline Club near Paddington to grab a bite and a drink, which inspired my last purchase to round out the WWII theme, Nancy Caldwell-Sorel’s The Women Who Wrote the War about WWII’s female war correspondents.  Cheers to lifelong learning!

Image: Lockheed Martin delivers final F-22 Raptor, via Air Force Reserve Command.

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