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The Draught House Book Club meets at the Draught House Pub & Brewery to discuss our most recent non-fiction selection over a pint.

Titles range from more rigorous and scholarly works to lighter, more journalistic writing. Genres tend to include foreign policy, history, culture, science, politics, and area studies (e.g. The Middle East, Europe, South Asia, etc.) See our "Past Reads" page for titles.

No dues. Totally free. But your pint is on you.

Upcoming events (5)

Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism

The Draught House

The rise of a populist conservative nationalism in the United States has triggered unease at home and abroad. Riding the populist wave, Donald Trump achieved the presidency advocating a hardline nationalist approach. Yet critics frequently misunderstand the Trump administration's foreign policy, along with American nationalism. In Age of Iron, leading authority on Republican foreign policy Colin Dueck demonstrates that conservative nationalism is the oldest democratic tradition in US foreign relations. Designed to preserve self-government, conservative nationalism can be compatible with engagement overseas. But 21st century diplomatic, economic, and military frustrations led to the resurgence of a version that emphasizes US material interests. No longer should the US allow its allies to free-ride, and nor should it surrender its sovereignty to global governance institutions. Because this return is based upon forces larger than Trump, it is unlikely to disappear when he leaves office. Age of Iron describes the shifting coalitions over the past century among foreign policy factions within the Republican Party, and shows how Trump upended them starting in[masked]. Dueck offers a balanced summary and assessment of President Trump's foreign policy approach, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. He also describes the current interaction of conservative public opinion and presidential foreign policy leadership in the broader context of political populism. Finally, he makes the case for a forward-leaning realism, based upon the understanding that the US is entering a protracted period of geopolitical competition with other major powers. The result is a book that captures the past, present, and, possibly, future of conservative foreign policy nationalism in the US.

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen? In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age―and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare

Draught House Pub & Brewery

For generations of Americans, our country has been the world's dominant military power. How the US military fights, and the systems and weapons that it fights with, have been uncontested. That old reality, however, is rapidly deteriorating. America's traditional sources of power are eroding amid the emergence of new technologies and the growing military threat posed by rivals such as China. America is at grave risk of losing a future war. As Christian Brose reveals in this urgent wake-up call, the future will be defined by artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and other emerging technologies that are revolutionizing global industries and are now poised to overturn the model of American defense. This fascinating, if disturbing, book confronts the existential risks on the horizon, charting a way for America's military to adapt and succeed with new thinking as well as new technology. America must build a battle network of systems that enables people to rapidly understand threats, make decisions, and take military actions, the process known as "the kill chain." Examining threats from China, Russia, and elsewhere, The Kill Chain offers hope and, ultimately, insights on how America can apply advanced technologies to prevent war, deter aggression, and maintain peace.

A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations

Draught House Pub & Brewery

Historically, it was guns, germs, and steel that determined the fates of people and nations. Now, more than ever, it is electricity. Global demand for power is doubling every two decades, but electricity remains one of the most difficult forms of energy to supply and do so reliably. Today, some three billion people live in places where per-capita electricity use is less than what's used by an average American refrigerator. How we close the colossal gap between the electricity rich and the electricity poor will determine our success in addressing issues like women's rights, inequality, and climate change. In A Question of Power, veteran journalist Robert Bryce tells the human story of electricity, the world's most important form of energy. Through onsite reporting from India, Iceland, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, New York, and Colorado, he shows how our cities, our money--our very lives--depend on reliable flows of electricity. He highlights the factors needed for successful electrification and explains why so many people are still stuck in the dark. With vivid writing and incisive analysis, he powerfully debunks the notion that our energy needs can be met solely with renewables and demonstrates why--if we are serious about addressing climate change--nuclear energy must play a much bigger role. Electricity has fueled a new epoch in the history of civilization. A Question of Power explains how that happened and what it means for our future.

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