Monday, October 08, 2018

What is Kathleen J. McInnis reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kathleen J. McInnis, author of The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon.

Her entry begins:
I’m going to begin this with a caveat: I am a national security analyst by trade, with a PhD in War Studies. So the vast majority of my writing so far has been nonfiction and analytic prose, which is definitely reflected in my reading. Yet in recent years, as the United States and the world have woken up to an era of geostrategic complexity that we’re only at the beginning of wrapping our brains around, I’ve turned to fiction and story to help me understand the world in a different, non-methodologically bound way. That’s one of the big reasons that I wrote The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon: to better understand and explain the often-wacky way we do national security. In other words, I’m trying to channel both the creative and analytic parts of my mind to figure out where we are as a country, and what we might do about it. And have fun while doing so.

To that end, what am I reading now? The proposal to establish a Space Force is pretty hot right now, and I’m trying to understand its historical antecedents. The last major Department of Defense (DoD) reorganization was just over 30 years ago, with the Goldwater-Nichols Act (1986) and the subsequent Nunn-Cohen amendment (1987). I’m once again digging into Victory on the Potomac by Jim Locher to understand why...[read on]
About The Heart of War, from the publisher:
The Devil Wears Prada meets Catch-22; a novel about a young woman’s journey into the heart of Washington’s war machine.

Dr. Heather Reilly has been an anti-war activist since her brother died fighting the Taliban. But her crushing student loans drive her to take a job working on a peace plan for Afghanistan, in the last place on Earth she ever thought she'd be employed: the Pentagon. On her first day, however, her position is eliminated and she’s shuffled to a war-fighting office focused on combating Russian aggression. Unfortunately, she knows little about Russia and has deep moral reservations about war. Making matters worse, she’s also working for Ariane Fletcher—a woman so terrifying, she eats generals for breakfast. As Heather learns to navigate the Pentagon’s insane bureaucracy and petty power struggles, she finds that her successes come at the expense of her personal life... and that small mistakes can have major consequences in the Department of Defense.

From Washington D.C.'s corridors of power to the dusty streets of Kabul, Kathleen McInnis spins a smart, hilarious, and heartwarming tale that shines a light on the often frustrating but sometimes rewarding experience of a career in the Pentagon. Packed with insider knowledge about one of the least-known—yet most-powerful—organizations in U.S. national security, McInnis' debut novel establishes her as a major new literary voice with a point of view we've never seen before.
Visit Kathleen J. McInnis's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Heart of War.

The Page 69 Test: The Heart of War.

Writers Read: Kathleen J. McInnis.

--Marshal Zeringue