Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations at Boston University, uses strong words to describe what is going on in the U.S. He speaks of a “crisis of profligacy,” “collective recklessness” and a “dysfunctional country.” He says our political system empowers an “imperial presidency” and possesses “delusions of grandeur.” This is surprising commentary from a onetime military man who was a soldier’s soldier.
What books compel a second—or third or fourth—reading? How is the second reading different from the first, and what does the difference reveal about the book or the reader? We asked ten writers, including Margaret Miles, Gordon Atkinson, Mary Doria Russell, Diana Butler Bass and David Cunningham, to name a book that they chose to reread, and to share their reactions "the second time around."