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Box Wine, Cocktails and the Hunt for the Perfect Bagel

Dispatches from the Deep State Book Club

Welcome to a new monthly column dedicated to the Deep State Radio Book Group. Formed in August following a twitter challenge issued by David Rothkopf, the group on Goodreads has grown to over 180 members and the twitter account of the group, @state_book, has over 500 followers and both continue to grow.

Since the reading group launched and the twitter account went live it has become clear that Deep State Nerds are ‘Readers’ – with a capital R!

The Deep State Radio (DSR) books episode engendered a huge response and it became clear that there was not only a need for smart, informed discussion of ideas and events beyond the pod but that Deep State members are deeply engaged by current events and political thought, this engagement is reflected in what they are reading and talking about. The book group was a response to the need by the DSR Nerds for a forum to discuss what they are reading. Nerds are smart, inquisitive, informed, opinionated and willing to engage which are exactly the qualities a successful book group needs in its members. The response to the formation of the group and the willingness of everyone to engage with it has been overwhelmingly positive – thank you all.

We launched with two books chosen from the selection mentioned on the books episode, Ed Luce’s ‘Hitler’s Willing Executioners’ by Daniel Goldhagen which we began reading at the beginning of September and ‘The 20/20 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States’ by Jeffrey Lewis  suggested by Kori Schake, which we started reading at the beginning of October. Additional resources are linked in the thread for each book so that members can read around the subject of the book and it is hoped that this will expand in the future to include articles and further reading.

Each book will be read over a two month period, at any one time there will be two books on the go to accommodate different reading speeds. It is my intention to bring you dispatches from the group once a month giving a flavour of the discussion, bringing you the thoughts and opinions on the book of the DSR Book Group members and updating everyone on the books put forward for selection as the monthly read, which members vote on each month. Full details of how the group will work can be found on the homepage of the group on Goodreads.

The group have just chosen their first members group pick for November, from an initial field of 15.

The 15 were whittled down to two by a member vote and David Sanger’s ’The Perfect Weapon’ went head to head with ‘Fascism: A Warning’ by Madeline Aldbright in a twitter poll. The members voted and the book they have chosen to begin reading on 1stNovember is…


December’s book recommendation thread will close on 17thOctober. Currently we have 8 suggestions for the book to start reading on 1stDecember:

From Bing:  Democracy for Realists – Christopher H. Achen, Larry M. Bartels

K recommends:  Not for the Faint of Heart:  Lessons in Courage, Power and Persistence – Wendy R Sherman

Sato suggests:  The Sit Room: In the Theatre or War and Peace – David Scheffer

Matthew suggests:  The Plot against America – Philip Roth

And, Mornings on Horseback – David McCullough

David recommends:  American War – El Akaad

Carrie:  Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East – David D Krikpatrick

And, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America – Timothy Snyder

Why not head over, join up and join the conversation.

The official twitter account of the book group, @state_book, is a much looser iteration of the group and in the last two months has engaged with members on book monogamy (#bookslut), end of the world reading, pictures to go with ‘Wolf Hall’, the size of our TBR piles (officially huge), #deepstatepets and Deep State Ark (still no spiders – not sorry!), zombies, end of the world cocktails, a twitter quiz and books – lots of books.

It has been a busy two months.

As @JulieMendelsohn tweeted:

‘We have a book club, tiaras, bunkers and an Arkload of fun animals too!’

With box wine, cocktails and the hunt for the perfect bagel we are all set.

Welcome to book group!

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