The book: Following in the tradition of Thomas Schelling’s 1961 The Strategy of Conflict, which applied game theory to United States-Soviet relations, Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80’s latest book, The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World (Yale University Press), uses network theory to lay out new foreign-policy strategies for a connected world. Gone are the days when chessboard-style relationships characterized foreign relations; now, it is not just individual entities but their ties to one another that matter. Slaughter proposes an international order rooted in three pillars: open society, open government, and an open international system, arguing that “open” versus “closed” is the new defining factor of the digital age.

The author: Before she was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School from 2002 to 2009, Slaughter studied in the Woodrow Wilson School as an undergraduate. In 2009, she left her deanship and became the first female director of policy planning for the State Department. She is now president and CEO of think tank New America, as well as professor emerita of politics and international affairs. Her previously published books include Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (Random House) and A New World Order (Princeton University Press).

Opening lines: “In June 2015, China and forty-nine other nations created the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB. The United States had urged all its allies not to participate because it saw the AIIB as competition for the Asian Development Bank, which it had created in 1966 along with a cluster of European nations, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, India, and others. That the AIIB got off the ground was widely seen as a diplomatic fiasco for the United States.”

Reviews: Eric Schmidt ’76, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., called it “[a] profound and insightful view of geopolitics from one of the greatest living foreign-policy thinkers. This book should be required reading for any student or practitioner of international relations. It will only become more relevant and prescient over time.”