Fred Kaplan is the national security columnist for Slate. 
His sixth book, The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War, will be published in January.
 (November 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

The Defeat of General Mattis

Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead

by Jim Mattis and Bing West

Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis

by Guy M. Snodgrass
When Jim Mattis resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018, he was widely lauded and lamented as “the last grown-up” in the Trump administration. The tributes were commentary more on Trump than on Mattis. For if he had run the Pentagon during a normal presidency, in which grown-ups abound, his tenure would be considered undistinguished, to say the least.