WTH Should I Read This Summer?
Chip War by Chris Miller



This August, the What the Hell crew brings you a summer reading series! Our first pick is Chip War, a book the NYT hailed as a cross between Mission Impossible and the China Syndrome. Nominally, this is the story of the semiconductor industry, but it is really a forecast of modern grand strategy, great power conflict, and the security of the global economy. It is no mistake that the book’s author, Chris Miller, set out to write a book about military strategy – and then realized that military strategy today is defined by applying advanced chips to systems. Beyond just military however, advanced chips make the world as we know it work. They are in your iPhone, your dishwasher, your car… the list goes on. The clincher? Almost all of these highly technical chips are made in Taiwan – one of the most geopolitically tense areas in the world.

Chris Miller is an Associate Professor of International History at Tufts University and a Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Fellow at AEI. He is also the co-director of the Fletcher School’s Russia and Eurasia program and the director of the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In addition to Chip War, Miller’s books include We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to Asia from Peter the Great to Putin (Harvard University Press, 2021), Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), and The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Chris is an alumnus of Harvard College and holds an MA and PhD from Yale.

Download the transcript here.