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Posted on Apr 2, 2012 in Carlo D'Este, Stuff We Like

Armchair General and the Colby Symposium in 2012

By Carlo D'Este

As the Executive Director, I’m very pleased to announce that Armchair General will again support the 17th annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, to be held at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont on 11-12 April 2012. As a part of the symposium the sixth annual Armchair General Award will be presented at a dinner at Norwich the evening of April 12.

Since 2007 Armchair General has been a dedicated supporter of the only program of its kind held at an American university. A more complete description of the Colby Symposium is in the program, of which a Pdf. is attached.


Afghanistan and America’s Endless War on Terrorism

After nearly 11 years of military involvement in Afghanistan, growing and often violent opposition to the U.S. and NATO presence there has cast the future of the war and its possible solutions in grave doubt. America’s role in Afghanistan, our troubled relations with Pakistan, and possible outcomes to the hostilities will be the main subjects of discussion at the 2012 Colby Symposium.


Ralph Peters is a writer, strategist, media commentator and retired military officer. He is the author of 28 books and approximately 1,000 columns, articles, essays and reviews. Uniformed service, personal interests and research have taken him to 70 countries and six continents. He served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, first as an enlisted man, then as an officer, retiring shortly after his promotion to lieutenant-colonel to write. Ralph has published seven books on strategy and military affairs: Endless War, Wars of Blood and Faith, Never Quit the Fight, Beyond Baghdad, Beyond Terror, Fighting for the Future, and New Glory. Lines of Fire, a collection of his most-enduring writings of the past two decades was published in September 2011. His latest book published this year and the subject of great reviews is a novel of the Civil War, Cain at Gettysburg.

Nathaniel Fick is the chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security, a national security research organization in Washington DC, and an operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm. He served as a Marine Corps infantry officer in Afghanistan and Iraq, and his book, One Bullet Away, won the Colby Award in 2006. Nate earned a Classics degree from Dartmouth, and an MBA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Barrie Dunsmore covered foreign affairs for ABC News for thirty years, reporting from Washington and abroad on the policies of seven U.S. presidents from Johnson to Clinton. He traveled with them all overseas and was a regular on the planes of their secretaries of state. From 1965–95 he reported from more than 100 countries on virtually every major international event from wars to summits to diplomatic shuttles. Following retirement from ABC, Dunsmore became a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard where he conducted a study of the potential consequences of live television of war. The Next War-Live was published by Harvard in 1996.

James Hornfischer is the author of three outstanding works of naval history. The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (2004) won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature and was recently named by Naval History magazine as one of a dozen all-time naval classics. His second book, Ship of Ghosts, about the cruiser USS Houston, was a Main Selection of the History Book Club and the Military Book Club and was chosen by Proceedings magazine as a Notable Book of 2006. His latest book is Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal (Bantam, 2011) is an acclaimed new account of the Guadalcanal naval campaign. A former editor at HarperCollins, and now president of the literary agency, Hornfischer Literary Management, he has handled a number of nonfiction bestsellers, including the #1 New York Times bestseller and Colby Award winner Flags of Our Fathers.


Established in 1999, the Colby Award recognizes a first work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the under-standing of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs. Through the generous support of James N. Pritzker (Col. Illinois National Guard, Ret.) and the Tawani Foundation in Chicago, the winner of the Colby Award receives $5,000.


2011 Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

2010 If Not Now, When? by Jack Jacobs

2009 Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell

2009 The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

2008 Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for the Hearts and Minds in Iraq by R. Alan King

2007 Six Frigates: The Epic history of the Founding of the American Navy by Ian W. Toll

2007 Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors: Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945 by John A. Glusman

2006 One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick

2006 Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral by Kevin J. Weddle

2005 Hope and Honor by MG Sid Shachnow USA (Ret.) & Jann Robbins

2005 Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham

2004 The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division by Bing West & MG Ray L. Smith, USMC (Ret.)

2004 No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident by Robert L. Bateman

2003 Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers by Bryan Mark Rigg

2002 The Last Battle by Ralph Wetterhahn

2002 Beyond Valor by Patrick K. O’Donnell

2001 Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers

2000 Stolen Valor by B.G. Burkett & Glenna Whitley

1999 A Road We Do Not Know: A Novel of Custer at the Little Big Horn by Fred Chiaventone

1999 Circle William by Bill Harlow


A Nightmare’s Prayer by Michael Franzak

Armchair General Award
In 2007, Armchair General founder and publisher, Eric Weider, and Editor-in-Chief, Jerry D. Morelock, began an association with the Colby and Norwich University. Armchair General donates $500 annually (a figure matched by Norwich) to an outstanding student in military history who enrolls in the Norwich Master of Arts in Military History online graduate program. The award will be presented at the Colby “Meet the Authors” dinner at Norwich on April 12, 2012. My sincere thanks to both Eric and Jerry for their generous support. It is yet another example of AG’s growing contributions to the field of military history.

The Colby Symposium is also open to the public and anyone interested in attending is cordially invited to do so. Further information can be found at the Colby website: Or contact Cara L. Butterly, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield VT 05663 ; Office: (802) 485-2811; Fax: (802) 485-2802 or

After the event, a limited number of autographed 2012 full color Colby posters will be available for sale, each signed by the authors attending this year’s event. Posters from previous years are also available at a nominal fee. Contact is Cara Butterly.