Posted on Jan 15, 2016 in Books and Movies, Draft, Front Page Features
Outsourcing Security: Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy. Bruce E. Stanley. Potomac Books. 238 pages. Soft cover. $25.00 There are many books published that are simply not intended for the mass market. These volumes are crafted by authors to be read by a particular readership. When that book also fills a gap in scholarship for that select group of readers then you have a special volume. This is the case with Bruce Stanley’s outstanding book, Outsourcing Security: Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy. It unquestionably fills an existing niche and greatly adds to the body of knowledge in this area. As the title clearly suggests, Stanley’s focus is on the use of private military contractors (PMCs) by the United States. Certainly, this is a subject area which can generate some highly emotional debate. However, the author stays clear of the moral and legal aspects of their use. Instead, Stanley examines the rise in the use of PMCs by the United States in the past 25 years. Just as... Read More
Posted on Oct 12, 2015 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Tough As They Come. SSG Travis Mills with Marcus Brotherton. Convergent Books. 272 pages. Hard cover. $25.00 The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have generated some incredible personal stories of courage and determination. These stories highlight the power of the human spirit and have undoubtedly inspired many who have struggled with their own challenges. One Soldier’s story which clearly has touched and effected many is that of SSG Travis Mills. His story and his ability to face an incredible challenge will now be known and appreciated by a far greater audience with the release of his outstanding book, Tough As They Come. For those unfamiliar with the challenge Mills has faced, it is a significant to say the least. During his third deployment to Afghanistan, while conducting a patrol, Mills set his backpack on the ground. This touched off an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which immediately made him a triple amputee. A few days later, while in the hospital, his remaining limb was removed. Incredibly, Mills survived making... Read More
Posted on Jun 18, 2015 in Books and Movies
Bruce Henderson’s ‘Rescue at Los Baños’ is a can’t-put-it-down story of the most daring POW raid of WWII, deftly interweaving the stories of the POWs, their guards, and the rescuers.
Posted on Mar 19, 2015 in Books and Movies
Michael Haskew’s “West Point 1915” examines the “Class the Stars Fell On,” which produced 59 graduates who attained the rank of brigadier general or higher.
Posted on Mar 2, 2015 in Books and Movies
In ‘American Reckoning’ Christian Appy argues that the Vietnam War shattered the central tenet of American identity, the belief in ‘American Exceptionalism.”
Posted on Sep 23, 2014 in Books and Movies
One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War. Bing West. Random House, New York, New York, 2014. 277 pages. No author has been as rooted to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as Bing West. During the past decade he has crafted six highly acclaimed books on these wars. These books were characterized by the author’s ability to blend the human dimension of war at the lower tactical level of war with his thoughts on how the wars were prosecuted at the strategic level. West’s latest and last book tied to the wars is One Mission Steps and does not stray from the author’s highly effective formula. The process by which West arrived at this title is very interesting and provides valuable insight. In his preface he states, “Suppose you’re offered $15,000 to walk two and a half miles each day for six months. In total, you will take one million steps and be well paid for losing a few pounds. Interested? There are a few provisos. First, you... Read More
Posted on Apr 4, 2014 in Books and Movies
Tom Ricks is always controversial and outspoken. His latest book, “The Generals,” maintains that the US Army has shirked its duty in policing its own ranks at the general officer level since the end of World War II.
Posted on Oct 22, 2013 in Books and Movies
Renowned historian and author Dennis Showalter tackles the Battle of Kursk in “Armor and Blood,” deftly blending facts and analysis and dispelling many myths.
Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Books and Movies
In “Voices of the Pacific,” authors Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton take readers through the wartime experiences of fifteen Marines who fought in the Pacific Theater.
Posted on Jun 18, 2013 in Books and Movies
Brian M. Sobel’s book “The Fighting Pattons” isn’t about the Patton family as much as it is a biography of George S. Patton III, son of the famous World War II general. As such, it fills an important role in examining this overlooked Patton.
Posted on Feb 26, 2013 in Books and Movies
“The Guerrilla Factory: The Making of Special Forces Officers, the Green Berets,” by Tony Schwalm, presents insights into the world of Special Forces, presented in a narrative style that makes the book hard to put down.
Posted on Jan 2, 2013 in Books and Movies
“Into The Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War” is a compelling book that takes readers into the emotions of soldiers during and after combat as few other books have done.
Posted on Oct 12, 2012 in Books and Movies
‘The Burma Campaign: Disaster into Triumph 1942 – 1945’ by Frank McLynn shows the author’s skill as a writer but might have been better served by a narrower focus.
Posted on Jul 26, 2011 in Books and Movies
Gerald M. Carbone’s sole emphasis in Washington: Lessons in Leadership is the performance of George Washington as a senior military leader. He provides readers with a balanced portrayal.
Posted on Mar 1, 2011 in Books and Movies
‘The Pacific War: The Strategy, Politics, and Players that Won the War,’ by William B. Hopkins focuses on Allied strategy, political aspects, and interesting profiles and insights on the key Allied leaders, both military and civilian.
Posted on Jan 28, 2011 in Books and Movies
Anthony Beevor’s book D-Day: The Battle for Normandy contains much more than what its title promises, continuing through Operation Goodwood, Operation Cobra, the Mortain Counterattack, the Falaise Pocket, and the Liberation of Paris.
Posted on Nov 4, 2010 in Books and Movies
The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War displays an amazing depth of research and is an engaging, informative read despite its length.
Posted on Oct 7, 2010 in Books and Movies
This review examines Alan Axelrod’s Little Known Wars of Great and Lasting Impact, and finds the book highly informative both in terms of what happened in these wars and how their effects ripple through history to affect the modern world.
Posted on Dec 22, 2009 in Books and Movies
A review of Steven L. Melton’s The Clausewitz Delusion, a book that maintains the U.S. Army’s infatuation with the writings of 19th-century military theoretician Carl von Clausewitz led to many of the problems in the Irag and Afghanistan wars.
Posted on May 5, 2009 in Books and Movies
A review of The Accidental Guerrilla, a book by David Kilcullen, acknowledges Kilcullen’s expertise in counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare operations and finds his treatment of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan extremely valuable and unique.
Posted on Mar 27, 2007 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Folsom’s volume will provide one of the best glimpses of the human dimension of war that you will ever read. It is a special book written by an author not afraid to share his innermost thoughts and emotions with his readers.
Posted on Mar 19, 2007 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Could the attack on Pearl Harbor have been stopped? Could the thousands of lost American lives in the horrific fighting in the Pacific been prevented?
Posted on Dec 1, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Every time you think that there is no subject regarding World War II that has not been exhaustively covered, along comes a book like this. Beavan has authored one of those books that informs as well as entertains.
Posted on Jul 11, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Mr. Lowry seeks to give readers a complete account and perspective on the March 2003 Battle of An Nasiriyah. Mission accomplished.
Posted on Apr 21, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
In roughly 600 pages, Leebaert interweaves analysis and examples of how “special operations” have impacted military operations from the Greeks use of the Trojan horse in 1200 BC to current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Posted on Mar 27, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
“Never neglect details.” Certainly, that is the credo that Osprey Publishing has exemplified for well over three decades.
Posted on Feb 19, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Spiller expertly intertwines history and fiction to exemplify how the conduct and nature of war itself has changed over the years.
Posted on Jan 12, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
The Dead of the Winter is an outstanding book that is a highly recommended read. Future readers will admire the sacrifices of those soldiers who died in the Ardennes.
Posted on Dec 16, 2005 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features
Thieves of Baghdad is the perfect volume to pick up if your recent reading material has placed you in a bit of a rut. It is one of those rare books that will keep you guessing as to what lies ahead on the next page (or even paragraph). It is a book that will inform, entertain, and make you think. Is there anything more you would want from a book?