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Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2007

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Default What Are You Currently Reading? 2007

    Thought it might be interesting to compare (but, Tom Odom, the menu at Applebees doesn't count!).

    Here's mine:

    Currently

    Fouad Ajami, The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq

    In the queue

    Ali Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq
    Peter Galbraith, The End of Iraq
    George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm
    Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul
    Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Thought it might be interesting to compare (but, Tom Odom, the menu at Applebees doesn't count!).

    Here's mine:

    Currently

    Fouad Ajami, The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq

    In the queue

    Ali Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq
    Peter Galbraith, The End of Iraq
    George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm
    Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul
    Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World
    Applebees in DeRidder? Now that would be something--all that culture. Maybe we could go exotic and get the Outback with all that "Australian culture"--you know, like they came up with in Tampa, FL?

    Riight now I am fully engaged with trends; they make for an exciting read

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Applebees in DeRidder? Now that would be something--all that culture. Maybe we could go exotic and get the Outback with all that "Australian culture"--you know, like they came up with in Tampa, FL?

    Riight now I am fully engaged with trends; they make for an exciting read
    Did you see the link in my reply to you in the "Red Dawn" thread?
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 06-16-2007 at 01:27 PM.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Did you see the link in my reply to you in the "Red Dawn" thread?
    Yep

    That ain't me--that guy has hair

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Ah, good. I just posted a recommendation for Luttrell's book in a different community here. I finished it in 10 hours - couldn't put it down, and had to wipe the tears out of my eyes about fifty times or so. What a heart-breaking, and inspiring, book.

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    Currently:

    - Chesty: The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC by LTC Jon T. Hoffman, USMCR
    - Police Sniper by Craig Roberts

    In the queue:

    - A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens by Lawrence E. Babits
    - Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes by Dr. Henry C. Lee
    Last edited by Rifleman; 06-16-2007 at 10:15 PM.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Council Member Sargent's Avatar
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    I'm working on my dissertation, so I'm reading a lot, but here are the highlights:

    Josephus, Wars of the Jews (Whitson translation) -- I read a page or two before bed

    Lt. Charles Gatewood and His Apache Wars Memoir (Kraft, ed.)

    Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food (dissertation-related, but my husband's deployment has been replete with important food/dining issues -- the many meals he shares with the IA BNCO, over which they do much work, not to mention the relationship building (dining diplomacy), as well as the boxes of baklava he has bought for my husband to send back to me, which, even three weeks later were awesome; the problems with contractors as food providers (aka, the unlearning of the first lesson of American military history); candy-bar diplomacy; and finally, let's not forget the relationship between culture/society, war, and military organizations)

    Oliver Knight, Life and Manners in the Frontier Army


    In the queue...

    Agostino Von Hassell, Military High Life: Elegant Food Histories and Recipes

    Mary Massey, Ersatz in the Confederacy



    .

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    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Applebees in DeRidder? Now that would be something--all that culture. Maybe we could go exotic and get the Outback with all that "Australian culture"--you know, like they came up with in Tampa, FL?

    Riight now I am fully engaged with trends; they make for an exciting read
    Tom,

    At least you recognise the irony. That place is as Aussie as Jacques Chirac is an American neo-con. And, before anyone else gets in, 'Aussie Culture' is not an oxymoron. really.

    I am currently reading Tom Mockaitis' [I]The New Terrorism[I] , refreshing Kitson on my recently acquired Hailer Publishing edition of Low Intensity Operations and bed time reading is Monash's The Australian Victories in France 1918.

    In the queue are Horne's book A savage war of peace (have started it twice now but keep on getting distracted) and Boot's War made new.

    cheers

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark O'Neill; 06-17-2007 at 04:28 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Currently: Mark Moyar's Triumph Forsaken--The Vietnam War 1954-1965, which will be followed by Red Acropolis, Black Terror (Greek Civil War) by Andre Gerolymatos; and The Kappillan of Malta, an oldie by Nicholas Monsarrat.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Last edited by Mike in Hilo; 06-17-2007 at 07:22 AM.

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    Just finished Mao's On Guerrilla Warfare last night.

    Now, Brave New War.

    To come:
    No God But God
    Licensed to Kill
    The Village
    Iron Kingdom
    The Village That Died for England


    Plus lots of interwar and armor stuff for the dissertation.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sargent View Post
    I'm working on my dissertation, so I'm reading a lot, but here are the highlights:



    Oliver Knight, Life and Manners in the Frontier Army


    In the queue...

    Agostino Von Hassell, Military High Life: Elegant Food Histories and Recipes

    Mary Massey, Ersatz in the Confederacy



    .
    The Knight book you have in the list is very good, if you haven't read it before. The Frontier Army's one of my big research "things," so I've read it more than a couple of times now.

    Current reading?
    After Tet by Spector (re-read)
    A series of SAMS monographs on cavalry in the UA, MOOTW, and so on (for a paper)
    Low Level Hell by Mills (for the same paper - this is a re-read)
    Setup by Tilford (for an article project - also a re-read)
    Chasin Ghosts by Tierney (about 3/4 of the way through and not impressed)
    waiting in the wings:
    Taking Haiti by Renda
    Masters of Death by Rhodes
    Last edited by Steve Blair; 06-17-2007 at 01:22 PM.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    The Knight book you have in the list is very good, if you haven't read it before. The Frontier Army's one of my big research "things," so I've read it more than a couple of times now.

    Current reading?
    After Tet by Spector (re-read)
    A series of SAMS monographs on cavalry in the UA, MOOTW, and so on (for a paper)
    Low Level Hell by Mills (for the same paper - this is a re-read)
    Setup by Tilford (for an article project - also a re-read)
    Chasin Ghosts by Tierney (about 3/4 of the way through and not impressed)
    waiting in the wings:
    Taking Haiti by Renda
    Masters of Death by Rhodes
    Butch Tilford will be ecstatic to know he still has readers. He teaches history at Grove City College now.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Butch Tilford will be ecstatic to know he still has readers. He teaches history at Grove City College now.
    Earl Tilford's book is one of the most insightful I've seen regarding both the AF's role in Vietnam and its operational culture (along with The 11 Days of Christmas, although it is focused on Linebacker and LB II). I'm usually pointing our cadets in its direction so they can get a different view on the AF in Vietnam, as the MAS syllabus tends to trot out the "company line." And since it's a free pdf download from the AU I'm hoping at least a couple of them will eventually read it.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Earl Tilford's book is one of the most insightful I've seen regarding both the AF's role in Vietnam and its operational culture (along with The 11 Days of Christmas, although it is focused on Linebacker and LB II). I'm usually pointing our cadets in its direction so they can get a different view on the AF in Vietnam, as the MAS syllabus tends to trot out the "company line." And since it's a free pdf download from the AU I'm hoping at least a couple of them will eventually read it.
    In my opinion the Air Force is the service least tolerant of deviation from the company line. Butch retired as a major, in part because he was an iconoclast.

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    Council Member T. Jefferson's Avatar
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    I am currently reading “Finding the Target” by Kagan, a very good analyses of transformation.

    “The End of Iraq” by Galbraith is very informative, yet comes across as an apologetic for Kurdish independence.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    In my opinion the Air Force is the service least tolerant of deviation from the company line. Butch retired as a major, in part because he was an iconoclast.
    I would agree with that opinion. Been pondering an article or something along those lines for some time now. And they do themselves no favors with that attitude.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Jefferson View Post
    I am currently reading “Finding the Target” by Kagan, a very good analyses of transformation.

    “The End of Iraq” by Galbraith is very informative, yet comes across as an apologetic for Kurdish independence.
    I should have listed Fred's book in my queue as well. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Weekly Standard about Fred's most recent Iraq essay for them. I hope they run it next issue. Here's what it said,

    I've just read Frederick Kagan's "The New Old Thing" in the June 11 issue. While I normally agree with Fred on most things, I take issue with his argument that the Abizaid-Casey strategy which focused on training Iraqi forces "failed" and the current approach of using American forces to protect Iraqi civilians is better. I base this on the history of insurgency over the past fifty years. In almost every instance where insurgents succeeded, the immediate precipitant was not violence against civilians, but a collapse of will on the part of local security forces. The key is not whether Iraqi security forces can themselves substitute for American forces in short term, but that they retain their morale, and coherence. That should be our primary goal over the next few years. Perhaps the Abizaid-Casey strategy was not the best way to assure that. If so, we should adjust our efforts to bolster the Iraqi security forces, not abandon them.

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Been pondering an article or something along those lines for some time now.
    You're probably familiar with it but the classic work on service cultures was Carl Builder's The Masks of War.

    Having spent most of the career working for the Army, I've always liked the fact that it tolerates loyal iconoclasts (even though it doesn't promote them to flag rank). Krepinevich, MacGregor, McMaster, and Vandergrift come to mind. I was worried that under GEN Shinseki, the attitude seemed to be spreading that the Air Force routinely trounced the Army in budget battles because it "spoke with one voice." So the Army appeared to be moving in that direction. Luckily it was a passing fad.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    You're probably familiar with it but the classic work on service cultures was Carl Builder's The Masks of War.

    Having spent most of the career working for the Army, I've always liked the fact that it tolerates loyal iconoclasts (even though it doesn't promote them to flag rank). Krepinevich, MacGregor, McMaster, and Vandergrift come to mind. I was worried that under GEN Shinseki, the attitude seemed to be spreading that the Air Force routinely trounced the Army in budget battles because it "spoke with one voice." So the Army appeared to be moving in that direction. Luckily it was a passing fad.
    The Marines seem to have a similar philosophy, and the Navy at least lets them ramble in the pages of Proceedings. Sadly, with the AF it's more a matter of "burn the heretics" than it is anything else. Or they let them write interesting papers for the Air University and then shuffle them away.

    I took a course from Don Vandergiff last year. Very interesting guy. I just missed MacGregor when he had the Quarterhorse at Fort Riley, which is something I regret. He was seriously interested in the squadron's history and really pumped his troopers up with it.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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