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Thread: What Are You Currently Reading? 2009

  1. #201
    Council Member karaka's Avatar
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    Heh, I think more people would get tricked into philsophy if they knew that all the arguments and logic and thinking were actually just a vehicle for very dry wit.

  2. #202
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    Default Hessian Jaeger Officer Johann Ewald:

    I just started his "Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal". Given my interest in American frontier history and rifles, I don't know how I missed Ewald until now.

    Ewald' diary, plus his works "Treatise on Partisan Warfare" and "A Treatise on the Duties of Light Troops," are said tho have influenced British Rifle Officers Sir John Moore and Colonel Coote-Manningham.

    His treatises are next on my list after his diary.
    Last edited by Rifleman; 10-12-2009 at 10:26 PM.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

  3. #203
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    I just started his "Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal". Given my interest in American frontier history and rifles, I don't know how I missed Ewald until now.

    Ewald' diary, plus his works "Treatise on Partisan Warfare" and "A Treatise on the Duties of Light Troops," are said tho have influenced British Rifle Officers Sir John Moore and Colonel Coote-Manningham.

    His treatises are next on my list after his diary.
    The Sharpe's Rifles Series was written just for you, mate!

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    The Sharpe's Rifles Series was written just for you, mate!
    I've probably read half of them! They're not bad when I'm in the mood for fiction.

    I'm finding this Hessian Jaeger diary interesting at the moment though. I've discovered something from North American frontier history that I was only vaguely familiar with.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

  5. #205
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    'The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S Military for Modern Wars' by David Ucko

    'In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan' by Seth Jones

    'The American Culture of War' by Adrian Lewis

    'Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems' by Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh

    'Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security' by Richard Betts

    'A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle Easts' by Lawrence Freedman

    Strategic Theory is anything but dull and to think I get paid a scholarship to do this
    Last edited by Taiko; 10-14-2009 at 07:33 AM.

  6. #206
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    War of the Flea by Robert Taber
    The Savage Wars of Peace by Max Boot
    The Ayatollah Begs To Differ by Hooman Majd
    Hella Nation(audio) By Evan Wright

  7. #207
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    LTC (ret) Jim Channon's "First Earth Battalion" also can be found here. I feel like I'd fail urinalysis just for reading this. He was decades ahead of his time in places and a complete flake. If you can get past the New Age stuff, he bandies about some ideas that were way ahead of the time (1979).

    Kind of like Heinlein; Heinlein envisioned cellphones, waterbeds, teleoperated manipulators, robotic housecleaning devices like the Roomba, and others, but the flying cars, common space travel, and his vision of computers were way off.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfTheTroops View Post
    War of the Flea by Robert Taber
    The Savage Wars of Peace by Max Boot
    The Ayatollah Begs To Differ by Hooman Majd
    Hella Nation(audio) By Evan Wright
    I will probably finish War of the Flea tonight (thought it was pretty good) and just picked up Max Boot's "War Made New." Anybody read the latter?

  9. #209
    Council Member AnalyticType's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Fiction and nonfiction recently

    On the fiction side I recently inhaled Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, and Daniel Levine's The Last Ember (which was great right up until the end, where it got to be a bit too much).

    On the nonfiction side of things, I'm concurrently reading The Sling and The Stone by Hammes and Kilcullen's The Accidental Guerrilla.

    Next on the stack are Brave New War by John Robb, and a more in-depth re-read of Maurice's Strategikon.
    "At least we're getting the kind of experience we need for the next war." -- Allen Dulles

    A work of art worth drooling over: http://www.maxton.com/intimidator1/i...r1_page4.shtml

  10. #210
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    I have begun reading Conrad Black's biography of Richard Nixon (IMO one of America's great and under-rated presidents) as well as D. M. Glantz's The Seige of Leningrad: 900 Days of Terror. Although I have rated Glantz' work very highly in the past it has often had the character and feel of direct translations of Soviet works rather than reflecting his own critical appraisal of events. I am happy to say that Leningrad features more of his own opinion as well as the usually high standard of scholarship. I am thinking about purchasing Clash of Titans next.
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 10-17-2009 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Seplling mitaskes

  11. #211
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    I just started his "Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal". Given my interest in American frontier history and rifles, I don't know how I missed Ewald until now.

    Ewald' diary, plus his works "Treatise on Partisan Warfare" and "A Treatise on the Duties of Light Troops," are said tho have influenced British Rifle Officers Sir John Moore and Colonel Coote-Manningham.

    His treatises are next on my list after his diary.
    All of these are available for free at the Online Library of the American Revolution in the South (approximate title) along with dozens and dozens of other things. Link below.

    http://lib.jrshelby.com/
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  12. #212
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Anglophile

    Since I am in an Anglophile trend with the Sharpe's series, I started Carlo D'Este's Warlord on Churchill.

    Also reading Bernard Cornwell's small auto-biographical essay on how and why Sharpe came to be.

    The parallel role of parents (or lack of) is startling

    Tom

  13. #213
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    Default Sharpe's roots

    Rifleman and Tom,

    You'd enjoy 'Fusiliers: How the British Army lost America but learned to fight' by Mark Urban (Pub. 2007 hardback and 2008 paperback).

    My copy has a cover quote 'Superb. An inspiring account' Bernard Cornwell.
    Enough said.

    I did mention this book before, so apologies if aware already.

    davidbfpo

  14. #214
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Fusiliers: The Saga of a British Redcoat Regiment in the American Revolution

    Is this the book, David? I could not find one that matched your title exactly

    Tom

  15. #215
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    I just re read the Nomos of the Earth by Carl Schmitt. Not easy reading but amazing.

  16. #216
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Same book, different title

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Is this the book, David? I could not find one that matched your title exactly

    Tom
    Yes, sorry I didn't check Amazon etc for variations.

    david

  17. #217
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    Default Complex Adaptive Systems?

    Anyone have a recommendation for a book on complex adaptive systems or systems/complexity theory that is worth reading? I'm looking for something that will be helpful for applying as a frame of reference/analysis, rather than getting into the nuts and bolts of how to really set up the mathematical/modeling sort of analysis that this can get into.

    On a reading note, just (finally) finished Rashid's "Descent into Chaos" and found it relatively informative and useful, although I did skim over a lot of his details. Picking Sheehan's "Bright and Shining Lie" back up to finish off the parts I haven't read once and for all. I think it is an excellent and topical book.

  18. #218
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    Default Military Orientalism

    I'm currently reading "Military Orientalism" by Patrick Porter. I'm barely halfway through the introduction but it seems to be a study of how culture informs strategy- and especially how Western militaries misread, or purposely choose to ignore the realities of fighting a non-European/American opponent. Familiar stuff to this crowd I'm afraid. I bought it because it's part of a series along with "The Accidental Guerilla".

    I also just finished "Afghanistan And the Troubled Future of Unconventional Warfare" by Hy S. Rothstein.

    Here's a review of that book I posted elsewhere:

    "This deceptively slim volume by Hy Rothstein (former career Special Forces officer and current Senior Lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School ) is part diatribe and part lament about military policy in relation to the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan and the implementation of Army Special Forces.

    Using Organizational Theory, Rothstein delineates the missteps taken by conventionally minded war planners with narrow parochial interests who shaped America's role and conduct in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2006. Keep in mind, that this book is written specifically about the Rumsfeld-era. The rest of the book is devoted to an explanation of what Special Forces were originally intended to be (a Foreign Internal Defense/ oriented organization) rather than a unit designed or dedicated to "hyper-conventional" direct action "Ranger style" missions. He carefully describes the "Delta-envy" felt by the Army Special Forces community and how it has resulted in a diminished unconventional warfare capacity.

    Ultimately he argues for a more population-centric, politically-aware grand strategy in low intensity warfighting. Additionally he argues for a separate service for Special Forces so its leadership can have a seat at the policymaking table instead of relying on Army/JCS leadership to present alternatives to conventional warfare as possible solutions for all problems that potentially require military force. "
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-19-2009 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Add quotemarks

  19. #219
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Yes, sorry I didn't check Amazon etc for variations.

    david
    What I found most interesting in Urban's book was the discussion on the fact that the British Army of the 18th and early 19th Century kept forgetting what it had learrned about "small wars" and underwent a debate similar to the current debate in the US Army about what kind of force structure to maintain.

    The more things change . . .
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    What I found most interesting in Urban's book was the discussion on the fact that the British Army of the 18th and early 19th Century kept forgetting what it had learrned about "small wars" and underwent a debate similar to the current debate in the US Army about what kind of force structure to maintain.

    The more things change . . .
    No doubt because they wanted to get back to fighting "real" wars

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