Tag: War

Jun 22 2014

The Korean War by Max Hastings

This is the best book on the subject I have read so far. The author is British and therefore has no patriotic ax to grind about either the motives or the performance of the United States in this war. He acknowledges that Syngman Rhee was a brutal and corrupt dictator who committed numberless atrocities against …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/06/22/the-korean-war-by-max-hastings/

May 12 2014

For Reasons of State by Noam Chomsky

The first four chapters of this book deal with the perceived immorality and injustice of the Vietnam War. By now I am so used to Chomsky’s blame-America-first arguments that I tend to be dismissive of them, but his indictments in this book do make me stop and think. The rest of this book consists of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/05/12/for-reasons-of-state-by-noam-chomsky/

Jun 18 2012

The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman

Tuchman’s thesis is that governments frequently, through sheer obstinacy and stupidity, do things that are injurious to their own interests. She cites four primary historical examples: the Trojans in the Trojan War, the papacy preceding the Reformation, the British government during the American Revolution, and the government of the United States during the Vietnam War. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2012/06/18/the-march-of-folly-by-barbara-tuchman/

May 18 2012

A Better War by Lewis Sorley

Every now and then you get a revisionist account of Vietnam that argues that the U.S. military knew what it was doing and could have won the war if not for the hippies, the journalists, and the politicians. Sorley makes a decent case that the war under the command of General Creighton Abrams was not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2012/05/18/a-better-war-by-lewis-sorley/

Feb 20 2012

Napoleon by Frank McLynn

This is the best and most balanced biography of Napoleon I have read so far. It contains much excellent scholarship and critical commentary; however, it also contains a lot of amateur Freudian analysis that is pure rubbish. While I am neither a warmonger nor an imperialist, I find it hard to read a biography of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2012/02/20/napoleon-by-frank-mclynn/

Jan 09 2012

A History of Warfare by John Keegan

This is Keegan’s best work. In most of his works he analyzes the science of warfare; in this book he also analyzes the psychology and culture of warfare. He takes exception from the beginning with Clausewitz’s dictum that war is politics by other means, and shows with ample evidence from history that war often is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2012/01/09/a-history-of-warfare-by-john-keegan/

Oct 25 2011

War and Our World by John Keegan

This is a very thoughtful and rational analysis of a very diabolical subject. Keegan acknowledges that war has evolved into something so terrible that it is to be avoided at all costs, but at the same time argues that war and preparedness for war remain unfortunate necessities in the fallen world in which we live. …

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Jul 25 2011

The Second World War by John Keegan

War is terrible to experience, but fascinating to read about. I have read this book before, but it was worth rereading. Keegan’s approach to the study of war is coldly technical and rather short on human feeling, but his tactical and strategic analysis is admirably thorough. For a snobby Brit, he is a great admirer …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2011/07/25/the-second-world-war-by-john-keegan/

Apr 22 2011

Infantry Attacks by Erwin Rommel

This book reads like a series of military field reports, which is basically what it is. Rommel displays his flair for aggressive command of infantry under extremely challenging circumstances in the First World War, and I suppose many might find his accounts of courage and resourcefulness under fire very inspiring. But reading this memoir gives …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2011/04/22/infantry-attacks-by-erwin-rommel/

Dec 22 2010

Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow

Considered to be the definitive book on the Vietnam War. I had read this book many years ago, but I’m glad that taking the Vietnam War course at LSU forced me to reread it. Despite my professor’s hawkish pronouncements, after rereading this book I don’t see any way we could have won in Vietnam, short …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2010/12/22/vietnam-a-history-by-stanley-karnow/