19 Stars: A Study in Military Character and Leadership
by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.
This valuable work studies the lives and careers of Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, and George S. Patton through their own eyes as well as the recollections of hundreds of others who worked with and knew them personally. Elements common to their success are examined, including obvious attributes such as their thorough preparation and capacity for work as well as the more subtle qualities of character and, of course, luck. This is a great work for up-and-coming officers to better understand the fundamentals of leadership, preparation, and the need for luck.
Constitution of the United States
As Soldiers and civilians, we swear an oath to defend this document
as the basis of our government and way of life. It is time to revisit our
nation’s foundational document to refresh our understanding of the
principles that organize and balance our society and remind us what
we are swearing to “support and defend.”
The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I
by Mark E. Grotelueschen
This exemplary case study of doctrinal and tactical innovation under fire shows how four divisions of the American Expeditionary Forces adapted, or failed to adapt, to conditions on the Western Front during World War I. The 1st and 2d Divisions perfected artilleryinfantry liaison so that by November 1918 they had achieved “state of the art” tactical skills as practiced by the allied armies. Both the 26th and 77th Divisions failed to achieve this level of skill—the 26th because its commander failed to maintain control of his subordinate units and the 77th because its commander remained wedded to prewar doctrine.
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
by James M. McPherson
McPherson has written a brilliant account of the American Civil War—the war that made the country what it is today. He discusses in clear, incisive detail the causes of the war, the military operations, the Soldiers, the leaders, and the political, economic, and social aspects of life in the Union and the Confederacy before and during the war. With many experts judging it to be the best one-volume history of the Civil War, it provides an excellent introduction to the most significant war fought by the American Army.
Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from
Napoleon to Al-Qaeda
by John Keegan
Keegan brings to life the split-second decisions that went into waging war before the benefit of aerial surveillance and electronic communications. He explains how espionage and decryption have changed the face of battle, such as thwarting the Japanese attack on Midway by an early warning. Keegan illustrates that timely information is only the beginning of decision making during war, where brute force is often more critical.
The Killer Angels
by Michael Shaara
The late Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel (1974) recounts the battle of Gettysburg from a fictional point of view and was the basis for the 1993 film Gettysburg. The author tells the events immediately before and during the battle as seen through the eyes of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and Lewis A. Armistead; and Federal General John Buford and Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain; and a host of others. The author’s ability to convey the thoughts of men in war as well as their confusion in the “fog of battle” is outstanding.
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
by Dave Grossman
The book investigates the psychology of killing in combat and stresses that human beings have a powerful, innate resistance to the taking of life. The author examines the techniques developed by the military to overcome that aversion during the Vietnam War, revealing how an American Soldier was more lethal during this conflict than at any other time in history. Grossman argues that the combination of the breakdown of American society, the pervasive violence in the media, and interactive video games is conditioning our children to kill in a manner similar to the Army’s conditioning of Soldiers.
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
by Samuel P. Huntington
The late Harvard social scientist, Samuel Huntington, warns of the increasing threat of renewed conflicts originating in countries and cultures that base their traditions on religious faith and dogma. Moving past the issues of race and nationality as sources of future conflict, he cites the growing influence of a handful of major cultures—Western, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and African—in current struggles across the globe. His study underlines the importance of cultural awareness in dealing with crises throughout the globe and the significant role that awareness plays in implementing effective policies and programs on the ground.
A History of Modern Iran
by Ervand Abrahamian
In a reappraisal of Iran’s modern history, the author traces Iran’s traumatic journey across the twentieth century, through the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of the Pahlavis, and, in 1979, revolution and the birth of the Islamic republic. In the intervening years, the country has experienced a bitter war with Iraq, the transformation of society under the clergy, and, more recently, the expansion of the state and the struggle for power between the old elites, the intelligentsia, and the commercial middle class. As Iran emerges at the beginning of the twenty-first century as one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, it is important to understand its culture and history.
The Longest War: The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict
by Dilip Hiro
Lasting eight years and costing over a trillion dollars and a million casualties, this conflict (which featured chemical weapons and genocide against the Kurds), is largely unknown to most Westerners. The author, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, traces the ancient animosities and territorial aspirations that animated the slaughter, describes in detail the actual fighting, and connects the war to the “great powers” that covertly aided the belligerents. Despite current fears of excessive Iranian influence in newly democratic Iraq, the war, revolving around oil, access to the sea, and religious tensions, is not yet over.