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Thread: What Book Are You Reading?

  1. #991
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    The historian H.W. Brands who wrote The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace said of Grant's autobiography, it was the best of all the presidential memoirs due to it contents and that it had nothing to do with his time in the presidency.
    I'm reading it again. Amazing how much one misses the first time around.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  2. #992
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    Recently got a new copy in English (last one I gave to a friend) of Sasha Litvinenko's "Blowing up Russia" and have been re -reading it. Well worth reading still today; as the ancient Chinese master Sun Tzu said "Know your enemy".

  3. #993
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    Haven't picked up the Hue book but I have read a couple of great ones in the mean time.

    The novels I mentioned were excellent...also read Tipping Point by David Poyer (predecessor to Onslaught) and finally also got around to reading Ghost Fleet.

    Excellent reads.

    I accidentally (;-)) ordered James Hornfischer's excellent Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal. Started it yesterday and it is outstanding. I also have Tin Can Titans: The Heroic Men and Ships of World War II's Most Decorated Navy Destroyer Squadron the story of DESRON 21.

    After that I think I'll read The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 Hornfischer's book on the USN.

    More to follow.
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  4. #994
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    Rogue Warrior of the SAS: The Blair Mayne Legend
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Size:  596.6 KB A book about him..his abilities and his flaws

  5. #995
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    Neptune's Inferno was great. Very well done. Though I knew that campaign well but I learned a ton. It was amazing how much the USN had to learn about combat at the outbreak of World War 2. And some common sense things....

    a. Learn to trust in radar for target ID and fire control.
    b. Combat loading of ships is the difference between victory and defeat.
    c. THE USN had an unwarranted arrogance regarding superiority of equipment.
    d. We actually had many battleships available much earlier in the fight after Pearl Harbor. But we couldn't deploy to the Solomons because they were such fuel hogs and we had nowhere near enough fleet oilers available to deploy for support.
    e. Learning to give target bearing relative to ships movement and not by the compass (sound familiar?)
    f. Don't stick the kids from the deep woods of Georgia manning the sound powered telephones. No one could understand what the hell they were saying!

    Recommend it highly.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  6. #996
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Neptune's Inferno was great. Very well done. Though I knew that campaign well but I learned a ton. It was amazing how much the USN had to learn about combat at the outbreak of World War 2. And some common sense things....

    a. Learn to trust in radar for target ID and fire control.
    b. Combat loading of ships is the difference between victory and defeat.
    c. THE USN had an unwarranted arrogance regarding superiority of equipment.
    d. We actually had many battleships available much earlier in the fight after Pearl Harbor. But we couldn't deploy to the Solomons because they were such fuel hogs and we had nowhere near enough fleet oilers available to deploy for support.
    e. Learning to give target bearing relative to ships movement and not by the compass (sound familiar?)
    f. Don't stick the kids from the deep woods of Georgia manning the sound powered telephones. No one could understand what the hell they were saying!

    Recommend it highly.
    My grandad served on a few American built vessels. Tankers and merchant vessels in Atlantic and Med.

  7. #997
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War
    By Benny Morris.

    Very detailed, week-by-week analysis of the political, diplomatic and (mainly) military developments that led to the founding of the State of Israel. Surprisingly evenly balanced, with plenty of blame to go around.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/1948-Histor.../dp/0300151128
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  8. #998
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    DOR,

    yup, that book was great. the absolutely insane scramble in the ME immediately-post WWII is mind-boggling to read.

    here's a book i am VERY interested in-- catch is, it's not quite out yet.

    http://smstirling.com/books/black-chamber/
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  9. #999
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    I have pre-order of Robert Kaplan's "The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century".

  10. #1000
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    Last night ordered a copy of Luke Harding's new book "Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win". I have met Luke and read his previous work - he was a Guardian correspondent in Moscow for a while and was well known in emigre circles. I have pretty good confidence in him and look forward to assessing his evidence.

    Here is a NYTimes of the book for you Yanks who think it doesn't matter or that Trump is on your side: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/27/o...ot-russia.html
    Last edited by snapper; 24 Jan 18, at 05:51.

  11. #1001
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Off the typical beaten path for me where I always read something naval related. I ran across this book "My First Summer In The Sierra" by John Muir. Now I knew Muir was founder of the Sierra Club, friend of T.R., and influential in creating some of our most famous National Parks. I didn't know that he was an industrial engineer by training and worked in a factory in Wisconsin. What impressed me, as I read this book to my eight year old every night, was that this fellow is a true poet. His descriptions of the wild, in the words he uses, are absolute poetry. An amazing writer who became enamored by Mother Nature. I'm sure if everybody could see nature through his eyes they would all love nature as much as him and want to protect rather than plunder.

    Since the Sierra is in my backyard I had to see if I could actually trace his path of 1869 across the Central Valley and into the Yosemite Region. Consequently it has made me decide to use the first week of April school break to take a trip. Since roads in the Sierras, in the area, are closed in the winter I will drive down 395 from Topaz Lake NV to US 40 where I can go west and hit Bakersfield and then head up US 5 back home. This very lightly traveled route is along the east side of the Sierras where one finds ghost towns, Manzanar, Mono Lake, Mt. Whitney, Mammoth, and a short distance away Death Valley.

  12. #1002
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    I propose a new sections in the general "books" section: What books influenced you most and why?

    Since I propose this new section I suppose I must confess first:

    My Nan used to read me Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome when I wanted a bedtime story; Horatius etc... She loved history and I caught it from her.

    Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy which I picked up old bookshelf when I was about 11 and for some reason started reading. Still would like to do study philosophy more though I did my Phd in philosophy of science.

    My Latin School textbook. I can't recall it's name but it had all the stories of Agricola (which in Latin literally means "farmer") where Agricola became a hero. We also had an inspirational teacher and so I got into "classical history" first then, potteries/artifacts, then languages.

    Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War. This book I can passages again today that make sense. He was the first real historian.

    Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. Basically enlightened me regarding basic economics.


    Fictional Books:

    The Black Arrow, Robert Louis Stevenson. A story of revenge during the Wars of the Roses in England.

    Gordon R. Dickson's unfinished Dorsai novels, which I inherited from my Brother when he ran away from home. These are sci-fi stuff and called the "Childe Cycle" after the poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" but superb thinking and fencing theory in almost all of them. I commend the "Tactic of Mistake" to real life policy makers. There are lessons to be learned even from fantasy.

    Of course Tolkien. Because he was and trees are.

  13. #1003
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    So I am getting back together with my Battlefield Buddy next week for our next big tour. This year we are doing Revolutionary War from Savannah to Yorktown...basically the Campaigns of Cornwallis, Greene and the Carolina Patriots. So here is our reading list to prepare:

    A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens, Lawrence Babits

    Long, Obstinate and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Lawrence Babits & Joshua Howard


    Babits is a great author....the story leaps off the page when he tells it.

    The Road To Guilford Courthouse by John Buchanan

    A classis study

    The Revolutionary War in the Southern Backcountry, James Swisher


    The best book of the lot. It covers in depth the many campaigns in the South prior to and during the earlier years of the Rev War which were not Patriots v Redcoat/Loyalist. Rather it covers well the fighting between the Cherokee and Creek nations, allies to Britain and the Americans on the frontier. Many Patriots who would appear in later combat against the British and Loyalists cut their teeth in these campaigns. Covers a neglected and important part of the War.

    Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution, Wilbur Edgar

    A Gallant Defense: The Siege of Charleston, 1780, Carl P. Borick

    With Zeal and With Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783 Matthew H. Spring


    Zeal tells the story of how the British did adapt to combat in North America. It makes sense as they had been fighting on this Continent against the French, Spanish & Dutch for the century leading up to the REV WAR. After the opening rounds in 1775 & 1776, they modified clothing, doctrine and tactics to better fit the confines of the North American theater. None of this is seen to be more evident than in the British & German units in the Southern Theater 1779-1783.

    And if you want to know where I've been pulling my quiz questions from!


    And as is my usual, a week before I go I always start a book which is totally removed from the topic at hand to clear my mind and get me ready. I started Hornfischer's The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

    It is spectacular!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  14. #1004
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    Not a book but a magazine issue. National Geographic Special Issue April 2018 Black and White. From science to psychology concerning race. Or is there even such a thing as race. Excellent. Thought provoking. Got it today and read all the articles within a few hours.

  15. #1005
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    I've read several hundred NatGeo magazines myself, stretching as far back as the very beginning of the magazine itself.

    They're not only very informative and educational with regards to the intended purpose of the content itself, but also offer amazing anthropological/historical insights into the perspectives and attitudes of not only the people who wrote them, but also, more broadly, those of society at the time as well.

    Every magazine, pick a year, is a product of its time and place.

    Besides that, I'm still on Orson Scott Card's Xenocide.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 20 Apr 18, at 09:20.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

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