Sunday Burgs book review
Today is Veterans Day, which annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, ending the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day so please, thank a vet today and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and your freedom.
The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks, Penguin Press, 2012.
America has always had war heroes. The generals of World War II — Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley — have fared well in the history books. The generals of the wars that followed — not so much. In “The Generals,” Thomas E. Ricks examines why that is. Holding Marshall and Eisenhower up as the standard of what great leadership is, it has been hard for those who followed in their footsteps.
Korea showed the first signs of an army leadership culture that neither punished mediocrity nor rewarded daring. In the Vietnam War, American military leadership hit rock bottom with the My Lai massacre being the defining event of this era. Through the Iraq War of 1990, to the present day wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ricks has made a close study of America’s military leaders. He talks about the transmission of values, strategic thinking, and the difference between an organization that learns and one that fails.
All In: the Education of General David Petraeus by Paula Broadwell, Penguin, 2012.
And speaking of generals, David Petraeus is the most transformative leader the American military has seen in two generations. Smart, savvy, political and dedicated to the Army, Petraeus is the total package of a great soldier. Military expert Paula Broadwell was given the opportunity to be embedded with the general, his staff and soldiers on the front lines of fighting and at the strategic command in Afghanistan. She examines Petraeus’s career, his intellectual development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military. She feels that the modern day military is better prepared to fight, thanks to his profound influence.
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm, Waterbrook, 2012.
There have been several books written about or by Navy SEALs in the last year. No Easy Day by Mark Owens is currently on the New York Times best seller list and is a firsthand account on the raid to kill bin Laden. Service: A Navy SEAL at War by Marcus Luttrell is the story of his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then there is “Fearless,” by Eric Blehm. This is the story of one SEAL who took an unlikely path to becoming one of America’s elite. A fun loving daredevil from Arkansas, Adam Brown lived and partied hard. It led to a life of alcohol and drugs. After bumming around and living on the streets, he nearly killed himself, and landed in jail. It was time to turn his life around. In spite of a criminal record, he was able to get into the Navy. This is his story – a man of extremes, who waged a war against his own demons and persevered to reach the pinnacle of the U.S. military. He became a Navy SEAL and paid the ultimate price for his bravery and courage. You won’t forget Adam Brown.
-Compiled by Paula Alston, director of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. If you would like to be a guest reviewer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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