Book Review: Stand Down: How Social Justice Warriors are Sabotaging America’s Military by James Hasson

Unless you have been living in a cave you should be aware that political correctness and the “war for social justice” is everywhere in the last 10-15 years.  This book details how the social justice warriors (SJWs) have infiltrated the American military and the corrosive effect SJW policies has had on military readiness. The author is a former US Army officer and combat veteran.  The numbers: there are 182 pages of text divided into 9 topical chapters with 38 pages of notes and an index.  The first chapter defines the problems that the author sees and chapters 2-8 describe the various issues and how the SJW influence has affected the … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Napoleon in 100 Objects by Gareth Glover

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author and/or publisher. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] This is a very interesting book that takes a look at the life of Napoleon Bonaparte through using 100 objects contemporary to his life to tell the story.  It is an interesting concept and one that the author does a generally very good job at. The numbers, the book is not divided into contemporary chapters, instead there are 100, I will call them micro chapters, for each object.  There is 282 pages of text and a 7-page index. The objects … More after the Jump…

Book Review-Life in Medieval Europe by Danièle Cybulskie

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author and/or publisher. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] I expected this book to be somewhat similar to the classic “A World Lit Only by Fire” by William Manchester.  It is in that it describes medieval life and it is different in that it presents a more realistic appreciation of what life was actually like in the Middle Ages vice the depressing picture painted by Manchester. First, the stats.  The book is 117 pages of text divided into six topical chapters.  There are no notes in the text but … More after the Jump…

Book Review by Lindsay Gudridge: Operation Barbarossa and Germany’s Defeat in the East by David Stahel

David Stahel has conclusively demonstrated that there is more to learn from the history of World War II. His first published work, a revised version of his doctoral dissertation entitled Operation Barbarossa and Germany’s Defeat in the East, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009.  This work is not another single volume “comprehensive” work describing the entire campaign conducted by Germany and its allies and their invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Instead, the author restricts his narrative to describing the planning and preparation of the offensive and the crucial first six weeks of the campaign, roughly the period from 22 June 1941 to the … More after the Jump…

Book Review by Lindsay Gudridge: George Marshall Defender of the Republic by David L. Roll

George C. Marshall, Jr. would graduate from the Virginia Military Institute in two months and he had decided that he wanted to be an officer in the U.S. Army. So in April of 1901, Marshall took it upon himself to travel to Washington, D.C. and meet with the U.S. Attorney General who was an acquaintance of his father. This gentleman was impressed by the interview and arranged for Marshall to meet that same day with the Chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee who received him favorably. However, Marshall wanted to be certain that he would achieve his goal. That same day he walked into the White House and joined … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Beneath the Killing Fields: Exploring the Subterranean Landscapes of the Western Front by Matthew Leonard

Beneath the Killing Fields is a study and description of the subterranean remnants from WWI (tunnels, mines, etc.) that for the most part were covered up and forgotten in the post-war period. This is actually a pretty interesting book if you can get past the author’s obvious contempt for every other branch of historical study beyond modern conflict archaeology. The author waxes eloquent at several different places about how his particular field of study is the only one that illuminates the lived experience of conflict on the western front. I am not going to argue here, I will simply point out that without the work of those other branches of … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Yank and Rebel Rangers: Special Operations in the American Civil War, by Robert W. Black

The literature on elite military forces typically involves spectacular and legendary stories of specialized units performing extraordinary battlefield operations. Special operations forces consist of highly skilled and trained soldiers who can work in austere and asymmetric environments. From the Biblical account of King David’s “mighty men”[1] to the modern-day SEAL Team Six, specialized forces have played a pivotal role throughout military history. Of the myriad of special operations forces, the units known as Rangers have a celebrated history and lineage that has evolved in today’s US Army, 75th Ranger Regiment. Their past includes well-known units such as Rogers’ Rangers of American Revolution fame; Mosby’s Rangers, the Confederate cavalry shock troops … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck

I just recently finished reading Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck (last night), I don’t know why but for some reason I am on a war memoir kick right now and digging through my library and re-reading all the war memoirs I have.   Colonel Luck’s memoir is very interesting, he had a very interesting career in both the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht in the years preceding and during World War II. Colonel Luck opened the war in Poland and fought on all the major fronts of the war to include the invasion of Russia, the Western Desert, and D-day before ending the war once again in the … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Strange death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray

Since 2015 and the flood of refugees and others hit Europe immigration has turned into a hot button political issue. The Strange Death of Europe is an analytical approach to the phenomenon of mass migration into Europe. First the numbers. The book is 320 pages of text divided into 19 topical chapters with an introduction, notes, and an index. If you live in Europe then you cannot help but be aware that immigration, particularly that by Muslims has increased markedly in the past few years. Indeed, it is so noticeable that the stresses imposed by it, not even to mention terrorism, are starting to make themselves felt in European politics … More after the Jump…

Soldier Experiences During the War in Burma from 1942 – 1945: Three Autobiographies that Span the Ranks

In the decades since the end of World War Two military historians have published thousands of books on the campaigns, operations, and battles fought during this most global of world wars. The campaign in Northwest Europe garnered the lion’s share of the reporting, the analysis, and the story-telling. It was followed in popularity by, in uncertain order, the campaigns waged across the deserts of North Africa, the island hopping operations in the Pacific Theater, and since the fall of the Soviet Union an increasing number of corrective histories and biographies on the Russian-German war experience. Throughout this war, one obscure but none the less highly important area of operations remained … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Templars, The Rise and the Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors by Dan Jones

British historian and journalist, Dan Jones, dives deep and wide in examining one of the most famous Catholic knight orders – the Knights Templar – in The Templars, The Rise and the Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors. Published in 2017, this book complements Jones’ earlier works, The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England and The War of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors. The Templar epoch reflected a rags to riches, and back to rags, and eventually to the systematic eradication of a significant contributor to virtually all of the campaigns to secure Christianity’s most holy sites in the … More after the Jump…

The Harvard Classics Volume 1

The first volume in the Harvard Classics is actually pretty good.  It consists of three works: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin , by Benjamin Franklin Journal, by John Woolman Fruits of Solitude, by William Penn All were actually fairly readable from my perspective although I enjoyed the writing of Franklin the most and Woolman the least with Penn being somewhere in the middle. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography covers essentially the first half of his life as he passed away before he could finish writing it.  He is very modest and actually matter of fact in relating the events of his life.  He also has a very witty writing style that is … More after the Jump…

The Harvard Classics

I decided a few days ago that I am going to start a project that I have always wanted to do, read the entire 51 Volume set of the Harvard Classics aka “The Five Foot Shelf of Books”.  I work in a Library and we have the complete set on our shelves but they are also available as eBooks in a couple of places online such as at the Project Gutenberg website.  I first remember hearing about them in High School when our English teacher mentioned them.  They are essentially a method to obtain a classical liberal arts education without going to school. The short description of the collection from … More after the Jump…

Veterans Day 2018

Happy Veterans Day To all my fellow veterans!   Somebody has to be at the pointy end of the stick and you all took up the challenge,

American Military Cemetery with WWI war dead at Epinal, France

Today is Veteran’s Day in the US and Armistice Day in Britain and France. It is a day to remember the end of the fighting in World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. It is also the day set aside in the US to remember all veterans, not just those of World War I but also those that served in our nation’s other wars and those that served during peacetime. It takes something special to serve your country and a little bit more to do so voluntarily. There is always the possibility of going to war and giving your life for your country while in the military. I hope that everyone takes a moment today and remembers the sacrifices of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have served and fought for the United States. If you meet a vet today, shake his hand and thank him for his service. Remember, less than 1% of US citizens currently serve, yet they do so to protect that other 99%.

US Department of Veterans Affairs site about Veterans Day

 

Book Review: The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook by Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson has made somewhat of a reputation for coming up with novel ways to look at history. The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook continues that tradition. First, the stats. The book is 432 pages of text in IX parts and 60 chapters arranged both chronologically and thematically. It includes an appendix, 54 pages of notes and a 44 page bibliography.  The main focus of the book is analyzing history from a network centric viewpoint. This is actually a fairly interesting take on things. This is especially so given the usual big-man view of most history. The first several chapters are an in-depth explanation … More after the Jump…