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-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: 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…

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…

Book Review: Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power by Victor Davis Hanson

I have been a fan of Dr. Hanson’s work since I first read The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece years ago while pursuing my undergrad degree in Military History.  Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power is almost 20 years old at this point and I wish I had read it back then.  Since I did not, let me review it now. First the facts: the book is 464 pages of text divided into ten topical chapters with a preface, epilogue, and afterword.  There is a glossary, further reading section, and index as well. The book is an examination of nine land … More after the Jump…

Ashtray Refurb

I want to keep my CJ as authentic as possible and part of that was cleaning up the ashtray and trying to get it to stop squealing every time I open it.  Mine was pretty rusty and the paint was scratched so I took it off and treated the mounting bracket with some rust removal stuff, lubed up the bearings, and repainted the front of the ashtray with some flat black spray paint. I used white lithium grease on the bearings because white lithium is my go to grease since the can of moly grease I “acquired” in the army was finally emptied last year. The rust remover stuff I … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

The Rise of the Robots is not history, in fact it is a forward looking book but so interesting that I am going to review it.  As regular readers know I do not always review only history books, I also review current events, contemporary politics, and some fiction.  I essentially write reviews for all the books I like to read in the hopes that they give value to my readers.  I picked this book off the shelf at my local library because it seemed interesting and I was not disappointed. First the facts.  The book is 284 pages of text separated into 10 chapters with an introduction, conclusion, index, and … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Future of Land Warfare by Michael O’Hanlon

There is no end of speculation among policymakers and think tanks about what the future of warfare will look like and what the future US military should look like.  The Future of Land Warfare is another entry in that speculation. The facts.  The book is 202 pages of text divided into six topical chapters with a couple of appendices plus extensive notes and an index. The layout of this book is pretty straightforward and it almost reads as a slightly less dry White Paper.  O’Hanlon starts out by examining the historical context of US force structure and chapter 2 examines potential and likely adversaries in the coming decades.  The analysis … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Spaceport Earth: The Reinvention of Spaceflight by Joe Pappalardo

There is no doubt that private space companies have reinvigorating American efforts to return to space on US systems since the unceremonious lapse of American manned launch capabilities with the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.  Spaceport Earth is more about that reinvigoration in the US than about global launch capability although it does touch on that. First the facts.  The book is 218 pages of text divided into 10 topical chapters and an epilogue.  A source list, acknowledgements, and an index. The book essentially covers developments in private space since the first flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne in 2003 through to the book’s publication last year.  Many things … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Intervention in Russia: 1918-1920, A Cautionary Tale

Intervention in Russia: 1918-1920, A Cautionary Tale, is a very well written account of a little known part of the First World War.   Mr. Hudson writes in the style that I find to be the most readable and enjoyable.   Perhaps it is because he is British.   I have always found that British historians have a more lyrical and artistic writing style as compared to American historians.   Most of my favorite historians are British, whereas Americans tend to make history books dry and boring; the British, and Australians for that matter, can make the most boring subject interesting simply by the style with which they write. The … More after the Jump…

Book Review – The Last Battle: Victory, Defeat, and the End of World War I by Peter Hart

The Last Battle is the latest of the excellent histories of World War I that Peter Hart has produced.  This book is an account of the last year of World War I on the Western Front with an emphasis on the final Allied campaign known now as The 100 Days. My copy is a pre-publication review copy so some of this can change.  The facts: there are 395 pages of text divided into 12 chronological chapters. Like his earlier work this is an excellently written history that does not indulge in the blame games so many histories of World War I engage in.  Peter Hart presents a narrative account of … More after the Jump…

Book Review: D-Day Through German Eyes edited by Holger Eckhertz

An often overlooked aspect of World War II is the war as seen from the enemy side.  There have been a plethora of books published about the snail’s eye view of the war from the Allied side from intimate unit histories like “Band of Brothers” to collections of oral histories. There is an absolute dearth of such works on the side of the Axis powers in English but also in their native tongue at least as far as German goes to my knowledge. The facts: the book is 320 pages of text split between two books and 13 chapters with an introduction and postscript for each book. D-Day Through German … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves

In the interwar years of the 1920s and 1930s several books about World War I came out that have become seminal works in their own right.  Among these is Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves, his autobiography written and published in 1929 that mainly covers his time as a British officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers on the Western Front during the war. As opposed to other memoirs or semi-autobiographical accounts of the war such as Storm of Steel or All Quiet on the Western Front, Goodbye To All That is essentially an unvarnished account of what the war was like for an unconventional English gentleman.  Graves was from … More after the Jump…