Book Review: Out of the Dark by David Weber

The first book I ever remember reading about an alien invasion of the Earth was Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Footfall in the late 80’s. Since then, several others have come out that I have read, Weber has added this to the list and as with anything Weber writes, it is in general outstanding. The basic plot is that earth is invaded by an alien species that got its first scout reports from our 15th century. The invasion fleet arrives in the 21st century and is astonished to see how fast and how far humanity has developed technologically. They proceed with the invasion and initiate it with kinetic strikes against … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Countdown: M Day by Tom Kratman


This is the second installment in the countdown series, hopefully there are plenty more still to come as this just built onto the already strong premise of the first book. The premise of this book is that after the completion of the mission in the first book the company Stauer created found a home in Guyana and incorporated as M-Day Inc., now the company must defend Guyana and itself from an invasion by Venezuela. Hugo Chavez wants the invasion to distract his people from their deteriorating situation at home. There is a lot more action in this book than the first of the series. This book continues Kratman’s thinly veiled attacks on liberalism and post-modern thought.
This is still a great read though and I recommend it highly. There are also some really great parts but they are included in the Spoiler below the fold:


More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Roman Army at War: 100 BC – AD 200 by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy

  I thought this book would be more than it turned out to be, unfortunately, I was mistaken. The author states in the forward that it is an expansion of his doctoral dissertation and it is obvious throughout that this is indeed the case. Neither that or my disappointment make this a book not worth reading though, it is in fact worth reading. The first chapter alone makes it well worth the purchase price. Dr. Goldsworthy has produced perhaps the best, and most concise description of the organization and structure of the roman army outside of Vegetius or Polybius that I have found. The book is divided into six sections … More after the Jump…

Book Review: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

I figured this was an appropriate topic for a book review I am posting on Halloween.  Happy Halloween to all my readers Bloggers who would like more time to celebrate or read the following book can find time by letting Article Writing Services write for them. Image from: http://www.yourcommentcodes.com/funny-halloween-2.html I was not sure if I was going to like this book at first, I somewhat expected it to be like the vampire garbage that has gotten so popular in the last few years (yes, I mean Twilight). To my surprise, Max Brooks has written an outstanding book, I could not put it down until I finished it. The tale is … More after the Jump…

Book Review: What Distant Deeps by David Drake

This is the eighth book in the RCN series by David Drake and it continues the story of the adventures of Daniel Leary, an extremely competent and lucky starship captain in the Republic of Cinnabar Navy. This book finds CAPT Leary escorting a Cinnabar Commissioner to a world allied with the alliance of Free Stars shortly after the end of the recent war between the Alliance and Cinnabar. Once he gets there he discovers a plot that could drag the two exhausted star nations back into war and with the able assistance of his crew sets about to derail it. Along the way there is plenty of intrigue and adventure. … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Countdown: The Liberators by Tom Kratman

Tom Kratman published his first book, A State of Disobedience, in 2005. This is the first book in a new series by Kratman, I am currently in the middle of reading the second book, which just hit my mailbox last week. The series starts another of Kratman’s “fiction as commentary on the contemporary world” series somewhat similar to his “A Desert Called Peace” series. This does not mean that it is a bad book, it is not. It is somewhat predictable though. I especially like Kratman’s style, he has a gritty down to earth writing style that I love. He does not pull punches. The book is the story of … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Penguin History of Europe by J.M. Roberts

I cannot remember why I bought The Penguin History of Europe by J.M. Roberts several years ago, no doubt it was as a resource for an undergrad paper I wrote although I cannot find it used as a cite in any of my papers. It is also possible that I bought it just because I though it looked interesting since my specialty is European history. This is not a bad book, but it is also not quite what the title makes it out to be. I think the best way I an categorize this book is that it presents an eclectic view of European history. It is very well written … More after the Jump…

BOOK REVIEW: Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

I have read several of Niall Ferguson’s books and while I may not always agree with him hi writing style and analysis are always interesting and thought provoking.   Civilization: The West and the Rest is no different.   I have the UK edition of the book, I doubt it is significantly different from the US edition except for the cover, but cannot guarantee it. In this book Dr. Ferguson attempts to analyze and explain why the West, which he defines as European and countries with a European heritage, has prospered so much over the past 500 years and how the West managed to control so much of the globe. … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Face of Battle by John Keegan

I have to caveat this review somewhat.   I wrote this book review for an undergrad military history course I took almost six-years ago.   I still think that the The Face of Battle is an excellent book.   I have modified my opinion of Keegan as a historian somewhat though.   I think he is somewhat overrated and he tends to simplistic British-centric judgements in his analysis of military history.   He is a good historian, but sometimes his interpretations of events are not all they could be. “The Face of Battle” by John Keegan has become a classic in the thirty years since it was published.   The … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Live Free or Die by John Ringo

The first John Ringo book I ever read was A Hymn Before Battle, the first book in the Posleen War series. He immediately entered my list of authors that I will read anything they write. This book starts another series by Ringo that so far runs to 3 books and looks like it will continue. It is the story of earth gaining freedom from alien domination. The thing I like the most about this book and all of Ringo’s work is that while the end is clear(humans win), the way they do it is endlessly surprising. You may think you know what the next plot twist is or should be, … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Stars at War

The Stars at War is actually three books in one volume; Insurrection, Crusade, and In Death Ground. I first read these about 10 years ago and loved them then. I have since reread them several times and they are well worth it. The story is exciting and never goes where you think it will. It is space opera on a grand scale. Essentially what happens is that the human race has expanded to the stars through a series of warp points and they have discovered that not only is the universe not empty, it is not full of peace loving aliens singing kumbaya either.   In fact, the opposite is … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The German Way of War by Robert M. Citino

This book is an interesting read to say the least, Dr. Citino makes the case that there is a specifically German “way of war”. That way, is what he calls operational maneuver. He traces the development of this “way of war” from the 17th century battles of the Frederick William I, the “Great Elector” of electoral Brandenburg and scion of the Hohenzollern Dynasty through to the end of World War II and the final defeat of Nazi Germany. I am not myself so convinced that the discussion should end there based on my experience talking to current German soldiers about war and battle during partnership exercises while I have been … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Panzer Battles by F.W. von Mellenthin

This is one of the most influential memoirs written by a former German Officer. The cover of the copy I own highlights that it “was the book on General Schwarzkopf’s desk during the Gulf War.” I found it to be a well written book with some pretty good accounts of the battles von Mellenthin participated in as a staff officer as well as some battles he did not participate in. I would not go so far as to say that this book is a definitive account of German tank warfare in World War II but it comes very close. Mellenthin does an outstanding job of describing the operational and sometimes … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger

Just about everyone has heard of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, it is the work of fiction about World War I. It has been made into a movie several times and is supposed to represent the inhumanity of the war and the hopelessness felt by its participants in the trenches. Ernst Jünger’s, The Storm of Steel by contrast, is a different sort of World War I book entirely. Where Remarque wrote an anti-war novel based on his experiences in the war, Jünger not only did not write an anti-war account of the war he positively relished his time in the trenches. Jünger was wounded six times during … More after the Jump…

Samual Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations”

Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations?, Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993, pp. 22-49 This article set off a debate in academia that continues to this day. What Huntington argues in the paper is that after the fall of communism in 1989, the world is no longer looking at a standoff between ideologies but that the world will revert to clashes between civilizations. The basic thesis is that the ideological struggle between liberal democracy and communism covered over or subsumed the natural differences between civilizations. He argues that prior to the end of the Cold War the conflicts that shaped history were primarily Western and have gone through three phases since … More after the Jump…