Five Books: Norman Naimark
featuring Norman M. Naimark via Five Books
Norman Naimark is an American historian and author who specializes in modern Eastern European history, genocide and ethnic cleansing. He is a professor in the history department at Stanford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Naimark has been awarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit by Germany.
How To Crack The Electoral Code
quoting Victor Davis Hanson via SF Gate
Theodore White invented a genre with his groundbreaking book "The Making of the President, 1960," and news junkies ever since have eagerly awaited postmortems from inside the operations of the various Republican and Democrat presidential campaigns. There have been 14 presidential elections since Kennedy-Nixon, and each has generated its own raft of books.
DR. LEWIS GADDIS, PAUL KENNEDY & CHARLES HILL: YALE'S GRAND STRATEGY SYMPOSIUM
The Roots of Modern Military Education
By Lorenzo Ruiz, Strategy Bridge: “Prussia stands alone among the great military nations of Europe, and this honorable distinction is in a great measure the result of the diffused system of education throughout the country, and of the plan adopted by Stein and Scharnhorst, to make the officers the leaders of the army both in education and in military science.”
OSSUARY OF BRASIDAS, LEADER OF SPARTA
In the Footsteps of Brasidas
Life lessons from reading Thucydides and hiking at night
Lesley Blanch, The Sabres Of Paradise: Conquest And Vengeance In The Caucasus (1960)
by Ralph Peters via Classics of Military History
For those who only know the Caucasus from recent conflicts—in Chechnya, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabagh and elsewhere—this book offers a vital historical perspective. Although Orthodox Russia battled Islamic powers on and off for centuries, Russia’s longest war, waged against hardline Islamists, lasted a full generation in the nineteenth century.
John Masters, Bugles And A Tiger (1956) And The Road Past Mandalay (1961)
by Ralph Peters via Classics of Military History
These two autobiographical volumes from a former (British) Indian Army officer begin by capturing a lost world, that of the Raj in the years before World War II, in the grand imperial twilight (punishing Afghan tribes, downing gin, and shooting tigers), then move into the desperate war years that doomed the British Empire. Masters’ account of fighting in Burma is an even-rawer version of George MacDonald Fraser’s superb memoir, Quartered Safe Out Here.
Steven Runciman, A History Of The Crusades (Three Volumes, 1951-54)
by Ralph Peters via Classics of Military History
The Crusades are often invoked, but rarely understood. Runciman’s modern classic remains the benchmark for its objectivity, clarity and literary merit. Of immediate value for military officers and civilian analysts, this work explodes pernicious current myths, while reporting human valor and folly, treachery and brilliance with enthralling narrative style.
Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval by Roger Kimball.
We are living in an age of unprecedented upheaval. The future of Western culture is uncertain. America’s economic and political vitality are more fragile than ever. The preservation of tradition is far from guaranteed.
Many have observed that we are living through a world historical moment of which Hegel spoke: a time when many of the traditional assumptions about the shape and future of culture are suddenly in play. As The New Criterion embarks on its fourth decade of publication, the magazine commemorates its commitment to the civilizing values of informed criticism with the publication of Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval.
Compiling the writings of some of the greatest essayists of our time, Future Tense examines this pivotal period through a variety of lenses. Beginning with a meditation on memorials after the 9/11 attacks (Michael J. Lewis), the essays address patriotism in relation to Pericles (Victor Davis Hanson), twenty-first century American pride and leadership (Andrew Roberts), the future of religion in America (David Bentley Hart), and the unwinding of the welfare state (Kevin D. Williamson). Continuing this arc, pieces examine self-knowledge and modern technology (Anthony Daniels), the cultural capital of museums (James Panero), and the difficulties of making law in the modern world (Andrew C. McCarthy). In its penultimate essay, the book explores the possibility of a forthcoming political revolution (James Piereson), then closes with a reflection of culture’s role in the economy of life and the fragility of civilization (Roger Kimball).
Taken together, these prominent writers demonstrate an acute understanding of the value of Western thought as well as the challenges it faces. Future Tense is an engaging discourse on the prospects of society and an important collection for anyone concerned with the longevity of traditional culture.
How We Do Strategy as Performance up at Newport by Jim Cook
Military Learning in the 21st Century
From Wavell Room: “Military learning is a hot topic. It comes in many different guises: ‘conceptual development’, ‘the intellectual edge’, ‘strategic adaptability’, or ‘innovative by design.’ Yet behind the buzzwords and the dogma, what do we really mean when talk about learning in a military context? And how can we do it more effectively, without sacrificing core areas of enduring strength?
The Fisher Model in the 21st Century by Sidharth Kaushal
Six Million Dollar Men: Policy, Technology, and Talent Management by Jacob Yanofsky
Ignorance and Professional Military Education: The Case for Operational Engagement by Thang Tran, Michael Oliveira, Josh Sider, and Leo Blanken
Fixes To 'Up Or Out' Promotion System Could Take Years
quoting Timothy Kane via Stars and Stripes
Air Force veteran and economist Timothy Kane reached one overarching conclusion after writing two books on the military’s “up or out” promotion system: It’s woefully outdated.
Soldier Learning 2050
By Charles Heard, Small Wars Journal: “The use of virtual reality and other technologies can’t replace physical training entirely, but they may minimize the amount of physical training required to achieve mastery of tasks.”
Dismantling Contemporary Military Thinking
By Bradley L. Rees, Small Wars Journal: “Despite the r/evolutionary tenets of warfare that came from precise applications of scientific and technological doctrines, the Modern/Technical School’s misinterpretation of much of Clausewitzian theory ultimately manifested in an over-adherence to Jominian mechanics, Napoleonic maneuver, and von Moltke the Elder’s approach to the application of force.”
Who’s Missing? The Limits of Professional Reading Lists
By Olivia Garard, Strategy Bridge: “While diverse representation, both of authorship and of content, is necessary and, still, sorely lacking, the general brouhaha fails to heed the crux of the matter. All lists list.”
Approaching a Fork in the Road: Professional Education and Military Learning?
By David Morgan-Owen, War on the Rocks: “What is the purpose of military education, and how should it be delivered?”
The Road Less Traveled: Both Sides Are Right About Professional Military Education by Tammy S. Schultz
Ditching PowerPoint: Here’s how these experts are looking to transform the way soldiers learn
(Army Times) A small group of focused experts is trying to find ways to tailor, accelerate and adapt soldier learning for decades to come — and one slice of that work is an effort to end the dreaded DBPP syndrome, otherwise known as “Death By PowerPoint.”
Assume Nothing; Knowledge (In)Equality
By Ed, Wavell Room: “Thinking conceptually requires an openness of thought which historically might have been considered anathema to military hierarchy and good discipline."
A Modest Proposal for Improving Assessment in Professional Military Education by Celestino Perez, Jr.
Leaders Are Readers Part III: Managing Your Reading Program
From 3x5 Leadership: “Like almost all things in life and work, to grow as a leader through reading requires a defined management system to ensure long-term sustainability and effectiveness.
Trump and the All-American Trade Debate
Michael Mandelbaum reviews Dartmouth College economist Douglas A. Irwin's survey of 250 years of US trade policy.
2018 Hayek Lecture
featuring John F. Cogan via Manhattan Institute
On June 7, the Manhattan Institute awarded the 14th annual Hayek Book Prize to John F. Cogan for his book The High Cost of Good Intentions: A History of US Federal Entitlement Programs.
Book review: Learning from Israel’s political assassination program
Kenneth Pollack | The New York Times
In a New York Times review of Ronen Bergman’s recent volume on Israel’s efforts to combat terrorism using assassinations, AEI’s Kenneth Pollack explains the shortcomings of a counterterrorism strategy focused solely on assassinations. Pollack argues that “targeted killings” can be a highly effective tactic to neutralize terrorist cells and part of a powerful operational approach to cripple terror groups but that they do not offer a strategic answer to the problem of terrorism or defeat the broader movements that breed and feed the terrorist groups. Read more here.
Counterterrorism: Taking Down the Big Man
By Kevin Ivey, RealClearDefense: “Leadership decapitation rests on a simple principle: taking out a key player in a terrorist group in the hope that his or her absence destroys morale and slows the group’s operational tempo.”
Aziz Asbar was one of Syria’s most important rocket scientists, bent on amassing an arsenal of precision-guided missiles that could be launched with pinpoint accuracy against Israeli cities hundreds of miles away. On Saturday, he was killed by a car bomb — apparently planted by Mossad, the Israeli spy agency. - New York Times
The killing of a Syrian scientist as he left his house in Hama will be read as a message to the Syrian regime in Damascus. The scientist was allegedly a key part of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC). The center is involved in research and development of chemical weapons and long-range missiles that are produced near Hama. - Jerusalem Post
A Classicist’s View of the Cataclysm
Victor Davis Hanson’s magisterial history of the Second World War
War Books: A Practitioner’s View From Across the Pond
By Ben Baker, Modern War Institute: “Whilst you can learn much of the universal nature of strategy and tactics, what emerges are the fundamentals of leadership in war: clarity of thought and purpose; humility; and the need to maintain, and project, a sense of perspective and, when the chips are down, of humor.”
The great Edmund Burke by Harvey Mansfield
A review of The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography and Commented Anthology of Edmund Burke, by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Burke & political liberty by Martin Greenberg
The seventh in a series titled “The survival of culture.”
Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony With Kori Schake
interview with Kori Schake via Center for Strategic & International Studies
Hoover Institution fellow Kori Schake discusses her book Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony.
10 Best History Books of the Last 10 Years
By Brandon Christensen, RealClearHistory: “This time of year produces a ton of "Best of..." or "Top ____ of the Year" lists, and they're usually pretty good. However, I always come away from such reads wishing they would have been deeper, or covered more ground, or had a bit more history to them.”
Best Books Of The Year, As Selected By Mosaic Authors
quoting Peter Berkowitz via Mosaic Magazine
To mark the close of 2017, we asked a handful of our writers to name the best two or three books they read this year, and briefly to explain their choices.
War Books: 'The Management of Violence'
By Colin Steele, Modern War Institute: “In The Soldier and the State, Samuel Huntington famously adopted the phrase “the management of violence” to encapsulate the military officer’s art.”
CENTCOM Commander’s 2018 Reading List
From Modern War Institute: “Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, has released his 2018 reading list. With twelve books across five categories, Gen. Votel’s list makes for a great edition of our weekly War Books series.”
War Books: Major General Mick Ryan’s 2018 Reading List
By Mick Ryan, Modern War Institute: “I have included several of my favourite science-fiction novels that feature military themes. I have written previously about why I think military officers should read sci-fi, and have collaborated on a sci-fi reading list. Given the small number of sci-fi books I included, this might be the most controversial aspect of the list—there is no Starship Troopers or Enders Game. I don’t think these are bad novels; I just think Old Mans War and The Forever War are better. And it is very hard to go past The Martian for a story of resilience, innovation, and pure greatness in storytelling.”
Must-Reads for 2017: World Crisis Edition
By James Stavridis, Bloomberg: “Novels about Syria, a jotting genius, Indian massacres and the return of George Smiley.”
War Books: Maj. James King, U.S. Army
By James King, Modern War Institute: “As with cutting my list to a top five, finding the one that shaped me the most is a difficult task. From a fiction standpoint, I first read Red Storm Rising at an age where I was too young to understand it ... ”
War Books: Andrew Bacevich
By Andrew Bacevich, Modern War Institute: “In my judgment, Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History, published in 1952, remains the most important book ever written about US foreign policy.”
Anthony Sattin's Best History Books Of 2017
mentioning Stephen Kotkin via The Guardian
You need time to savor Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, in which Stephen Kotkin fills 900 close-typed pages with an epic telling of how Stalin consolidated power, killed millions of his citizens and then miscalculated Hitler’s intentions.
Ryan Avent's "The Wealth of Humans" and the Future of Work
Despite low unemployment rates in the United States, more Americans than ever are either not working or not even looking for work. Because of these trends, and also because of wage stagnation for the working class, American income inequality continues to widen. Yet single American parents can...