The Best Defense-Related Books of 2008

The Best Defense-Related Books of 2008 by Paul McLeary, Aviation Week

When developing a list of the best defense-related books published in 2008, I sent e-mail messages to people I respect to ask what books are getting their attention and a piece of their ever-dwindling time. Given the sheer volume of books published, and the flood of war and military-related titles that have hit the market during the past few years, I was surprised to find that a few recommendations came up time and again...

Dave Dilegge, who runs the Small Wars Journal web site, splits the difference between Metz and Nagl. Like Metz, he names Baghdad at Sunrise (DTI October 2008, p. 68) and like Nagl, he shortlists In a Time of War. From there, he strikes out on his own, citing Bing West's The Strongest Tribe (reviewed on the Ares blog in October), as "a gripping history based on five years of front-line reporting about how the Iraq war was turned around and the choice now facing America."

Dilegge also includes Tell Me How This Ends by Linda Robinson, which he describes as "an inside account of [Gen. David Petraeus's] attempt to turn around a failing war." Rounding out his list is We Are Soldiers Still, Joe Galloway's follow-up to his classic bestseller, We Were Soldiers Once... and Young, in which Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and Galloway return to Vietnam and reflect on how the war changed them, their men, their enemies and both countries...

Both Metz and Dilegge include Baghdad at Sunrise on their lists of the year's best, and with good reason. The author, Peter Mansoor, was a brigade commander in Baghdad in 2003-04...

See more recommendations from John Nagl and Steve Metz at Aviation Week.

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