Small Wars Journal

SWJ Book Review

A Savage Birth: In “The British Are Coming,” Rick Atkinson Lays Bare the Myth of the American Revolution

Rick Atkinson's thorough research reveals a Continental Army that was often hapless, frightened, and under-resourced. It’s often terrified soldiers are led by the ineffectual, the self-interested, and the deceitful.

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SWJ Book Review: Rock of the Marne

Historian and author, Stephen L. Harris, has written the definitive history of shared combat experience of the 3rd Infantry Division and the soldiers who fought in the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. The American involvement in the First World War was minor compared to the French and British commitment. Yet, the American combat experience was equally demanding on the soldiers. Rock of the Marne detailed the recollection of the weeks and day leading into the Second Battle of the Marne.

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SWJ Book Review – Understanding Human Trafficking, Corruption, and the Optics of Misconduct in the Public, Private, and NGO Sectors: Causes, Actors, and Solutions

"Understanding Human Trafficking" by Luz Nagle takes the reader into the sometimes arcane yet important legal world for a master lesson in how global and domestic actors can and will fight the scourge that is human trafficking.

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Facing the Impossible: A SWJ Book Review of “Warrior’s Creed” by Roger Sparks with Don Rearden

I can only describe this book as “honestly” written by a man that had nothing to prove as he spent his life demonstrating his ability to stand among the most elite warriors. Sparks’ use of colorful language and a total disregard for political correctness demonstrates his integrity to his worldview.

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Bones with No Meat: A SWJ Book Review of “Preparation Breeds Professionalism: A Consolidated Guide to Army Leadership” by Noel DeJesus

Flipping through the pages of this little book, I quickly realized that there was likely little there. Inside this 5”x8” book you will find 1”+ margins with the text more than single spaced. With maybe 100 words per page, the content of this entire book is probably a ~10 page “academic” article.

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A SWJ Book Review of “Rules of Engagement: A Novel” by David Bruns and J.R. Olson

This book might be uniquely suited to be used during peer-learning groups or “book clubs.” The chapters are short, and most are “self-contained” to provide some useful lesson. In this way, the book could be said to be a collection of useful vignettes.

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SWJ Book Review – “Rules for the Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History”

Do terrorism and rebel groups have rules of the game? Why do terrorist groups act in particular ways despite the obvious militarized reaction of states? Why do some attack large centers of power such as New York, Paris or London, and others prefer to exploit small shops in Mogadishu, run passers-by on the Ramblas in Barcelona or blow up a cooking pot in the Boston Marathon? These are questions that manage to generate new insights and methodological analyzes about the rationality of rebel actors and terrorist groups.

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SWJ Book Review – “The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB”

Christopher Andrew, the author of the book, "The Sword and The Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and The Secret History of the KGB", provides a fascinating account of the history of the Soviet secret service. The book is based on classified information from the archive of the KGB´s First Chief Directorate that was responsible for its foreign operations and intelligence activities.

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SWJ Book Review – ‘Any Place, Any Time, Any Where: The 1st Air Commandos in World War II’

'Operation Thursday' is not as well-known as other operations in World War II, but it should be. R.D Van Wagner, the author of, 'Any Place, Any Time, Any Where' wanted to ensure that the 1st Air Commando Group receives the historical attention and credit the unit deserves as the foundation of today’s Air Commandos.

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