Holiday Break Reading…Keeping up with the Ganskes

I recently saw a quick round up of books that my good friend and intellectual better, Rich Ganske, was reading…so I thought I’d throw out mine, as well. Since I get a few weeks off for the holidays, there’s a decent chance I’ll get through some of them…

21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era
Edited by Benjamin Armstrong

In a time of shrinking budgets and parochial food-fights, what better way to open the mind than to read the writings of a sister service’s greatest thinker. The introduction seems to indicate a significant amount of value in the old sea-dog’s writings…at under 200 pages, I’m betting the intellectual nuggets will only whet the appetite for more Mahanian goodness.

The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King — The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea
By Walter R. Borneman

Keeping in the aquatic theme, this book was given to me by a friend to better understand the naval culture coming out of the Second World War. I was also told I had to write a review on it…takes me back to my lieutenant days when writing a book report for the XO while on staff duty. I’ve heard that this is a phenomenal book on the Navy’s greatest flag officers, and I look forward to cramming it in between my other, more theoretical readings.

The Art of Strategy
By R.L. Wing

It’s never a bad idea to read a few different translations of a “sacred” text on strategy, and I’ve been told this one is particularly good. In reality, like most books I read these days, this one is for a writing project on the importance of language in theory, in this case the theory of strategy. As a stickler for terminology and clarity, I look forward to seeing the differences between this translation and the others I have read.

I have a long way to go in truly understanding the intellectual underpinnings of land power, though I think I know the master Carl von Clausewitz’s work fairly well. It is past time to put his work in proper perspective…as the output of a human in a particular time in history. Hew Strachan is one of the intelletual heavyweights in strategy, so I look forward to finally making time for this book.


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