Friday, January 25, 2013

The Great Escape and Revisionist Drivel

So according to this article the Great Escape was militarily reckless and shouldn't have been attempted. I realize he's trying to sell his book controversy being what it is. However the argument on its face value is ridiculous.

Setting aside the obvious that the first duty of prisoners of war is to try to escape the idea of well the war was going to be over so just stay there doesn't pass the smell test. Even if it did when exactly would this sort of logic "be acceptable"? After 1943 or maybe 1942 after the Americans entered?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

USMC Professional Reading List

A new one of these was just released this time by Commandant Gen. Jim Amos.  One of those projects I always thought about doing never got around to it was reading through the contents of the various lists.  Last considering it about five years ago but after reading the Air Force list at the time I gave it up. The list is quirky. I'm amazed that On War doesn't appear anywhere. Much of it would be picked up secondhand from the other books but it's so central to western military thought that even people who disagree with it still have to name check it. There's also a smattering of pop history nonsense particularly the Tuchman and Hanson.

 I have actually reviewed some of it here. Links go to my reviews. I liked Supplying War:Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton by Martin Van Creveld and War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province by Jeffrey Race I wasn't a big fan of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman. There are some here that I've read that haven't reviewed. Could be worth taking them out particularly the Slim and Rommel.

The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass by Bill Maher

The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass
by Bill Maher

 At this stage I doubt many people need an introduction to Bill Maher, rabid left wing atheist and famously a pothead.  He is very left wing.  Even more so than me (yes dad me).  So what we get here are the usual topics in fast short essay form.  War is bad, Health Care System horrible, republicans really bad and Tea Party members worse than Satan, if he existed.  There were times when I did laugh out loud.  Interspersed through these are short one liners the "new rules".  Think of them as equivalent to stand up jokes.

I'm not sure how they read on the printed page.  I had it in audiobook form.  Even though he's not using a live crowd to work off of his timing is still excellent.  I'd probably recommend the audiobook although the link down below goes to the print version.


Is this thing on?

Well time to fire this thing up again.  For the record only read 54 books in 2012.  No real point in doing a best of post.  Looking back on the list nothing really jumped out as being mind blowing.  As for the reason behind the low number well let's just say there been a few distractions over the past year.  So to a better 2013.