Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The best military books of the decade

One thing you might not know about me from reading the blog is that one of the subjects I am most interested in is the modern American military.

Thanks to a retweet from Lambda Literary, I found out about Military Times posting a list of the best military books of the decade.

The actual list has some blurbage, but I'll list out the books below. I've read a couple of them and have had a few others on my radar of stuff I'd really like to read. I'm really excited for this list and working my way through it.

Shane Comes Home, by Rinker Buck
Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood, by Donovan Campbell
The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army, by David Cloud and Greg Jaffe
The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq, by John Crawford
One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, by Nathaniel Fick
The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins
The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel
Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, by Nathaniel Frank
The War I Always Wanted: The Illusion of Glory and the Reality of War, by Brandon Friedman
Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, by Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor
Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq, by Jason Christopher Hartley
The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education, by Craig M. Mullaney
The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, by Martha Raddatz
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, by Thomas E. Ricks
Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles, by Anthony Swofford
Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War, by Evan Wright


Unknown said...

You missed a really good one:
Hard Corps: From Gangsta to Marine Hero by Marco Martinez

In this macho, profanity-laced memoir by a 2003 Iraqi invasion veteran, Martinez describes himself as a Hispanic juvenile delinquent from Albuquerque, N.Mex., who turned his life around by joining the marines in 2001. His exploits (including winning the Navy Cross) will entertain military buffs with precise details of combat and of a sadistic boot camp that recalls the antiwar movie (but Marine and Martinez favorite) Full Metal Jacket. Bonded and eager for battle, his unit yearned in vain to fight in Afghanistan after 9/11 and joyfully participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Though experts now agree our forces overwhelmed Saddam Hussein's disorganized army, Martinez and his men assumed they faced a vicious enemy, referred to by Martinez as terrorists, and killed scores while destroying buildings with their overwhelming firepower. His company suffered two wounded. Martinez never doubts that he fought to defend America's freedom and freely admits his contempt for those who don't appreciate this. The book is peppered with denunciation of biased news coverage, liberals, hippies, John Kerry and Anthony Swofford (ex-marine author of Jarhead), but readers who enjoy learning about the mechanics of an urban gang and of a marine platoon in combat are unlikely to object.

Joe said...

Not my list, but that sounds like a good one to check out.

I can definitely see criticism of Swofford. I appreciated Swofford's honesty, but I had certain disappointments with what he wrote.