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Reading lists

It must be almost two weeks since I posted a military history reading list. I apologize for the delay. Here is a compilation I came across by Army Col. Bob Cassidy, author of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War. The highlight in each section denotes an essential pick in ...

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It must be almost two weeks since I posted a military history reading list. I apologize for the delay. Here is a compilation I came across by Army Col. Bob Cassidy, author of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War. The highlight in each section denotes an essential pick in that category. It is idiosyncratic, but so are we all. I have read almost every book here, and I don’t see a bad pick in the bunch. The only worries I have are V.D. Hanson, who seems to me to be a bit of a blowhard (see John Lynn’s devastating critique of his work), and the Churchill selection — I love him, and have read almost everything by him, but I’ve never been able to finish The River War.

For those who finish the list, test is on Monday.


WARRIOR ETHOS, WAR, AND STRATEGY

GATES OF FIRE, STEPHEN PRESSFIELD

ONCE AN EAGLE, ANTON MYRER

WARRIOR POLITICS, ROBERT KAPLAN

PROFESSION OF ARMS, SIR JOHN WINTHROP HACKETT

THE SOLDIER AND THE STATE, SAMUEL J. HUNTINGTON

STARSHIP TROOPERS, ROBERT HEINLEIN

THE AMERICAN WAY OF WAR, RUSSELL F. WEIGLEY

A HISTORY OF WARFARE, JOHN KEEGAN

WAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY, MICHAEL HOWARD

ART OF WAR, SUN TZU

STRATEGY, B.H. LIDDELL HART

AMERICA’S FIRST BATTLES, CHARLES E. HELLER AND WILLIAM A. STOFT

DIPLOMACY, HENRY KISSINGER

THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES, PHILIP BOBBITT

(Read on)

 


LONG WAR AND COUNTERINSURGENCY

GHOST WARS, STEPHEN COLL

THE LOOMING TOWER, LAWRENCE WRIGHT

INSIDE AL QAEDA, ROHAN GUNARATNA

STONES FROM BLOOD, DOUGLAS FARAH

INSURGENTS, TERRORISTS, AND MILITIAS, R. SHULTZ AND ANDREA DEW

WAR FOR MUSLIM MINDS, GILES KEPPEL

THE ASSASSINS’ GATE, GEORGE PACKER

THE CRADLE OF CONFLICT, MICHAEL KNIGHTS

IMPERIAL GRUNTS, ROBERT KAPLAN

THE SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE, MAX BOOT

THE SLING AND THE STONE, THOMAS X. HAMMES

WAR OF THE FLEA, ROBERT TABER

WAR IN THE SHADOWS, ROBERT ASPREY

ON GUERRILLA WARFARE, MAO TSE-TUNG

AMERICA AND GUERRILLA WARFARE, ANTHONY JAMES JOES

THE STRONGEST TRIBE, BING WEST

 


POST-VIETNAM TO LONG WAR

NIGHTINGALE’S SONG, ROBERT TIMBERG

THE PRODIGAL SOLDIERS, JAMES KITFIELD

SAVAGE PEACE, DAN BOLGER

BLACKHAWK DOWN, MARK BOWDEN

CRUSADE, RICK ATKINSON

CERTAIN VICTORY, ALEX SCALES

 


VIETNAM

SUMMONS OF THE TRUMPET, DAVE PALMER

FIELDS OF FIRE, JAMES WEBB

WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE, AND YOUNG, H. MOORE AND J. GALLOWAY

THE ARMY AND VIETNAM, ANDREW KREPINEVICH

A BRIGHT SHINING LIE, NEIL SHEEHAN

A BETTER WAR, LEWIS SORLEY

THE LONG GRAY LINE, RICK ATKINSON

AMERICAN COIN AND CONOPS DOCTRINE 1942-1976, ANDREW BIRTLE


KOREA, INDOCHINA, AND ALGERIA

THIS KIND OF WAR, T.R. FEHRENBACH

THE CENTURIONS, JEAN LARTEGUY

STREET WITHOUT JOY, BERNARD FALL

THE TWO VIETNAMS, BERNARD FALL

A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE, ALISTAIR HORNE

 


WORLD WARS

RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH, WILLIAM SHIRER

AN ARMY AT DAWN, RICK ATKINSON

DAY OF BATTLE, RICK ATKINSON

A BRIDGE TOO FAR, CORNELIUS RYAN

CITIZEN SOLDIERS, STEPHEN AMBROSE

HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, JOHN KEEGAN

DEFEAT INTO VICTORY, WILLIAM SLIM

EAGLE AGAINST THE SUN, RONALD SPECTER

GUNS OF AUGUST, BARBARA TUCHMAN

THE GENERAL, C.S. FORESTER

 


PHILIPPINE WAR, BOER WAR, AND SUDAN

THE PHILIPPINE WAR, 1899-1902, BRIAN MCCALLISTER LINN

THE BOER WAR, THOMAS PAKENHAM

THE RIVER WAR, WINSTON CHURCHILL




CIVIL WAR AND INDIAN WARS

A STILLNESS AT APPOMATOX, BRUCE CATTON

BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM, JAMES MCPHERSON

FRONTIERSMEN IN BLUE, ROBERT UTLEY

FRONTIER REGULARS, ROBERT UTLEY

AMERICAN COIN AND CONOPS DOCTRINE 1865-1941, ANDREW BIRTLE

 


REVOLUTIONARY WAR

THE WAR FOR AMERICA, PIERS MACKSEY

THE WAR OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE, DON HIGGINBOTHAM

1776, DAVID MCCULLOUGH

 


OTHER

CARNAGE AND CULTURE, VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

THE MARCH OF FOLLY, BARBARA TUCHMAN

 


DOCTRINE

THE EVOLUTION OF US TACTICAL DOCTRINE 1946-1976, ROBERT DOUGHTY

FM 1, THE ARMY

FM 3-0, OPERATIONS

FMI 3-24, COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS

AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1
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