Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Signs of the apocalypse: The NY Times and USMC Gazette agree about my book!

Unusual though it is, the New York Times and the Marine Corps Gazette are on the same page. In his Sunday Times review, Max “Das” Boot basically summarizes the book. He calls it “an entertaining and enlightening jeremiad that should — but, alas, most likely won’t — cause a rethinking of existing personnel policies.” In ...

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Unusual though it is, the New York Times and the Marine Corps Gazette are on the same page.

In his Sunday Times review, Max "Das" Boot basically summarizes the book. He calls it "an entertaining and enlightening jeremiad that should -- but, alas, most likely won't -- cause a rethinking of existing personnel policies."

In his Marine Corps Gazette review, Frank Hoffman writes, "Aside from Ricks, no one has yet had the courage to step back and assess the big lessons from conflicts that have seen the United States sustain great burdens and spend no small amount of treasure for little strategic gain. . . . The Generals does not lay the blame for leadership shortfalls entirely at the feet of the uniformed military but does argue that we should shoulder our share and regenerate a mastery of strategic leadership and operational art worthy of our soldiers and Marines. For this fact alone, The Generals is strongly recommended reading for all students of the art of war."

Unusual though it is, the New York Times and the Marine Corps Gazette are on the same page.

In his Sunday Times review, Max “Das” Boot basically summarizes the book. He calls it “an entertaining and enlightening jeremiad that should — but, alas, most likely won’t — cause a rethinking of existing personnel policies.”

In his Marine Corps Gazette review, Frank Hoffman writes, “Aside from Ricks, no one has yet had the courage to step back and assess the big lessons from conflicts that have seen the United States sustain great burdens and spend no small amount of treasure for little strategic gain. . . . The Generals does not lay the blame for leadership shortfalls entirely at the feet of the uniformed military but does argue that we should shoulder our share and regenerate a mastery of strategic leadership and operational art worthy of our soldiers and Marines. For this fact alone, The Generals is strongly recommended reading for all students of the art of war.”

The Weekly Standard also is approving. Tim Kane states in his review that the book “does not get bogged down in the logic or bureaucracy, but tells a fascinating story of how Army leaders came out of Vietnam with a singular focus on tactics at the expense of strategic thinking.” His conclusion is that “Ricks shines, blending an impressive level of research with expert storytelling.”

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. Twitter: @tomricks1

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