Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The pros at Journal of Military History check in with 2 reviews of ‘The Generals’

During the summer, the Best Defense is in re-runs. Here are some favorites that ran in late 2012 and in 2013. This item originally ran on Jan. 22, 2013. The new issue of Journal of Military History carries two reviews of my new book. One is by Edward Coffman, one of the grand old men ...

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During the summer, the Best Defense is in re-runs. Here are some favorites that ran in late 2012 and in 2013. This item originally ran on Jan. 22, 2013.

The new issue of Journal of Military History carries two reviews of my new book. One is by Edward Coffman, one of the grand old men of American military history, who calls The Generals "fascinating." His bottom line: "This is a well researched and written book which informs readers about the Army's command problems since the Korean War."

The other review is by Roger Spiller, a bit more of a military insider than Coffman, having taught for decades at Fort Leavenworth. I've read several of his books, and used one of them quite a lot in writing The Generals. I had expected him to do the "con" review to balance Coffman's. Rather, he also is complimentary. He says I have the reputation of being "the best American military correspondent since Hanson Baldwin." (I think he may need to check out the works of Peter Braestrup, C.J. Chivers, Sean Naylor, Dexter Filkins, and several other people.) His bottom line: "Ricks's assessment may well provoke discussion in official circles, but one might ask whether the leaders produced by the system are capable of reforming themselves."

During the summer, the Best Defense is in re-runs. Here are some favorites that ran in late 2012 and in 2013. This item originally ran on Jan. 22, 2013.

The new issue of Journal of Military History carries two reviews of my new book. One is by Edward Coffman, one of the grand old men of American military history, who calls The Generals “fascinating.” His bottom line: “This is a well researched and written book which informs readers about the Army’s command problems since the Korean War.”

The other review is by Roger Spiller, a bit more of a military insider than Coffman, having taught for decades at Fort Leavenworth. I’ve read several of his books, and used one of them quite a lot in writing The Generals. I had expected him to do the “con” review to balance Coffman’s. Rather, he also is complimentary. He says I have the reputation of being “the best American military correspondent since Hanson Baldwin.” (I think he may need to check out the works of Peter Braestrup, C.J. Chivers, Sean Naylor, Dexter Filkins, and several other people.) His bottom line: “Ricks’s assessment may well provoke discussion in official circles, but one might ask whether the leaders produced by the system are capable of reforming themselves.”

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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