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A dull WWII memoir! I didn’t know there was such a thing, but I finally found one

There are many bad books about military affairs. We once compiled a list here of the 10 worst memoirs about the Iraq war.

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There are many bad books about military affairs. We once compiled a list here of the 10 worst memoirs about the Iraq war.

But I’ve read few dull memoirs of World War II. (Mark Clark was a lousy general, but his memoir was interesting because it reveals him to be self-centered and narrow-minded.) I am always amazed that there is more to learn, a new anecdote that illuminates a character or problem.

So I was kind of surprised when I picked up Major General Sir John Kennedy’s Business of War for the first time. Top British intelligence guy, close to Churchill, seat at the table, got to be interesting, right?

Nope. I turned page after page, blah blah blah. For the first time with such a book, I did not underline a single thing in 356 pages. I even checked closely for subjects that particularly interest me, such as the Casablanca and Tehran summit meetings, the moment when Churchill was in the White House and Tobruk fell, and Churchill’s opposition to Operation Dragoon/Anvil.

All I can conclude is that he was the highest ranking horse holder in the war.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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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