Best Defense

I am pleasantly surprised to see that two of my books are on the Army’s reading list

Fiasco's relevance endures.


The new Army reading list, released in midsummer, includes two books of mine, which both pleases and surprises me. Fiasco was critical of an entire generation of Army generals, but sympathetic to battalion commanders, the people at the point where the illusions of top leaders met the realities of Iraq. Now some of those battalion commanders are the leaders of the Army.

But that’s not the only reason I like the list. Of all the reading lists I’ve run in this blog, this is, I think, the one where I have read and liked the highest percentage. On the other hand, I’ve seen lotsa complaints that the whole list only has one book by a woman. I’m hoping someone will send me a list of “100 essential books by women on military and security issues.” I asked for one but haven’t yet received.

Photo credit: J-R Drahi/Armée Terre.

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 Twitter: @tomricks1

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