THE SOUL OF BATTLE: DEMOCRACIES AT WAR (DUSTY SHELVES)

The DUSTY SHELVES series welcomes Mitchell Klingenberg to dust off Victor Davis Hanson’s The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny. Klingenberg examines Hanson’s analysis of the human personalities of Epaminondas of Thebes, William T. Sherman, and George S. Patton. Looking at the nature and character of war through the actions of these three leaders, Hanson illustrates the imperative of a nation to exercise moral authority through armed conflict when confronted with evil.

SHARING MORE THAN RED, WHITE, AND BLUE: FRENCH FOREIGN POLICY SINCE WWII (DUSTY SHELVES)

DUSTY SHELVES welcomes Mark Lottman as he examines Herbert Tint’s French Foreign Policy since the Second World War. Tint’s book delves into a number of challenges that the French government had to deal with in the decades following WWII. Lottman sees the parallels with current domestic and foreign policy issues in the United States, and suggests there are lessons to be gleaned from France’s history.

URGENT: PUT THIS IN YOUR PURSE (DUSTY SHELVES)

In October 1962, during what become known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Navy evacuated nearly 3000 dependents from its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in less than five hours. The hastily written yet elegant instructions given to those dependents – mostly the wives of Officers and Sailors station there – is the stuff of stories. WAR ROOM welcomes J. Overton to the DUSTY SHELVES series to examine the instruction and the evacuation procedure it enabled.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: WHY THE ALLIES WON (DUSTY SHELVES)

With such overwhelming numbers, how could the Allies not win? The numbers in World War II are striking. The Allies, who in many ways had not prepared properly for conflict, produced just over 20,000 aircraft in 1939, a number already almost double that of Germany and Japan. By 1943, the Allies manufactured about three and […]

BATTLE CRY: A COMPREHENSIVE CIVIL WAR STUDY (DUSTY SHELVES)

Before speculating about another civil war, one should properly understand the first – the reasons for it, its conduct, and its legacy. Many of the tumultuous events in the past few months can trace their origins to the Civil War. Long-simmering racial tensions, rooted in America’s slave-owning past, boiled over after George Floyd died. Protestors […]

THE GAITHER REPORT: REALITY VS WORST CASE PLANS (DUSTY SHELVES)

As the American national security apparatus again focuses on peer-to-peer combat after thirty years of assumed supremacy on the battlefield, the Gaither Report is vital reading… If you were told that a single falling satellite could destroy your entire home and car without warning, would you consider spending almost 10% of your annual income for […]

IT’S WORLD WAR THREE ALL OVER AGAIN (DUSTY SHELVES)

Today, as the United States once more finds itself in a situation of near-peer competition with China and Russia, this four-decade old novel seems relevant once again. Sir John Hackett’s 1978 novel The Third World War was one of the best-selling books of the decade. The retired British General’s fiction debut sold three million copies […]

THE LAST LION AND THE NEXT WAR: LESSONS FROM CHURCHILL (DUSTY SHELVES)

Churchill, an avid painter, ‘saw the beauty and vitality of details, and their effect on larger strategic issues, and demanded that they be scrutinized all the time.’ You have likely come across a quote, article, or visual media reference to Winston Churchill in the past couple of years.  The British statesman is one of the […]

ONE HELL OF A TRAVEL VOUCHER (DUSTY SHELVES)

If we’re all being honest, what we’ve really missed while not traveling is the joy of capturing our adventures in the conveniently-automated Defense Travel System (DTS) upon our returns. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Department of Defense in all manner of ways, but with Permanent Change of Station (what the military calls ‘moving’) […]

MILITARY SOCIETY IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE: ANDRÉ CORVISIER (DUSTY SHELVES)

The historical profession in the mid-twentieth-century decisively shifted its focus to social and cultural frameworks, which seemingly did not fit with military history and its main interests in politics, organizations, and institutions. André Corvisier was among the first military historians to open the field to social and cultural history. A pioneer of quantitative and statistical […]

ELLUL’S “PROPAGANDA”: OVER FIFTY YEARS’ WARNING, BUT ARE WE LISTENING? (DUSTY SHELVES)

Western nations have again become concerned about propaganda and disinformation due to the actions of the Chinese and Russian governments. An overlooked classic of information warfare/operations, disinformation, and fake news is Jacques Ellul’s Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965). Jacques Ellul was a French sociologist and philosopher who served as professor at the University […]

MOBILIZATION TO DEMOBILIZATION: THE LIFE OF THE MINUTEMAN (DUSTY SHELVES)

He was a competent but not flamboyant officer, commanding at an echelon that attracted little public attention during and after the war. In recent years there has been much discussion about the Army’s refocusing on largescale combat operations, command at the division echelon, and the transformation of the National Guard from a strategic to an […]

“TECHNOCRATS AND OPERATIONAL EXPERTS” (DUSTY SHELVES)

Murray…highlights the German military’s failure as a whole to understand how the Industrial Revolution had transformed warfighting. Written histories, it is said, speak to each generation differently, enabling readers to interpret them within the framework of their own experiences. As such, a rereading of Williamson Murray’s Luftwaffe—first published in 1985—is especially timely. Although offering more […]

STRATEGY WHILE SHAVING WITH A BLOWTORCH (DUSTY SHELVES)

[King’s] autobiography is superb reading for those interested in leadership, and it contains two specific documents that encapsulate King’s leadership and remain testaments for senior military leaders today. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, tensions between the United States and the Axis Powers spiked, presenting the U.S. Navy with daunting challenges, including the prospect of […]

A QUESTION OF PROFESSIONALISM (DUSTY SHELVES)

For today and tomorrow, I think it can remind us of one tool that’s been tried for some bootstrap professional development, and also make us think about how all officers need to balance deep domain knowledge and broader military knowledge. In 1921, Surgeon General Merritte Ireland needed to reorient his doctors.  He felt they were […]

BOOK LOVERS NEED APPLY: A DUSTY SHELVES PODCAST

One of the things we’re trying to do is encourage people…to start talking about older books, older readings, older things that are lost or never really well known that really should have been. A BETTER PEACE welcomes WAR ROOM editors Tom Bruscino and Jon Klug to explain the drive and desire behind the DUSTY SHELVES […]

JUNGLE MISSION: A REVIEW (DUSTY SHELVES)

The jungle is the natural refuge of the weak. René Riesen, Jungle Mission   In many military cultures and in the Western popular imagination, individuals who go native or turn rogue evoke curiosity and often revulsion.  Soldiers who take off usually face court martial and do not share much in common with their more responsible […]

DUSTING OFF THE DUSTY SHELVES

We are looking for new and updated looks at old books, articles, chapters, speeches, conference panels, curriculum, documentaries, and so on. First things first, I sort of hate the name of this series I’ve agreed to edit.  It sounds like antiquarianism: knick-knacks that we keep for sentimental reasons and unread old books that are there […]

HOW A HOMING PIGEON SAVED THE LOST BATTALION OF WORLD WAR I (DUSTY SHELVES)

Pigeons were treated with very high regard in the military … much like working dogs are today Technological innovation has always been central to warfighting, and the advances made over the 20th century were especially important. During the First World War, battlefield communications were limited, and armies employed means–old and new–to communicate. They used old […]

COOK’S ‘MIDNIGHT DRAWINGS’ AND THEIR HAUNTING VIEWS OF WAR (DUSTY SHELVES)

[COOK SAID,] ‘These faces. I didn’t get to know all their names. They joined my platoon, and many of them were dead by morning.’ For forty-six years after the Korean War, veteran John A. Cook would be haunted by the memories of fighting and of his fellow soldiers being killed or wounded. What is now […]