My apologies for the slow posting here and on my related sites. I’m in sort of a Hell Week right now but it will eventually pass.
Therefore, it seems like a propitious moment to call your attention to Antilibrary, a new group blog created by one of my co-authors, A.E. of Rethinking Security. You’ll see many familiar names and some new ones on the vibrant contributor’s list there. I intend to send A.E. a cc’ of my book reviews once I clear my schedule ( I intend to do two big reviews before Christmas – Great Powers and The Culture of War).
Here’s a taste of the Antilibrary ( which, as a parenthetical aside, needs some kind of visual totemic representation of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the originator of the “Antilibrary” concept, on the front page. I don’t know the man but I suspect his reaction would veer between irritation and being analogous to Haile Selassie’s attitude toward the Rastafarians):
The history of ‘warriors for the working-day’
As a teenager I cut my teeth reading military history. John Keegan’s The Face of Battle (1976) came as a revelation. Keegan wrote of three great battles (Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme) at the level of ordinary soldiers – Shakespeare’s ‘warriors for the working-day’ – rather than that of generals and staff officers, as had been the case.
“I do not intend to write about generals or generalship….I do not intend to say anything of logistics or strategy and very little of tactics in the formal sense.”
More recently the pendulum has swung back, with historians writing very good books that balance the perspective of the ‘poor bloody infantry’ with the operational, strategic and political levels of war. Casting an eye across my book shelves (not my anti-library, I hasten to add), I spotted Adam Zamoyski’s 1812 and Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad, both of which exemplify this approach to military approach
Read the rest here.