My currently highlighted book, The Generals, is indexed at Open Library. This is the description that I wrote for it.
Author Thomas E. Ricks is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
The Generals is a collection of biographical sketches of
general-grade officers stretching from World War II to the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan. His assessment of the general’s performance is centered
on how well the men have led their forces, and whether they won or lost
Ricks’ theme is the development over time of the Army’s attitude
towards and approach to generalship. While the cowboy or maverick
personality is praised in popular entertainment, the Army prefers
leaders who are team players. The problem is that the ‘team player’ mentality can and
does encourage cautious and career-protecting behavior, and a reluctance to remove generals who objectively are not successful. This,
Ricks argues, has a strong negative effect on a general’s ability to
accomplish the main objective which is to win battles.
Ricks advocates a
return to the Marshall-era practice of relief; removing officers from
command when they can’t get the job done. He cites the neglect of this
practice as responsible for the overall poor performance of the Army
leadership from the Vietnam era to the present day.
I'm enjoying this book a lot; it's an easy read even though I'm not all that familiar with the locations and battles being discussed. I realized some time ago that although I've lived through the Iraq War period, I really didn't know much at all about what happened over there and why. This book came to my attention as one insight into the recent/current war and shows how things got the way they are. I've said in many places that "if you do not understand the past, you cannot understand the present". This book helps me to understand the current situation in the US Army. Time will tell if his suggestions are heeded and how it may help.