In no particular order, or in fact any rhyme or reason, here’s a look at some of the books on my shelf and on my nightstand:
Rampant Raider– An A-4 Skyhawk Pilot in Vietnam (interesting in its own right, it is doubly interesting because his wartime cruise coincided with my father’s cruise on a different carrier. It is weird reading about strikes that I know my father flew on.)
An Army at Dawn– Rick Atkinson and I may not agree on much, but he’s a hell of a writer, and the story of the Army in North Africa is well told, if somewhat unsettling.
The Day of Battle– Part Two of Rick Atkinson’s LiberationTrilogy. More great reading.
The Civil War: A Narrative– Shelby Foote brings us the best popular work on the Civil War. It is a wonderful primer on maneuver warfare, politics in war, and the way events control politics. A must read.
The Brotherhood of War– WEB Griffin’s tale of the Army from WWII to the end of Vietnam. Sure, it’s a guilty pleasure, and I plead guilty to finding it pleasurable. And once you get hooked on this series, you get hooked on all his other stuff. I’ve never been on a trip to the woods with the Army where copies of his books weren’t being passed around.
Moment of Truth in Iraq– pretty much everyone has Michael Yon on their reading list. Having said that, I was disappointed in this book as it is primarly a rehash of columns. I suppose that is a hazard of a columnist writing a book.
Sailors to the End-Greg Freeman does a service bringing this story of valor to our attention, but the book is somewhat facile. I can’t recommend it to historians, but it is a good introduction to the events of the Forrestal fire.
Thud Ridge– Everyone interested in the air war in Vietnam has either read this book, or should.
There’s a War to be Won– Geoffrey Perret’s must-read about the US Army in WWII.
That’s just a thin slice of the bookshelf. What’s on yours?