Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Echo of Battle or Why Do People Hate America

The Echo of Battle: The Army's Way of War

Author: Brian McAllister Linn

From Lexington and Gettysburg to Normandy and Iraq, the wars of the United States have defined the nation. But after the guns fall silent, the army searches the lessons of past conflicts in order to prepare for the next clash of arms. In the echo of battle, the army develops the strategies, weapons, doctrine, and commanders that it hopes will guarantee a future victory.

In the face of radically new ways of waging war, Brian Linn surveys the past assumptions—and errors—that underlie the army's many visions of warfare up to the present day. He explores the army's forgotten heritage of deterrence, its long experience with counter-guerrilla operations, and its successive efforts to transform itself. Distinguishing three martial traditions—each with its own concept of warfare, its own strategic views, and its own excuses for failure—he locates the visionaries who prepared the army for its battlefield triumphs and the reactionaries whose mistakes contributed to its defeats.

Discussing commanders as diverse as Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and Colin Powell, and technologies from coastal artillery to the Abrams tank, he shows how leadership and weaponry have continually altered the army's approach to conflict. And he demonstrates the army's habit of preparing for wars that seldom occur, while ignoring those it must actually fight. Based on exhaustive research and interviews, The Echo of Battle provides an unprecedented reinterpretation of how the U.S. Army has waged war in the past and how it is meeting the new challenges of tomorrow.

Kirkus Reviews

A history of the U.S. army during peacetime examines the lessons its intellectual leaders learned from previous wars and how they planned for the next. Having read nearly every available report, memoir, article and public speech on the subject, military historian Linn emphasizes that history teaches many lessons, only a few of which turn out to be useful, and that we learn the rare accurate prediction of the future in hindsight. An American military establishment didn't appear until after the War of 1812, but it quickly got down to business, drawing wrong conclusions from the past and preparing for a future war that never happened. Ignoring the embattled frontier, until after 1900, leaders concluded that predatory European powers were our major threat-most likely, a massive cross-ocean invasion by Britain. Since the War of 1812 featured attacks on coastal areas, leaders gave first priority to protecting ports, devoting most of the army's modest budget to constructing defensive coastal fortifications. They played no part in America's next two foreign wars (in 1846 and 1898), which were entirely offensive, and the Confederacy obtained only modest benefit from those it occupied. Examining the enormously increased firepower-machine guns, repeating rifles and rapid-fire artillery, among others-available by the turn of the 20th century, military thinkers concluded that these would make future wars so expensive and destructive that fighting would be short-lived. A minority insisted that the vast destructive power of new weapons made war obsolete, repeating both errors when they considered aircraft a generation later and again with atomic weapons. Fighting terrorism, guerrillas and insurgentforces had ample precedent in campaigns against Indians, Confederate bushwhackers and Philippine rebels, but until the 1990s few thinkers considered this a worthy occupation for a warrior. Now, "irregular warfare" is considered the wave of the future, a disturbing forecast if it is as accurate as previous ones. An unsettling but stimulating review of American military planning.

Table of Contents:


1. Fortress America

2. Modern Warfare

3. Unconventional Wisdom

4. Providing for War?

5. Dissenting Visions

6. Atomic War

7. From Reformation to Reaction






Book about: IPTV Crash Course or Outlook 2007

Why Do People Hate America?

Author: Ziauddin Sardar

The controversial bestseller that caused huge waves in the UK! The Independent calls it "required reading." Noam Chomsky says it "contains valuable information that we should know, over here, for our own good, and the world's." We call it our biggest book so far and will be backing it from day one with guaranteed co-op spending, a national publicity and review blitz, talk radio bookings, various retail sales aids including postcards, and of course the usual full court press on the Web and via email.

This is NOT just another 9/11 book: it is the book for those of us trying to understand why America-and Americans-are targets for hate. Many people do hate America, in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, as well as in the Middle East. Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies explore the global impact of America's foreign policy and its corporate and cultural power, placing this unprecedented dominance in the context of America's own perception of itself. In doing so, they consider TV and the Hollywood machine as a mirror which reflects both the American Dream and the American Nightmare. Their analysis provides an important contribution to a debate which needs to be addressed by people of all nations, cultures, religions and political persuasions-and especially by Americans.

Described by The Times Higher Education Supplement as "packed with tightly argued points," the book is carefully researched and built to withstand the inevitable criticism that will be aimed at it. A book that some reviewers will love to hate and others will praise for its insights, it's guaranteed to cause a stir.

Ziauddin Sardar is a prominent and highly respected journalist andauthor. Prolific and polymath, he is a familiar U.K. television and radio personality.

Merryl Wyn Davies, writer and anthropologist, is a former BBC television producer.

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