This audiobook challenges several longstanding notions about the American way of war. It examines US military practice (strategic and operational) from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine what patterns, if any, existed in the way Americans have used military force. Echevarria surveys all major US wars and most every small conflict in the country's military history. He argues that the popular notion that the American way of war is astrategic, apolitical, and obsessed with using overwhelming force is wrong. Rather, America's decisions to go to war and strategies in war have throughout history been shaped by political considerations, with both negative and positive results, and the amount of force employed was rarely overwhelming or decisive. Echevarria closes the gap between histories of strategic theory and the popular battle and campaign narratives that comprise the bulk of US military history. This book hopes to force a reexmination of the true characteristics of the American way of war with an eye toward implications for the future.
©2014 Georgetown University Press (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks
"…a must-read for military officers, politicians, academics - and pundits - who all too often ignore the inherently pragmatic nature of the American approach to war..." (David E. Johnson, director, chief of staff of the Army Strategic Studies Group)
“"his book is both the best analysis of the American way of war debate and a provocative historical interpretation of how the US has waged war. An essential contribution to one of the most significant issues in current US military policy." (Brian McAllister Linn, Ralph R. Thomas Professor of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University)
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"Excellent overview of complex subject"
That is really impossible..complex stuff cannot be summed up in three words.
Great a great overall view of the topic with many specific examples.
No "scenes" in this non-fiction work.
Noo....Has to be taken in small doses. There is a lot to digest.
Reader did a good job on what must have been a very difficult task. For military officers, this is a must read...or listen.. so that past mistakes are not made all over again.
"Must read for military."
Much easier to understand. I had to read this for a class on military history and found it rough going. It's very dense and the sentence structure seems awkward at times...at least for me. I found listening to it a little at a time - 30 minutes or so, to be much easier since the reader did much of the work of "pharsing" the text and it actually became pretty clear what the author was talking about.
The Art of War but, of course, much more modern.
Already said it...did a great job of making a complex book easier to understand.
Thank you, Audible. One of the side benefits of listening is that, during class discussions, I was one of the few who pronounced the many difficult names correctly. The professor was very impressed and my classmates a bit envious. I wish all my required readings were in Audiobook form.
"Strategic implications for future."
Yes...very "dense" book with complex ideas. I've already listened twice and plan to do it at least one more time.
Many people, including many in the military, think there is and always has been an American "Way of War," that emphasizes overwhelming and crushing victories no matter what the strategic goals are. The author's thorough survey of American military history points out enormous variety in military practice, and that far more attention to political control was given than is usually recognized. The ideas in this book have huge implications for any future conflicts and should be read ( or heard ) but anyone in the military involved in strategic planning.
Yes, I have. He is one of my favorite narrators and did his usual good job.
This is an important book and, in my opinion, should be required reading by all U.S. military officers or officers-to-be and by all politicians involved with military decision making.
"Should be required reading for all U.S. military."
Yes....easier to understand. I have the print version but had to keep backing up in order to have some parts make sense. I did not have to do that when listening.
Whole section about Vietnam.
No characters but I must say the reader did a great job. There were many difficult names and places to pronounce and the syntax was often complex. Must have taken a lot of preparation.
Audio version made a book full of complex ideas much easier to understand.
"Great way to get required reading done."
Actually I got this book for my son who is attending the War College. This was a required reading and he was having trouble getting though it.
I listened to it as well and found it fascinating.
Nope..too long and too dense.
My son told me listening to it was much easier since the writing style was convoluted at times. Also told me he got "points" in class for correctly pronouncing some of the names that were mentioned in the book. We both thought the reader did an excellent job.
astute looking back
Very good job with a very difficult read.
As others have say, military men and politicians should read this to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.
This is a good analysis of American military practice but is a little dry at times. The narration is functional rather than impressive, but with content like this it's hard to add life to it.
Yes. This is a rather "dense" book. I intend to listen to it at least once more.
I have. He does his usual excellent job.
This is not the kind of book that could be made into a film.
As other reviewers have said...this should be required reading for anyone involved at high levels of the military and for all politicians. We should not keep making the same mistakes over and over.
"Reconsidering the American Way of War"
The book is well-thought out and research. I do not argue with the premise that politics shape the decision to go to war and war-waging. I argue with the premise that there is an assumption that we have these decisions and tactics are apolitical. I do not think any country or group takes arms without a political input; it is a matter of degree that politics shape war at the strategic, operational, and tactical level. I guess there is a school of scholars who have been saying war making is apolitical.
"At best a summary of Other Author's works."
The best thing about this book was its cover. The contents were largely a bibliography of other authors works. The summaries were so many and so brief as to be useless. If one was already familiar with all of the cited authors one wouldn’t need a summary. If one wasn’t familiar the summary was too brief to be of any value.
It’s very hard to determine exactly what Antulio J. Echevarria contributed to the reader’s understanding of the American way of war. From my perspective there isn’t and never was “an” American way of war. Each war was fought with the resources -both political and military – available to the generals and admirals and their political leaders. Each war was fought with the technology available. Clearly as we transitioned from muskets to laser guided bombs we changed our tactics. Each war was fought with the human capital the political leadership could muster. The generals and admirals did the best they knew how to do with what they were given. When we fought less capable opponents we’ve done well. When we’ve fought capable, determined, and equally well resources opponents we’ve prevailed sometimes and failed at other times. What more is there to say? Echevarria didn’t have much to say and I recommend you read someone else book if you are looking something of substance on this subject.
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