Among the dozen or so books in the "I really want to read these before I graduate" (I graduated last month…), there are two books that are personal priorities:
- Buccaneer’s Realm by Ben Little. I’m almost done with this one. Buccaneer’s Realm explores the culture of privateers, buccaneers / boucaniers, filibusters / flibustiers, and pirates in a fourteen year slice. This is a great follow up to his Sea Rover’s Practice that looked at how ‘pirates’ operated, functioned, and organized themselves. In Sea Rover’s Practice you’ll see how financial interests could and did overcome racial and other prejudices and that democracy works well when everyone has a stake.
- Guernica and Total War by Ian Patterson. I have only opened it and skimmed a few pages, and it looks good. This was an appreciated gift from a fellow blogger.
A short list of other books on the ‘to read’ pile that I feel safe recommending, even without reading:
- Mike Waller’s Public Diplomacy Reader (no, I asked him, that’s not his dog on the cover). I have flipped through this and cited it, but haven’t given it the read through it deserves and requires.
- Robert L. Dilenschneider’s Power and Influence: The Rules have Changed. Don’t know who the author is? He is the former President and CEO of Hill & Knowlton. Don’t know Hill & Knowlton? Then you might enjoy Manheim’s case study. (And while we’re at it, if you’re picking up Manheim, you should have what I consider an equally, if not more important read from Entman.)
- Sarah Percy’s Mercenaries. Based on an early draft of a chapter she sent a while back, she’s done some amazing research. Looking forward to reading her book.
While I’m at it, here’s an additional list of some of the books I recommend that I recently (last few months) read. No time to pen something substantial (or anything in some cases), but these deserve much more than the casual glance and should be read.
- Charlie Stevenson’s Congress at War. Whereas his excellent Warriors and Politicians: US Civil-Military Relations Under Stress looks at the broader American civilian-military relationship, Congress at War looks at a slice.
- Dale Herspring’s The Pentagon and the Presidency. The title says it all.
- David Kennedy’s Of War and Law.
- Kenneth Osgood’s Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home And Abroad.
- Dave Grossman’s On Killing. Very useful for my robot paper, Unintended Consequences of Unmanned Warfare, that’s coming out in May. Hopefully I’ll do a version of that paper for Small Wars Journal in the less than distant future.