Friday, February 27, 2009

Some books I would like to buy, cont'd

If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War: An Analysis of World War II Naval Strategy

Adams uses Mahan's ideas to discuss the great Pacific sea battles of World War II and to consider how well they withstood the test of actual combat. Re-examining the conduct of war in the Pacific from a single analytic viewpoint leads to some surprising conclusions about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the recapture of the Philippines, and the submarine war.

Tycoon's War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer

When he died in 1877, Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of the Vanderbilt dynasty, was wealthier than the U.S. Treasury. But he had nearly lost his fortune in 1856, when William Walker, a young Nashville genius, set out to conquer Central America and, in the process, take away Vanderbilt’s most profitable shipping business. To win back his empire, Vanderbilt had to win a bloody war involving seven countries.
Tycoon’s War tells the story of an epic imperialist duel—a violent battle of capitalist versus idealist, money versus ambition—and a monumental clash of egos that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans.

The Training Ground: Grant, Lee, Sherman, and Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-1848

Few historical figures are as inextricably linked as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. But less than two decades before they faced each other as enemies at Appomattox, they had been brothers--both West Point graduates, both wearing blue, and both fighting in the same cadre in the Mexican War. They were not alone: Sherman, Davis, Jackson-nearly all of the Civil War's greatest soldiers had been forged in the heat of Vera Cruz and Monterrey.
The Mexican War has faded from our national memory, but it was a struggle of enormous significance: the first U.S. war waged on foreign soil; and it nearly doubled our nation. At this fascinating juncture of American history, a group of young men came together to fight as friends, only years later to fight as enemies. This is their story.

Lincoln and His Admirals

Written by prize-winning historian Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals unveils an aspect of Lincoln's presidency unexamined by historians until now, revealing how he managed the men who ran the naval side of the Civil War, and how the activities of the Union Navy ultimately affected the course of history.
Beginning with a gripping account of the attempt to re-supply Fort Sumter--a comedy of errors that shows all too clearly the fledgling president's inexperience--Symonds traces Lincoln's steady growth as a wartime commander-in-chief. Absent a Secretary of Defense, he would eventually become de facto commander of joint operations along the coast and on the rivers. That involved dealing with the men who ran the Navy: the loyal but often cranky Navy Secretary Gideon Welles, the quiet and reliable David G. Farragut, the flamboyant and unpredictable Charles Wilkes, the ambitious ordnance expert John Dahlgren, the well-connected Samuel Phillips Lee, and the self-promoting and gregarious David Dixon Porter. Lincoln was remarkably patient; he often postponed critical decisions until the momentum of events made the consequences of those decisions evident. But Symonds also shows that Lincoln could act decisively. Disappointed by the lethargy of his senior naval officers on the scene, he stepped in and personally directed an amphibious assault on the Virginia coast, a successful operation that led to the capture of Norfolk. The man who knew "little about ships" had transformed himself into one of the greatest naval strategists of his age

Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940

In a comprehensive study of four decades of military policy, Brian McAllister Linn offers the first detailed history of the U.S. Army in Hawaii and the Philippines between 1902 and 1940. Most accounts focus on the months preceding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. By examining the years prior to the outbreak of war, Linn provides a new perspective on the complex evolution of events in the Pacific. Exhaustively researched, Guardians of Empire traces the development of U.S. defense policy in the region, concentrating on strategy, tactics, internal security, relations with local communities, and military technology. Linn challenges earlier studies which argue that army officers either ignored or denigrated the Japanese threat and remained unprepared for war. He demonstrates instead that from 1907 onward military commanders in both Washington and the Pacific were vividly aware of the danger, that they developed a series of plans to avert it, and that they in fact identified—even if they could not solve—many of the problems that would become tragically apparent on 7 December 1941.

2 comments:

Purpleslog said...

Ack...more for the anti-library!

I think "Lincoln and His Admirals" would be the most interesting to me. I know nothing about Lincoln's CINCship of the US Navy.

phil said...

Yes there's always more. I agree, Lincoln's wartime leadership is a fascinating topic for a variety for different reasons. One of the things that intrigues me is that in the Civil War we begin to see arrival of modern, industrial war but we have not yet developed the kinds of modern military leadership institutions that would come later so Lincoln had to improvise and act on his own to make up for this. It is something that I definitely want to explore in more detail.