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  #11  
Old 02-08-2006, 12:07 PM
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Just finishing up "Lucifer's Hammer". It was written in 1977-79 time frame and is one of the best "end of the world" type novels I've ever read. It's about what would happen if a comet hits the earth. Someone should have made it into a movie....but then again, Hollyworld would have just screwed it up.

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  #12  
Old 02-08-2006, 12:28 PM
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Ripcord , Screaming Eagles Under Siege , Vietnam1970 by Noland. Sure glad I missed that one !
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Old 02-09-2006, 06:56 AM
SL Bronco SL Bronco is offline
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Thanks to all for some good ideas for further reading, and especially to exlrrp for your comments. I'll definitely get McNamara's book. Clifford and others in the Johnson administration who came to the conclusion that the war was a mistake remained loyal to Johnson for two main reasons, I think. One is that they were strong believers in his domestic programs and commitment to civil rights and helping the poor, and the other was that they thought they could influence Johnson to bring the war to an end. McNamara was one of the ones who gave up and bailed out.

exlrrp, I believe you'd really like Ho Chi Minh: A Life, by William Duiker. It doesn't gloss over either the good or the bad. Another fabulous book about which the same can be said is The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, by Friedrich Katz.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:10 AM
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I have a small library of books on Vietnam. If you are just into examining causes and conditions, another classic is "The Best and The Brightest" which discusses the military and defense brain trust that Kennedy assembled, including McNamara, but also men like Maxwell Taylor, the Bundy brothers, etc. they were there for the advisor phase and they were the brain trust that LBJ relied on as the war escalated (rememberthat term?) to regular US line troops.

But I noted "Bury my Heart" was mentioned. I am a an amateur historian of the Post Civil War Indian battles on the Northin High Plains, principly those occuring in the Dakotas (only one Dakota back then) Montana and Wyoming. Of course the best known of these is the battle of the Little Big Horn.

The best two books I have found, a good analytic work, that includes time studies based on the speed of various horse gaits and horse endurance, is Centennial Campaign, by John Gray. His sequel "Custer's Last Battle" is also valuable. This one simply analyses facts. You will know after reading this, what is actually known about the battle, what are merely well-educated guesses, and what are wild-assed guesses. Soldier and Indian testimony is analysed. The second book reveals Mitch Boyer, a Montana-based scout, who led crow scouts for the "Montana Column" of the 1876 campaign. (They were the guys that found the bodies of Custer and his men) Boyer and six Crows were loaned to Custer three days prior to the battle because Custers Arikira scourt were unfamiliar with SE Montana Territory. Custer relied on Boyer heavily for much of his action leading up to the fight. Anyway. I recommend those two. Not much is left to speculation here. Gray has no axe to grind. Read Centennial first, it's the broad-based analyis of the 1876 campaign. Custer's Last mostly follows the Boyer tangent.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:50 AM
Robert J Ryan
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I have read two books about VN, Goodnight Saigon, and a book written by a member of the 25th ID helicopter's company. It is called XIN LOI Vietnam. The war up in the air seemed differnt than the war on the ground. But it still was pretty hairy.
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Old 02-09-2006, 11:58 AM
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What Advisor said about McNamara.... another apt description would be "gutless wonder." A sorrier, self-serving bit of worthless drivel has probably never been written. As I read it, I kept wondering, can this get even worse? With practically every page turned, it did.

Here's an eclectic list of recommended reading:

"Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation" - Joseph J. Ellis

"The French Betrayal of America" - Kenneth R. Timmerman

"Integrity" - Stephen L. Carter

"The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" - John C. Maxwell
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Old 02-09-2006, 03:23 PM
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James, I agree with you about McNamara's book. What was good was the what we were thinking vs what they were thinking at the same time. What a terrible waste it was all the way around. I am reading the Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien for the third time and may read the Lord of the Rings again for the sixth time. I am also starting on the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. I bought a lecture series on the Great Books and that one caught my attention.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
[i]
exlrrp, I believe you'd really like Ho Chi Minh: A Life, by William Duiker. It doesn't gloss over either the good or the bad. .
SL
Read it, its on my shelf now, one of my most well thumbed references.
No one can understand the Vietnam War who has not studied the life of Ho Chi Minh. An Amazing man, a truly amazing story.

Fred:
"What was good was the what we were thinking vs what they were thinking at the same time."
exactly!! One of the missed communications was the escalation of the Air War. This was in response to the VC attack on the Pleiku Airbase in '65, done when MacGeorge Bundy was in Vietnam.
Because this happened while Bundy was there, LBJ took this as an official sign from the DRU that they wanted to ramp up the war so he commenced the air war over North Vietnam.
In Macnamaras book we find that the attack was planned and committed by a local VC commander months in advance and he said he didn't have a clue who Macgeorge Bundy was and it didn't matter anyway.
And Thats History, folks
Stay good
James
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:59 AM
SL Bronco SL Bronco is offline
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exlrrp: See, I knew you'd like it.

McNamara: I'm interested in anybody's reaction if they get to read Clifford's Counsel to the President, especially with regard to what Clifford and his allies tried to do within the administration as McNamara bailed out. My interest is not particularly in who was a bad guy and who was a good guy.

M. Aurelius: Seneca and Epictetus are the other two big name Stoics who left major works for us to read. There's a nice little Seneca volume, Letters from a Stoic (I think that's the title) that I especiallyt like. And the condensed version of Epictetus, the Manual (or Encheiridion) of Epictetus is available on line (as are his discourses). Great stuff.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:29 PM
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Tthanks for the reading recommendations, St. Broncho. And wecome!
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