Originally Posted by Major Sennef
That is a very recognizable problem.
One solution I apply is to have a closer look at those that are recommended several times in the list, books that appear twice so to speak
Applying the above criterium, I would end up with the following books:
War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft
by Robert D. Blackwell and Jennifer M. Harris.
We are now entering a period of dominantly geo-economic competition, and this book is as good an introduction to the required mindsets and a timely reminder of our own lost wisdom about and potential for geo-economic strategy.*
by Henry Kissinger.
Not a new book but never more relevant given the discussions about the changing world order. Focusing on regional orders and how system level changes over history have brought us some of the great world events, Kissinger, in a way only this grand strategist can, lays out the world and how to think about it.
The same theme, the fall of France in 1940
, appears twice in this list, albeit in two different books, so perhaps reason to look a bit deeper into it.
To Lose a Battle: France, 1940
by Alistair Horne.
An old but engrossing book, and a powerful reflection on the influence of turbulent politics and the sapping of military spirit, and a personal favorite of mine, MS.
Strange Victory: Hitler’s Conquest of France
by Ernest May.
I hear Marc Bloch's crystal clear 'Strange Defeat
' resonate here. Another great sifting of theories, why France capitulated so quickly in World War II — a careful analysis of tactical and strategic mistakes, shrewdly exploited by the Wehrmacht.* A great education in intelligence analysis and application, as well as innovation.
Finally two books that took my fancy because they stand out
of all the other books about strategy and international politics and seem to offer wider vistas
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
by Neil Gaiman.
Strategies are stories. Author August Cole has called war “narrative by other means,” scholar Yuval Harari reminds us societies require myths to thrive in competition and survive in conflict, and strategist Lawrence Freedman finished his book Strategy: A History by highlighting the importance of stories. In my own “view from the cheap seats,” I’ve written to amplify this idea, that creating an accepted narrative is central to success at war: Story-making is strategy-making. And few make stories as well as British author Neil Gaiman. In this case, he has plied his fiction skill in the non-fiction world, and the book brims with unexpected lessons for those engaged in the everyday art and study of persuasion, threats, or violence visited upon other people (or nations).
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future
by Johan Norberg.
We are relentlessly inundated with stories of death, despair, and destruction **— an onslaught that would make it hard for even the most optimistic among us to brave.* And yet, as Norberg demonstrates meticulously, there is a pronounced disconnect between perceptions of the human condition and the realities thereof.* His account serves as a powerful antidote both to misguided nostalgia for the past and inordinate fear about the future.