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Books on war - 4/6/2008 7:08:45 PM   
Jackal

 

Posts: 5030
Joined: 30/9/2005
I was just reading If IDie in a Combat Zone by Tim O'Brien which I've had for a few years but for some reason never got round to actually finishing. I've been firing through it like a madman recently and made me wonder why I'd never bothered to finish it before. It's based on the author's own experiences fighting in Vietnam and it's an unflinchingly honest account. Fantasitc read.

It also got me thinking about other fiction and non-fiction books on war. One of my favourites is Cross of Iron by Willi Heinrich which, if you've seen the film of the same name with James Coburn, you'll be familiar with. It's one of my favourite novels.

On the non-fiction side, there's Stalingrad and Berlin by Antony Beevor. I've read the former and it was superb. I'll need to get around to reading Berlin.

And then there's Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, which is based on his experiences in Italy during WWI. I did an essay on it at school and it was a challenging read but well worth it.

So, what are peoples' thoughts on books about war. What are your recommendations?

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RE: Books on war - 4/6/2008 7:23:47 PM   
elab49


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I agree on Beevor - my non-fiction fix also comes from John Keegan.

I wouldn't underrate Stephen Ambrose either - his books are exceptionally readable.

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RE: Books on war - 4/6/2008 7:35:45 PM   
Olaf


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Don't go to war without it!


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RE: Books on war - 4/6/2008 9:00:04 PM   
Jackal

 

Posts: 5030
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I've read Sun Tzu and it's pretty good. I love how Tony Soprano was recommended it (tongue in cheek, like) by his psychiatrist!

Anyway, I'm still reading If this is a man by Primo Levi (in Italian), having started it months ago. It's a pretty tough read (not the language). Pretty moving.

There's also Paul Preston's The Concise History of the Spanish Civil War which is an excellent read as well.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I wouldn't underrate Stephen Ambrose either - his books are exceptionally readable.


Don't think I've ever read any of Ambrose's stuff. What do you suggest?

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RE: Books on war - 5/6/2008 9:40:01 AM   
elab49


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Oddly I hadn't considered Primo Levi but you're right, it is technically war.

Obvious starting point with Ambrose is Band of Brothers - I like his D Day one (the Bridge one I think - although he has written another one more generally on D Day).

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ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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RE: Books on war - 8/6/2008 3:10:46 PM   
Jackal

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Oddly I hadn't considered Primo Levi but you're right, it is technically war.

Obvious starting point with Ambrose is Band of Brothers - I like his D Day one (the Bridge one I think - although he has written another one more generally on D Day).


Ah, that's they guy. Right, I'll need to read that one then and I'll look out for the other.

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RE: Books on war - 13/6/2008 1:48:33 PM   
Lazlo Woodbine

 

Posts: 90
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quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Oddly I hadn't considered Primo Levi but you're right, it is technically war.

Obvious starting point with Ambrose is Band of Brothers - I like his D Day one (the Bridge one I think - although he has written another one more generally on D Day).

It's called Pegasus Bridge.  He's also done one concentrating on American Bomber pilots and crews called the Wild Blue (which isn't as good as others).

A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan are both very good.  Obviously have both been made into movies too.

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RE: Books on war - 13/6/2008 2:00:48 PM   
Amelie_Scotland


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From: Take a guess.
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford is an excellent read.

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RE: Books on war - 1/7/2008 4:47:16 PM   
kasm

 

Posts: 341
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Chickenhawk by Robert Mason is a fantastic account of his time has a chopper pilot in Vietnam.
Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden is even more unrelenting than the movie-( he also wrote Killing Pablo which is brilliant)


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RE: Books on war - 2/7/2008 12:32:02 PM   
BigKovacs


Posts: 3203
Joined: 6/4/2006
From: Textile Street.

quote:

ORIGINAL: kasm

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason is a fantastic account of his time has a chopper pilot in Vietnam.
Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden is even more unrelenting than the movie-( he also wrote Killing Pablo which is brilliant)



Thats a fantastic book! A good insight into flying skids, incredibly interesting, sad and strangely funny.

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RE: Books on war - 2/7/2008 5:02:18 PM   
MrEmReAB

 

Posts: 68
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Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman is one of the best books I have ever read.

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RE: Books on war - 3/7/2008 2:28:38 PM   
Sinatra


Posts: 7861
Joined: 3/10/2005
You should PM Clownfoot... he's an expert! (Though some of his views regarding the German peoples knowledge during World War II are a bit off)

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RE: Books on war - 3/7/2008 3:38:03 PM   
danbo1138


Posts: 7861
Joined: 10/6/2006
From: Always Outnumberd Never Outgunned!
I've been going War mad lately,just cannot stop reading them.so here are the latest that i recommend.

Cobra 450(or cobra gold) by Damien Lewis is a great little read about a bank raid in beriut carried out by the SAS in  1976 and its terrorist aftermath.good rip roaring fun.
after reading that i went onto Bloody Heroes also by Damien lewis.this tells the tale of the SBS in afganistan just after 9/11 and the dramatic conclusion at the battle of qala-i-janghi fortress.this is based on a true story and i cannot recommend it enough.and excellent read.
then,because i was high on the last two i went for another Damien lewis book called Operation Certain Death(cheesy title good book)this is a true story set in sierra leone about a group of Irish Rangers were taken hostage by a group of rebels called the west side boys.it charts their capture,ordeal and rescue by the Paras and SAS/SBS troops.reads like a history book at times but it is an engrosing book.strong stuff.
went back to basics next and read....FIRST BLOOD. if you 've only seen the film then read this book.rambo is alot different,and imo they should remake the film. and finally i finished with Highway to Hell,by John Geddes.this is about PMC's working in iraq and the day to day things they encounter.
the one i'm reading at the moment is called JIHAD by Tom Carew!this autobiography is about an ex SAS guy(tom ob) in afganistan during the russian invasion in the 80's.only half way through but i have to say wow,what a great book.frank and to the point.

if you folks can recommend me any that would be cool.

< Message edited by danbo1138 -- 3/7/2008 4:02:07 PM >


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