Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Good Memorial Day Reading

For Memorial Day, I’ve been reading this wonderful book by Stephen Ambrose about the American soldiers in WWII. It offers a wonderful and descriptive account of the battles in Europe and of the character of the men who fought in them. What I love, especially, about the book is the suggestions (which they tend to be more than conclusions) about how the nature and character of the American fighting man lent itself more toward victory than did that of the Axis men--or even the other allies. The descriptions of the initiative taken by men in the field are truly inspiring and breathtaking.

As a companion to this volume--if you’re more in a Civil War mode--examine this volume by James M. McPherson. This book is wonderful for all kinds of reasons but--especially if, like me, you’re inclined toward a more Yankee view of the conflict. It is good to be reminded of what was good and noble--and American--on both sides. If read before you read the Ambrose volume, you can see a continuum and parallels between the soldiers (on both sides) of that time and those of WWII. Such a book should be written about the soldiers of our current war . . . or perhaps one has already been written and I just don’t know about it. If so, do let me know.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Yes, I bought CITIZEN SOLDIERS as a birthday gift for my brother-in-law. It's an exceptional read.

I have also read Citizen Soldiers and it is very good. The idea that free men of independent thought do better on the battlefield is not new, but is given depth and force in the stories told in this book. Do I remember, is it this book where the German officer says that as the Americans were retreating, and abandoning their materiel during the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans were noting the mass, the amount, the sheer and vast quantity of stuff that could be freely abandoned. Then they understood the Americans could AFFORD to abandon all of that stuff, because there was more stuff coming. At that point the German officer and others, knew they were doomed. A free economy had no limits and free men doing what seemed best on the battlefield at the moment had an undefatigible flexibility. It's a good book.

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