Saturday, December 10, 2016

General Mattis on the Importance of Reading

From Business Insider:
With [Task Force] 58, I had w/ me Slim’s book, books about the Russian and British experiences in [Afghanistan],  and a couple others. Going into Iraq, “The Siege” (about the Brits’ defeat at Al Kut in WW I) was  req’d reading for field grade officers. I also had Slim’s book; reviewed T.E. Lawrence’s  “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; a good book about the life of Gertrude Bell (the Brit archaeologist who virtually founded the modern Iraq state in the aftermath of WW I and the fall of the Ottoman empire); and “From Beirut to Jerusalem”. I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman, and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my HQ would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon). 
Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. (Read more.)

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