More Book Reviews

12)  Engineers of Victory – Paul Kenny

The author make a resonable case that there was no specific turning point in World War II. He says a broad range of events, technological advances, and operational organization improvements that occurred between the beginning of 1943 and the middle of 1944 ultimately defined the outcome of the war.

The author identifies and develops the argument that five key strategic initiatives durning that period sealed the fate of the Axis Powers. He dedicates a chapter to each –  1) Getting convoys safely across the Atlantic; 2) Winning command of the air; 3) Stopping the Germain blitzkrieg strategy; 4)  Learning how to seize an enemy held shore; and 5) How to defeat the tyranny of distance in the Pacific. One of the key conclusions he draws is that the war was not won by the Generals and politicians or by the foot soldiers, but that middle level military officers, scientist, technicians, and managers led to the ultimate victory.

13)  Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities – Eric Kaufmann

This book discusses the erosion of whiteness in Western countries in the face of migration and ethnic dilution patterns. The author makes the point that the rise of right wing populism is not generally about economic issues, but the real and/or perceived decline of the white ethnic majority. He talks a lot about how the left modernists, as he call them, have made it impossible for whites to openly discuss ethnic issues concerning them without being labeled racist or xenophobic.

The author uses mountains of statistical data to make the case that anti-immigration attitudes on the right are not just about foreigners taking jobs of whites or being a drain on social services as frequently suggested in the media and among politicians, but the fear of changing ethnicity. The white population fears becoming the minority.

I did not share some opinions the author offers. As an example I felt he demonstrated inadequate understanding of the uniqueness of the black/white historical relationship in the United States. That’s probably because he is Canadian. Regardless, his arguments throughout the book are well researched and he provides massive amounts of data to support his conclusions. If his research data does not overwhelm you I strongly encourage you to read the whole book. Just make sure you have plenty of time to think about the points he makes and examine his supporting graphs and charts.

14)  The Saga of Pappy Gunn – Lieutenant General George C. Kenney

This is not a new book. It is mostly a fun read though it is a true story of one American hero of World War II. It details the life of Colonel Paul I Gunn who by most any account was a misfit in the rigid structure of the US military establishment, but nevertheless was highly successful. He fought in the Southwest Pacific as an imaginative pilot, scrounger, engineer, mechanic, and all around problem solver.

The author was Gunn’s commanding officer during the second half of the war. It is not a particularly well organized book in my opinion, but it reflects a reality that we don’t often see when generals write about people under their command.

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