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Warfighting

Author: General Al Gray

Publisher: Broadway Business

ISBN: Wally Bock

Summary:Because it's short and about strategy, Warfighting invites comparison with The Art of War. They're both excellent, but if you can only have one, pick Warfighting.

Warfighting

ISBN 978 03854 78342

Book review courtesy of Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership


I've been reading books on leadership, and especially military leadership, for more than fifty years. There are very few of those books that I re-read. I re-read at least some of Warfighting every week.

I love giving books as gifts. But Warfighting is the only book I give away regularly. I usually have a half dozen copies on hand for the purpose.The reason is simple. If you could only have one book on leadership and strategy, this is the one to have.

Warfighting is short. You can read it on a medium-length flight. If your flight is seriously delayed, you might finish it before you begin boarding. Because it's short and about strategy, Warfighting invites comparison with The Art of War. They're both excellent, but if you can only have one, pick Warfighting.

Warfighting is well written in my own language. That's a big plus. With the Art of War, you're dependent on the translator. The translations are essentially the same, but they differ in several details.

Warfighting was written in my own era and culture. The Art of War was written several centuries ago in China. The use of language and references require a little more work to tease out the applications today. Both books are about strategy. Warfighting has more about leadership.

If you get value from the Art of War, don't stop using it. But add Warfighting to your library.

Boss's Bottom Line

You should have and read a copy of Warfighting. You have two options. You can read the book Warfighting which is the original version written by General Al Gray. Or you can get a PDF copy of the updated 1997 version.


Quotes from the preface to the PDF version ... which set out the approach very clearly:

Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.”

Carl von Clausewitz

In war the chief incalculable is the human will.”

B. H. Liddell Hart

Positions are seldom lost because they have been destroyed, but almost invariably because the leader has decided in his own mind that the position cannot be held.

A. A. Vandegrift