The New Army Reading and Viewing List

Reviews and commentary on books, films, etc.
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Pat Holscher
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Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:01 am

The latest list of books, and now films, that the Army feels that officers ought to see:

Military themed literature:
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Fields of Fire by James Webb
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Paths of Glory by Humphrey Cobb
The Centurions by Jean Larteguy
The Winds of War/War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
The Thin Red Line by James Jones
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
Fatherland by Robert Harris
The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker
The Matthew Hervey series by Allan Mallinson
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Bomber by Len Deighton
The Sharpe Books by Bernard Cornwall
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Bream
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Bugles and a Tiger by John Masters
The Field Marshal's Memoirs by John Masters
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes


Film List:
The Duellists (1977)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Hamburger hill (1987)
Arn the Templar (2007)
Capitaine Conan (1996)
Days of Glory (2006)
Intimate Enemies (2007)
Alatriste (2006)
Beneath Hill 60 (2010)
Zulu (1964)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Gettysburg (1993)
The Frontline (2011)
The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)
Battle for Haditha (2007)
Blood Diamond (2006)
World Trade Centre (2006)
United 93 (2006)
The Hurt Locker (2009)
Restrepo (2010)
Three Kings (1999)
The Kingdom (2007)
Body of Lies (2008)
Documentaries:
The Civil War (1990)
The War (2007)
The Great War (1964)
The World at War (1973)
The First World War (2003)
Culloden (1964)
Australians at War (2001)
The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)
Pat

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Pat Holscher
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Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:20 am

Pat Holscher wrote:The latest list of books, and now films, that the Army feels that officers ought to see:

Military themed literature:
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Fields of Fire by James Webb
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Paths of Glory by Humphrey Cobb
The Centurions by Jean Larteguy
The Winds of War/War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
The Thin Red Line by James Jones
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
Fatherland by Robert Harris
The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker
The Matthew Hervey series by Allan Mallinson
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Bomber by Len Deighton
The Sharpe Books by Bernard Cornwall
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Bream
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Bugles and a Tiger by John Masters
The Field Marshal's Memoirs by John Masters
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
Regarding the books, even though I read almost constantly, I've only read the following:

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Fields of Fire by James Webb
Paths of Glory by Humphrey Cobb, I haven’t read, but I’ve seen a film by that name, I presume to be based on it.
The Thin Red Line by James Jones, is a book I started to read many years ago, and didn’t finish, which is farely rare. Usually when I start them, I finish them, but I didn’t care for it much at the time.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

It occurs to me that I don't read novels all that often, which all of these are. Presumably there's a separate history text list.

I'm not sure what Catch 22 would actually teach an officer. Interestingly enough, in later years Heller stated that the novel is complete fiction, and that in actuality the officers he met in World War Two were remarkably competent. I liked the article when I read it, when I was in high school, but in some ways, the novel is probably uniquely suited for somebody actually in high school. Indeed, my high school guidance counselor seemed to be much like Major Major, in that you could only see him when he wasn't in.
Pat

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Pat Holscher
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Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:23 am

Regarding the films, I’ve seen these.

The Duellists (1977). I like this movie, but I’m really surprised to see it here as I can’t quite figure what lesson it’s supposed to teach that’s applicable to modern soldiers. Don’t duel for decades?

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Hamburger hill (1987)

Zulu (1964)

Apocalypse Now (1979). Really? I liked this film when I saw it in the theater in 1979, but I don't think it stands up. Would the lesson be don't go into the jungle with Marin Sheen, or perhaps mumbling large men like Marlon Brando? Hmmm. . . .

Gettysburg (1993). This was based on the novel The Killer Angles, but I can't see any officer with actual duties watching it, as it's so long, it seems to be almost a minute by minute depiction of the actual battle.

United 93 (2006)

Three Kings (1999). Eh? I can't figure why this one is there.

The Civil War (1990).

The World at War (1973).

The First World War (2003)
Pat

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