One Bullet Away

The making of a US Marine Officer

One Bullet Away

The most eloquent and personal story of a young man at war since Geoffrey Wellum's FIRST LIGHT Until a winter evening in 1998 Nathaniel was just another history student on a comfortable career trajectory of high school to college to white collar job. Then he went to a lecture by a Wall Street Journal reporter who had just published a book on the US Marines. It brought forth a latent desire to break free of the 'seat belt and safety goggle, safety-first' culture: to be a warrior. He passed the gruelling selection course and joined the Marine Corps on graduation. Posted to a Marine Regiment in the wake of 9/11, he took part in the invasion of Afghanistan, then led a platoon of their elite Recon Battalion during the invasion of Iraq. This is not a book about the Iraq invasion as such: it is an articulate and deeply thoughtful young man's account of what it means to fight in the frontline, to risk not just death or injury, but psychological harm. He reveals some of the awful dilemmas war can bring, horrible problems to which there is no 'right' answer, but a decision had to be made quickly -- by him alone. In combat you are just one bullet away from death -- or promotion. But this doesn't focus the mind: it makes it freeze up -- unless your training is so thorough that you overcome exhaustion and terror. 'Nate' took 65 men to war and came home with all 65. He proved himself an excellent officer and won promotion, but resigned in 2003 to write this book and attend Harvard Business School.

One Bullet Away

The Making of a Marine Officer

One Bullet Away

If the Marines are “the few, the proud,” Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Nathaniel Fick’s career begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth. He leads a platoon in Afghanistan just after 9/11 and advances to the pinnacle—Recon— two years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows to bring all his men home safely, and to do so he’ll need more than his top-flight education. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and shares his hard-won insights into the differences between military ideals and military practice, which can mock those ideals.In this deeply thoughtful account of what it’s like to fight on today’s front lines, Fick reveals the crushing pressure on young leaders in combat. Split-second decisions might have national consequences or horrible immediate repercussions, but hesitation isn’t an option. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but ultimately it is an inspiring account of mastering the art of war.

A Companion to American Military History

A Companion to American Military History

With more than 60 essays, A Companion to American MilitaryHistory presents a comprehensive analysis of the historiographyof United States military history from the colonial era to thepresent. Covers the entire spectrum of US history from the Indian andimperial conflicts of the seventeenth century to the battles inAfghanistan and Iraq Features an unprecedented breadth of coverage from eminentmilitary historians and emerging scholars, including little studiedtopics such as the military and music, military ethics, care of thedead, and sports Surveys and evaluates the best scholarship on every importantera and topic Summarizes current debates and identifies areas whereconflicting interpretations are in need of further study

I Sing the Body Politic

History as Prophecy in Contemporary American Literature

I Sing the Body Politic

The Iraq War is the most obvious catalyst for the volume, but over the course of discussions of Joseph Heller, Philip Roth, Michael Moore, Spike Lee, and war memoirs written by soldiers who served in the Gulf, contributors reflect on contemporary American history, society, and politics. Offering a detailed and devastating critique of the political order dominated by the military-industrial-congressional complex and the conservative wing of the Republican Party, I Sing the Body Politic comments on an array of social inequalities and compromised political ideals, as well as artistic resistance and large-scale movements for sociopolitical change.

Masters of Command

Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership

Masters of Command

Analyzes the leadership and strategies of three forefront military leaders from the ancient world, offers insight into the purposes behind their conflicts, and shows what today's leaders can glean from their successes and failures.

Culture in Conflict

Irregular Warfare, Culture Policy, and the Marine Corps

Culture in Conflict

In response to the irregular warfare challenges facing the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005, General James Mattis—then commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command—established a new Marine Corps cultural initiative. The goal was simple: teach Marines to interact successfully with the local population in areas of conflict. The implications, however, were anything but simple: transform an elite military culture founded on the principles of "locate, close with, and destroy the enemy" into a "culturally savvy" Marine Corps. Culture in Conflict: Irregular Warfare, Culture Policy, and the Marine Corps examines the conflicted trajectory of the Marine Corps' efforts to institute a radical culture policy into a military organization that is structured and trained to fight conventional wars. More importantly, however, it is a compelling book about America's shifting military identity in a new world of unconventional warfare.

Brilliant Mistakes

Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure

Brilliant Mistakes

Named #1 Best Business Book of 2011, by Patriot-News-PennLive.com If you have ever flown in an airplane, used electricity from a nuclear power plant, or taken an antibiotic, you have benefited from a brilliant mistake. Each of these life-changing innovations was the result of many missteps and an occasional brilliant insight that turned a mistake into a surprising portal of discovery. In Brilliant Mistakes, Paul Schoemaker, founder and chairman of Decision Strategies International, shares critical insights on the surprising benefits of making well-chosen mistakes. Brilliant Mistakes explores why minimizing mistakes may be the greatest mistake of all, situations when mistakes are most beneficial and when they should be avoided, the counter-intuitive idea that we should deliberately permit errors at times, and how to make the most of brilliant mistakes to improve business results. Brilliant Mistakes is based on solid academic research and insights from Schoemaker's work with more than 100 organizations, as well as his provocative Harvard Business Review article with Robert Gunther, "The Wisdom of Deliberate Mistakes." Schoemaker provides a practical roadmap for using mistakes to accelerate learning for your organization and yourself.

Making War at Fort Hood

Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community

Making War at Fort Hood

Making War at Fort Hood offers an illuminating look at war through the daily lives of the people whose job it is to produce it. Kenneth MacLeish conducted a year of intensive fieldwork among soldiers and their families at and around the US Army's Fort Hood in central Texas. He shows how war's reach extends far beyond the battlefield into military communities where violence is as routine, boring, and normal as it is shocking and traumatic. Fort Hood is one of the largest military installations in the world, and many of the 55,000 personnel based there have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. MacLeish provides intimate portraits of Fort Hood's soldiers and those closest to them, drawing on numerous in-depth interviews and diverse ethnographic material. He explores the exceptional position that soldiers occupy in relation to violence--not only trained to fight and kill, but placed deliberately in harm's way and offered up to die. The death and destruction of war happen to soldiers on purpose. MacLeish interweaves gripping narrative with critical theory and anthropological analysis to vividly describe this unique condition of vulnerability. Along the way, he sheds new light on the dynamics of military family life, stereotypes of veterans, what it means for civilians to say "thank you" to soldiers, and other questions about the sometimes ordinary, sometimes agonizing labor of making war. Making War at Fort Hood is the first ethnography to examine the everyday lives of the soldiers, families, and communities who personally bear the burden of America's most recent wars.

The Unseen War

Allied Air Power and the Takedown of Saddam Hussein

The Unseen War

The Unseen War offers a comprehensive assessment of the air contribution to the three weeks of major combat that ended the rule of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2003. Unlike in the earlier instance of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the role of allied air power in the nation’s second war against Iraq was not apparent to most observers, since the land offensive began concurrently with the air offensive and the overwhelming majority of the reporters who accompanied allied forces into combat were embedded with ground units. Even today, the air war history of Operation Iraqi Freedom remains largely unreported, despite the fact that American air assets, aided substantially by the air contributions of the United Kingdom and Australia, played a key role in enabling the prompt achievement of the coalition’s immediate campaign goals. Lambeth’s work fills a long-standing gap in the literature on modern warfare by telling that story of the role of airpower for the first time in the fullest detail.

House to House

A Soldier's Memoir

House to House

A Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross nominee traces his 2004 tour of duty in Fallujah, documenting his participation in grueling hand-to-hand battles against insurgents in countless sabotaged homes. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.