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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Books finished

I finished reading in the last 2 weeks:
The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz - excellent read -recommended - 5 stars
The Power of 2 - Anthony Scire - easy to read and a interesting but somewhat labored point - 3 stars
Eyewitness Falklands - Robert Fox MBE - very interesting read. Eyewitness account from a reporter who walked (yomped) through the Falklands during the conflict in the 80's. Certainly an eyeopener and a must for any miltary historian or tactician. That said, its an interesting read for the non military minded if simply from a psychological perspective of war from the inside, but through the eyes of a civilian.
The Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously to one of the most interesting and courageous characters from the conflict, Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones. The author 'Foxy' was the last person to record his words, though unfortunately that tape was lost after the heavy fighting in the battle for Goose Green shortly after H died attacking 2 machine gun nests at Darwin.
The accounts of the artillery shelling on Mt Longdon, Harriet and the Two Sisters was also quite graphic and not a place I would have liked to be.
Robert writes without pretentiousness and with a simple 'this is how it was' style. In the last chapter however he gets quite sanguine and very analytic about the war, and conflict in general.
This book is an observation first hand of the cost of not being able to resolve our differences as humans with words. When diplomacy breaks down, when greed, political chicanery and petty manouvering become our motives, the cost is human life, often cheaply expended, and never with just cause.
Robert doesn't shy away from this, and in fact calls the shots quite clearly on some of the political figures who were as much a factor in the war, though very remote from the cold, the mud and the shells, as the men on the ground.
A stirring read - 5 stars.