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War Nerd, The Paperback – 7 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: SOFT SKULL PRESS (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979663687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979663680
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Halliday on 5 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't be deceived by the toilet humour, crudity and sweeping generalisations: this is a highly entertaining book with Brecher's observations on everything from the fashion choices of West African warlords to the conflict resolution style of Pakistani taxi drivers far more amusing than any serious comedy.

Certainly, this is just a collection of essays already available on the internet but besides the benefit of being printed in book form, this also gives the author and editor the opportunity to concentrate on what they judge the most important and worthwhile of Brecher's writings.

I found this book valuable for the following reasons:

Brecher's several page summaries of the bigger and more interesting Third World wars of the past few decades which generally receive so little attention in the West, despite containing some surprising omissions (for example writing dozens of pages on ethnic conflict in South East Asia without mentioning the overwhelming Chinese economic dominance in many of these countries), provide a superficial sketch of these conflicts for minimal reader effort (but don't expect rigorous references or justification).

Brecher's analysis of the nature of warfare itself and how it's changed since the end of the Cold War is very interesting: how Western military doctrines have not always yet caught up, particularly in regard to Iraq, Afghanistan and how the USA is potentially wasting much of its vast defence budget.

Brecher's understanding of the nature of typical ethnic relations (conflict rather than harmony) is essentially common sense to anyone with the capability of independent thought who pays attention to current affairs but apparently not yet recognised by the political class who runs Western societies or the media class who back them.

If you're interested in the rest of the world outside of the West, if you're interested in military conflict, this book is a worthwhile read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donaldo on 6 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
I had not heard of the War Nerd until a couple of months ago when I came across a chance link to his fortnightly column at exile.ru. The War Nerd (Gary Brecher) is a self-confessed old fashioned American nationalist, probably around 30, fat, works in IT, and spends all his free time reading up on war. If this sounds just about the most unnatractive CV you can think of, you couldn't be more wrong.

There isn't a better book out there at the moment that will teach you about the nature of war in such an enjoyable, accessable and entertaining manner. The War Nerd is not a 'hardware freak' - i.e. the sorts of peoplw who believe that the best equipment and technology wins wars, i.e. most Americans. He comes at warfare from a completely different point of view, that almost all wars are tribal, and if we understand this, we can understand why supposedly better equipped armies lose out to peasants armed with rocks and a few light weapons. He claims he finds conventional warfare 'boring'. And he has a track record of predictions to back up his claims of insight; that the American 'surge' strategy would fail in Iraq; that Hezbollah would win the conflict with Isreal in Lebanon. And most if it comes back to that insight - see war as tribal. Throughout his essays he always states how much he 'loves' war, that working in IT in Fresno (where he lives) is a death sentance. But there is a strong line of humanitarian concern in his work, hidden slightly from view. Often the punchline to military operational disasters is the civilian casualty count. Politically he comes across very free-thinking, much like other maverick American writers like Hunter S Thompson.

He writes on a range of military issues, from history through to equipment and small modern conflicts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The Third World repackaged for all us cubicle clones 5 Aug 2008
By D. Halliday - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Don't be deceived by the toilet humour, crudity and sweeping generalisations: this is a highly entertaining book with Brecher's observations on everything from the fashion choices of West African warlords to the conflict resolution style of Pakistani taxi drivers far more amusing than any serious comedy.

Certainly, this is just a collection of essays already available on the internet but besides the benefit of being printed in book form, this also gives the author and editor the opportunity to concentrate on what they judge the most important and worthwhile of Brecher's writings.

I found this book valuable for the following reasons:

Brecher's several page summaries of the bigger and more interesting Third World wars of the past few decades which generally receive so little attention in the West, despite containing some surprising omissions (for example writing dozens of pages on ethnic conflict in South East Asia without mentioning the overwhelming Chinese economic dominance in many of these countries), provide a superficial sketch of these conflicts for minimal reader effort (but don't expect rigorous references or justification).

Brecher's analysis of the nature of warfare itself and how it's changed since the end of the Cold War is very interesting: how Western military doctrines have not always yet caught up, particularly in regard to Iraq, Afghanistan and how the USA is potentially wasting much of its vast defence budget.

Brecher's understanding of the nature of typical ethnic relations (conflict rather than harmony) is essentially common sense to anyone with the capability of independent thought who pays attention to current affairs but apparently not yet recognised by the political class who runs Western societies or the media class who back them.

If you're interested in the rest of the world outside of the West, if you're interested in military conflict, this book is a worthwhile read.
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Bloody. Brilliant. 8 May 2008
By Steven E. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sure, of course this is a mere collection of the Exile columns but I'm just tickled pink to be able to read these things in old school print and in a form where I can pass along the book to friends and enemies. Brecher's analysis of current events is not only frighteningly accurate but his writing is fit inducing hilarious. Buy this book. Often.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
All around awesome 22 Mar 2009
By Jesse Boyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I too have been a fan of War Nerd from his work on the Exile, and I bought this sucker because he deserves some payback for all I've gotten out of him. I have found book form to be even more enjoyable, as I can now get my fill of bitter cynicism from the comfort of my couch and show others his work.

The first thing that struck me about Brecher's writing is that he doesn't sugarcoat it with nonsense. His brand of objective analysis is a breath of fresh air in a world of dogma and propaganda raining down on us from the airwaves 24/7. Any time I start getting suspicious when the official AP article seems incomplete or filled with logical gaps, I can rely on Brecher to eventually get around to explaining the story under the surface. And best of all, he does it in a way that's both understandable and entertaining - the most effective way to get your point across. In nice little article-sized cuts I've even gotten non-readers to get some information through their thick skulls with this book.

His level of cynicism is entirely appropriate for assessing our most crappy and stupid of human habits, war. Straight to the point and not prone to half-baked theories and wishful thinking, I consistently walk away having learned something new from an angle I hadn't considered before. His articles inform and make you think, and I wager some gung-ho types could really stand to read his descriptions of what war is mostly really about.

I will be vastly saddened the day he finally keels over of a massive heart attack at the ripe age of 46.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Excellent work 9 May 2008
By D. Watt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While it's just a collection of his columns at the eXile, I'm very pleased to give Brecher a little bit of money in return for all the entertainment he's given me over the years.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
An Inspiration 8 May 2008
By Jason Dowd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've learned a vast amount about warfare -- both modern and ancient -- from Gary. His insights have given me the power to see through the BS constantly spewed at us by the media and an administration that obviously know far less about warfare than he does.

His unapologetic cold bloodedness and complete lack of candy coating the harsh realities of warfare are incredibly refreshing.

In the current era of ceaseless war, this is a book every informed citizen should read.

And when the revolution comes, this is the man we'll need planning our battles.
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