- Hardcover: 324 pages
- Publisher: Sentinel; annotated edition edition (18 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595230211
- ISBN-13: 978-1595230218
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3 x 23.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
6,579,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #3497 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Political Science & Ideology > Nationalism
- #6538 in Books > History > Political History > Nationalism
- #8937 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Civil Liberties & Political Activism > Political Violence
America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror Hardcover – 18 May 2006
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Larry Schweikart, a former rock drummer and New York Times bestselling historian, has written on politics, the military, economics and culture for more than two decades. His Patriot s History of the United States, co-authored with Michael Allen, was the #1 Times bestseller in 2010. He has made numerous appearances on television shows ranging from Fox News to C-SPAN to Al-Jazeera. He has also produced a documentary, "Rockin the Wall" on rock s influence on countries behind the 'Iron Curtain.' Professor Schweikart lives and teaches in Dayton, OH." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
National self-congratulation is everywhere in this book, and some of it is justified. Nevertheless, to present America's wars in terms of justice and success, he must perforce overlook the War of 1812, in which the primary US war aim was the conquest of Canada and the Mexican War which was US aggression pure and simple.
For those who like history as propaganda---heavy on nationalism and short on critical thinking, this could be the book for you.
For those who prefer more thoughtful history, useful corrections to Schweikart's uncritical jingoism are to be found in Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks
The New American Militarism by Andrew Bacevich
The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000
by Fred Anderson, Andrew Cayton
Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan
Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq: The Experts Speak by Christopher Cerf and Victor S. Navasky
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In this book the author explains that American values are what make us win wars, and that we'll certainly win this one on "terror", even though the left-wing "lame stream" media is trying to tell us otherwise.
Because I am currently trying to learn Morse code, I was interested that Andrew Carnegie got his big start in the steel industry because his boss lent him money, impressed that A.C. could "understand the code without a pencil and paper in his hands".
There are many, many such historical tidbits in the book. After all, Schweikart is a history professor!
In America's Victories, Schweikart uses seven points to punctuate a great deal of the reason why the us miltary has enjoyed such success. Those points of Gitmo, Gulags and Great Raids; Learning from Loss; Citizens as Soldiers; Pushing Autonomy down; If you build it, we will win; All for one; and, Protesters make soldiers better. In reality, in using these points and the explanation that goes with them (which explanation is rich in examples and detail of American military exploits), Schweikart captures the essence of how the overall American experience has made America's military what it is.
In this regard, I would highly recommend Schweikart's other recent, and best selling work, "A Patriot's HIstory of the United States".
As an author myself ("The Dragon's Fury Series" and "The Stand at Klamath Falls"), my hat is off to Mr. Schweikart and his clear grasp of American history and his ability to render in into the written word how that history has translated into a military force that has done more to secure freedom, and extend it, than any other military force in history.
Schweikart sets out seven main premises: that America has a high regard for human life, both its own soldiers and the enemy's; that America learns from loss better than its foes; that its free citizens, willing to be soldiers, are a great strength; that America pushes decision-making down, which suites both its culture and the chaos of war; that American innovation and industry produce superior war material; that American armed forces fight well in joint operations; and, counterintuitively, that the anti-war left, Hollywood, and the press, has made the US military far more lethal and accurate as it seeks to minimize friendly losses and unneeded enemy losses to reduce criticism.
As Schweikart concludes, "America's victories come in large part because ending the war becomes the primary objective, not "dying gloriously." Precisely because our concern for preserving life--even of wounded comrades--exceeds our desire to end the lives of our enemies, Americans have mastered the techniques and training and the medicine and maneuvers needed to win with as few losses as possible."
Schweikart's America's Victories is a great book for someone starting a study of military history or considering a career in the U.S. armed forces. For the serious military historian, it is worth the read and may even challenge long-held notions of American warfighting.
Reviewer: Chuck DeVore is Vice President of Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He served in the California State Assemblyman from 2004 to 2010. Before his election, he was an executive in the aerospace industry. He was a Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs in the Department of Defense from 1986 to 1988. He is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army (retired) Reserve. DeVore is the author of "The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America," the co-author of "China Attacks," and author of the novel "Twilight of the Rising Sun."
This book addresses these questions. As one might expect from the co-author of "A Patriot's History of the United States," the basic thesis of this work is that the American military is a reflection of what works in other American institutions. The author notes that the military draws from America's incredibly diverse citizenry (and sometimes non-citizenry) and has traditionally been a place where soldiers could overcome disadvantages of birth or class. The traditional American high value of individual life and aversion to casualties has remorselessly forced the military to devise ways of fighting wars that minimize both American and enemy casualties. (An interesting corrollary to this: no other country has repeatedly sought to liberate its POWs during conflicts as America has in WW2 and Vietnam, for instance.) American free enterprise creates better and more innovative weapons and tactics than those of centrally-planned totalitarian states, just as her consumer economy produces innovative civilian products to which Soviet-style command economies cannot compare. American soldiers, while disciplined, are thinking citizen-soldiers, not cannon fodder in the disciplined Prussian mold. (Anyone who has ever served in the military has to be impressed with the essentially egalitarian culture within the military, where the undoubted superior position of officers is nontheless balanced by the fact that enlisted men enjoy rights unmatched in probably any other country's military.)
Perhaps among the most important observations that Schweikert makes is that America's military derives from an intensely competitive, capitalistic society. Just as market capitalism forces those in the marketplace to learn from mistakes or perish, the American military has developed a culture that examines and learns from mistakes (oh, yes, there are mistakes!) and becomes stronger. In a field where mistakes usually involve the loss of human life, this ability to learn from mistakes is an essential component of America's military success.
This is all true. But Schweikart also addresses the problems of America as a military power. Few world powers have ever had such a powerful, anti-military faction comparable to the American Left. Anti-military Leftists have grown stronger in America in recent decades, as the author tellingly points out, and the Left wields great power in many American institutions including the press, entertainment, and American universities. For example, many, many of the Hollywood stars of the 1940s had distinguished war records, and served their country humbly and well as front-line soldiers, sailors, or airmen. Very few in the entertainment business today have served or would consider serving a tour in the military.
This is a piece that has the potential to challenge the thinking of those on the Left, and it is an excellent companion piece to "A Patriot's History of the United States." In our presently very divided body politic, it is unlikely that many of those on the Left will be convinced by this work of the essential humanity and competence of America's military. On the other hand, there are sufficient books out there that gratuitously condemn America's military that a work like this is needed.