Dennis M. (dennydog) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 29 - Page:
Across the Dark Islands: The War in the Pacific
Across the Dark Islands: The War in the Pacific
Author: Floyd W. Radike
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/25/2012


Excellent first person narrative of a National Guard Infantry line officer in the South Pacific campaigns of World War II. Then Lieutenant Radike's reminiscences appear to have been carefully edited by his widow and published after his death. Central characters have been re named (to protect the guilty, I imagine) but you can actually identify them via careful Google research.


Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban
Review Date: 4/26/2015


Exhaustive study of Afghanistan, from the time of Alexander the Great, through the Khans and down to the American experience. The salient lesson throughout is, 'It's easy to invade Afghanistan but it's nearly impossible to conquer, rule or even influence the country in any major way.'

The author paints a picture of a country that really isn't but is more a collection of autonomous and warring provinces.


After You Shoot: Your Gun's Hot. The Perp's Not. Now what?
After You Shoot: Your Gun's Hot. The Perp's Not. Now what?
Author: Alan Korwin
Book Type: Perfect Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/8/2014


Too much magical thinking.

Alan Korwin has some good ideas and provides a good discussion with attorneys who discuss some of the pitfalls involved in post shooting actions.

However, even after admitting that some of his solutions are not realistic; he still pushes them because HE thinks that's how the world should run.

Magical thinking can get you a jail cell, especially since he's trying to convince YOU to try out his untested theories!

This subject is too important to blindly follow his advice!


Ashes of Victory (Honor Harrington Series, Book 9)
Ashes of Victory (Honor Harrington Series, Book 9)
Author: David Weber
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 101
Review Date: 7/20/2009


I am prejudiced; I enjoy anything that has Honor Harrington in it. This book is not quite as involved and detailed as most of the others in the series but it is still busy, thought provoking and extremely entertaining.

Honor lives up to her exacting standards, as do all of her proteges. I think this book shows, better than most of the others, the lasting effect that a good leader has on their subordinates in the long term.

This series has characters that REALLY are well drawn and stories that are engrossing.


Biggest Brother : The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers
Review Date: 3/12/2010


Dick Winters is a bit too self effacing to provide a really thorough biography but this book does add a deeply personal dimension to the overall story. many of the episodes in 'Band of Brothers' are repeated but most include more detail. Various command relationships are explained, allowing a much better understanding of what Major Winters had to deal with besides merely the Germans.

Excellent book.


Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union
Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union
Author: Robert Robinson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/23/2013


Absolutely fascinating account of a young black tool maker in Detroit who is recruited to go to the Soviet Union and train their workers, in 1930. Circumstances kept him there for 43 years, before he was able to escape and, finally, return to the U.S.

His insights to the workings of Soviet society and mindsets of the people are intriguing. His position as a skilled worker provided advantages, but he discovered that discrimination was present even in the worker's paradise.

Highly recommended.


Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan, Bk 5)
Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan, Bk 5)
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 89
Review Date: 5/8/2010


Miles, as mercenary Admiral Naismith, puts into port for a quiet resupply and re-equip, which rapidly turns into intrigue, kidnapping, family surprises and, well, just another great ride.


Charlie Wilson's War
Charlie Wilson's War
Author: George Crile
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 2/25/2012


Fascinating story of the support provided for the mujahideen during Afghanistan's Soviet years. Completely puts paid to the lies about how the U.S. trained Osama bin Laden or did anything more than provide war materiel to a people struggling for freedom.

Politics, spies, battles and a Congressman who really shouldn't have existed outside of a novel; this book has it all. And clarifies a critical part of recent history.


The Complete McAuslan: All the Hilarious McAuslan Stories in One Volume
Review Date: 7/1/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Another in George McDonald Fraser's various collections of characters.

The young subaltern (Lieutenant)arrives in his new battalion and has to deal with all the normal vicissitudes common to all new officers.These vicissitudes ARE the characters. Drawn in detail, the author doesn't claim to understand them; he simply presents them as they were. Are they real? Maybe not. But I can point at characters from my own career that come up to the same insane levels as his. If they're real, they're well reported. if they're total fiction, they're very well drawn.

The humor is droll and often understated. For anyone who's ever served in the military, this collection will be a reprise of at least some portion of that service.

Very entertaining.


Death Traps : The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
Review Date: 7/1/2010
Helpful Score: 2


Excellent book.

"Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics". This book shows in detail why this is true but at the same time, avoids being boring or pedantic. Belton Cooper remains completely interesting throughout the book. Every page brings a new revelation, even for someone who's been reading history all my life.

I have an Infantry background. This book brought the maintenance war to life like nothing else I've ever read. Great read!


Dragon Rider (Dragon Rider, Bk 1)
Dragon Rider (Dragon Rider, Bk 1)
Author: Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 59
Review Date: 2/25/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Entertaining children's story (but great for adults, too) about the encroachment of civilization and the efforts of one dragon to find a safe place for his people to live. Heroes and villains; plenty of adventure!


Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
Author: Edmund Morris, Edmund Morris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 3/21/2015


I was looking for a biography; what I got was an "I was there," by someone who wasn't.

Imagined history, even based on personal papers, is still imagined. The style of writing detracted from any value I might have found, because I couldn't tolerate reading it.


Fire on the Beach : Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers
Review Date: 2/25/2012
Helpful Score: 1


A part of Coast Guard history that I, as a former Coast Guardsman, had never heard. How difficult life was for former slaves, even decades after the Civil War ended and how many of them rose to the occasion in the face of continuing prejudice. How one lifesaving station became the sole haven for blacks who wanted to serve, because of one white officer's belief that it was the right thing to do, and how that affected rescues off of the North Carolina coastline.


The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan
The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan
Author: Gregory Feifer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/5/2014


What were the politicians thinking when they sent Russian divisions into Afghanistan in 1979? What did the individual soldiers involved think, and how did they react to the situation they found themselves in?

Through many interviews with former Soviet soldiers, politicians and Afghans, the author works toward an understanding of the war that began the destruction of Afghanistan, and led to the rise of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and a world wide terror movement.

Fascinating book.


Gust Front (Posleen War, Bk 2)
Gust Front (Posleen War, Bk 2)
Author: John Ringo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 89
Review Date: 7/2/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Fairly well drawn military Sci-Fi. I have quibbles with a few details but, hey, it's his world, after all!

Good characters, believable tactics and an insatiable enemy. Ringo keeps your interest right from the start.


Kaboom
Kaboom
Author: Matthew Gallagher
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/2/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Excellent memoir of Iraq from a junior Cavalry officer. Engaging writer who is observant and able to describe his surroundings and events with with. He puts you in the field with the Gravediggers platoon.


Komarr (Miles Vorkosigan, Bk 11)
Komarr (Miles Vorkosigan, Bk 11)
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 5/8/2010


Bujold continues her high standards for Miles. As a new Imperial Auditor, he finds a trip to investigate an accident turns into an investigation of sabotage, murder, treason and, oh, just a bit of unrequited infatuation, (again). Miles Vorkosigan is just as interesting as an Auditor as he was as a mercenary Admiral.


The Lions of Carentan: Fallschirmjager Regiment 6, 1943 - 1945
Review Date: 7/26/2017


Most history is written by the victors, but it's highly instructional to read what you can find written by the losers.

The Fallshirmjager were no less motivated or skilled than our own paratroops. They were well led, and did outstanding work.

This book, based on personal recollections and well illustrated with photographs from former Fallshimjager, gives the opposing point of view and, illustrates that many of our opponents during WWII were human, just like ourselves.

Well written and organized; a humanizing view from the other side.


Man Kzin Wars 5
Man Kzin Wars 5
Author: Larry Niven (Editor), Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling, Thomas T. Thomas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 11/21/2009


Every story brings out more complexities in these aliens. Though their instincts are to "scream and leap"; and they are not sophisticated in many ways; they do learn. They also keep their own goals always in mind. They are a fair challenge for mankind.


No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan
Review Date: 1/23/2014


Not great writing but it is a great story. A Special Forces team trains a company of Afghan commandos and then is tossed into a Kafkaesque mission by their over ego'd superiors, that seems designed to make sure they are destroyed. Everything that could go wrong, did; yet they managed to survive.

Very personal descriptions from those that were there.


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