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Reconsidering the American Way of War Audiobook

Reconsidering the American Way of War: US Military Practice from the Revolution to Afghanistan

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook challenges several longstanding notions about the American way of war. It examines US military practice (strategic and operational) from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine what patterns, if any, existed in the way Americans have used military force. Echevarria surveys all major US wars and most every small conflict in the country's military history. He argues that the popular notion that the American way of war is astrategic, apolitical, and obsessed with using overwhelming force is wrong. Rather, America's decisions to go to war and strategies in war have throughout history been shaped by political considerations, with both negative and positive results, and the amount of force employed was rarely overwhelming or decisive. Echevarria closes the gap between histories of strategic theory and the popular battle and campaign narratives that comprise the bulk of US military history. This book hopes to force a reexmination of the true characteristics of the American way of war with an eye toward implications for the future.

©2014 Georgetown University Press (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"…a must-read for military officers, politicians, academics - and pundits - who all too often ignore the inherently pragmatic nature of the American approach to war..." (David E. Johnson, director, chief of staff of the Army Strategic Studies Group)

“"his book is both the best analysis of the American way of war debate and a provocative historical interpretation of how the US has waged war. An essential contribution to one of the most significant issues in current US military policy." (Brian McAllister Linn, Ralph R. Thomas Professor of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (64 )
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4.4 (60 )
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4.2 (59 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe AZ, USA 11-25-14
    Joe AZ, USA 11-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent overview of complex subject"
    If you could sum up Reconsidering the American Way of War in three words, what would they be?

    That is really impossible..complex stuff cannot be summed up in three words.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great a great overall view of the topic with many specific examples.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No "scenes" in this non-fiction work.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Noo....Has to be taken in small doses. There is a lot to digest.


    Any additional comments?

    Reader did a good job on what must have been a very difficult task. For military officers, this is a must read...or listen.. so that past mistakes are not made all over again.

    73 of 74 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin 05-19-15
    Martin 05-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Must read for military."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reconsidering the American Way of War to be better than the print version?

    Much easier to understand. I had to read this for a class on military history and found it rough going. It's very dense and the sentence structure seems awkward at times...at least for me. I found listening to it a little at a time - 30 minutes or so, to be much easier since the reader did much of the work of "pharsing" the text and it actually became pretty clear what the author was talking about.


    What other book might you compare Reconsidering the American Way of War to and why?

    The Art of War but, of course, much more modern.


    What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Already said it...did a great job of making a complex book easier to understand.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you, Audible. One of the side benefits of listening is that, during class discussions, I was one of the few who pronounced the many difficult names correctly. The professor was very impressed and my classmates a bit envious. I wish all my required readings were in Audiobook form.

    46 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 05-19-15
    George 05-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strategic implications for future."
    Would you listen to Reconsidering the American Way of War again? Why?

    Yes...very "dense" book with complex ideas. I've already listened twice and plan to do it at least one more time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Many people, including many in the military, think there is and always has been an American "Way of War," that emphasizes overwhelming and crushing victories no matter what the strategic goals are. The author's thorough survey of American military history points out enormous variety in military practice, and that far more attention to political control was given than is usually recognized. The ideas in this book have huge implications for any future conflicts and should be read ( or heard ) but anyone in the military involved in strategic planning.


    Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have. He is one of my favorite narrators and did his usual good job.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an important book and, in my opinion, should be required reading by all U.S. military officers or officers-to-be and by all politicians involved with military decision making.

    45 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cindilla Hartford, CT 05-19-15
    cindilla Hartford, CT 05-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Should be required reading for all U.S. military."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reconsidering the American Way of War to be better than the print version?

    Yes....easier to understand. I have the print version but had to keep backing up in order to have some parts make sense. I did not have to do that when listening.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reconsidering the American Way of War?

    Whole section about Vietnam.


    Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

    No characters but I must say the reader did a great job. There were many difficult names and places to pronounce and the syntax was often complex. Must have taken a lot of preparation.


    Any additional comments?

    Audio version made a book full of complex ideas much easier to understand.

    45 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward PA, USA 05-22-15
    Edward PA, USA 05-22-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great way to get required reading done."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Actually I got this book for my son who is attending the War College. This was a required reading and he was having trouble getting though it.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I listened to it as well and found it fascinating.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Nope..too long and too dense.


    Any additional comments?

    My son told me listening to it was much easier since the writing style was convoluted at times. Also told me he got "points" in class for correctly pronouncing some of the names that were mentioned in the book. We both thought the reader did an excellent job.

    43 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie RI, USA 05-23-15
    Leslie RI, USA 05-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very insightful"
    Would you listen to Reconsidering the American Way of War again? Why?

    Yes. This is a rather "dense" book. I intend to listen to it at least once more.


    Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have. He does his usual excellent job.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This is not the kind of book that could be made into a film.


    Any additional comments?

    As other reviewers have said...this should be required reading for anyone involved at high levels of the military and for all politicians. We should not keep making the same mistakes over and over.

    40 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry 05-25-15
    Henry 05-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well researched"
    If you could sum up Reconsidering the American Way of War in three words, what would they be?

    astute looking back


    What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

    Very good job with a very difficult read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No..too dense


    Any additional comments?

    As others have say, military men and politicians should read this to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.

    31 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerry 07-27-15
    Gerry 07-27-15

    Amateur history buff

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good analysis"

    This is a good analysis of American military practice but is a little dry at times. The narration is functional rather than impressive, but with content like this it's hard to add life to it.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry 03-07-16
    Henry 03-07-16
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    "At best a summary of Other Author's works."

    The best thing about this book was its cover. The contents were largely a bibliography of other authors works. The summaries were so many and so brief as to be useless. If one was already familiar with all of the cited authors one wouldn’t need a summary. If one wasn’t familiar the summary was too brief to be of any value.
    It’s very hard to determine exactly what Antulio J. Echevarria contributed to the reader’s understanding of the American way of war. From my perspective there isn’t and never was “an” American way of war. Each war was fought with the resources -both political and military – available to the generals and admirals and their political leaders. Each war was fought with the technology available. Clearly as we transitioned from muskets to laser guided bombs we changed our tactics. Each war was fought with the human capital the political leadership could muster. The generals and admirals did the best they knew how to do with what they were given. When we fought less capable opponents we’ve done well. When we’ve fought capable, determined, and equally well resources opponents we’ve prevailed sometimes and failed at other times. What more is there to say? Echevarria didn’t have much to say and I recommend you read someone else book if you are looking something of substance on this subject.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Kim 06-02-15
    James Kim 06-02-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A lesson learned..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you enjoy being read to by a robot, this is for you.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Couldn't make it through.


    What didn’t you like about James Killavey’s performance?

    I constantly had to remind myself that this was a human an not a text-to-speech engine. The only reason I didn't give i one star is that if it were text-to-speech, it would be a pretty good engine. Almost human-like.


    Any additional comments?

    I was ready to throw myself into the minutiae of the topic but the narration was unbearable.

    5 of 28 people found this review helpful

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