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12+ Works 4,775 Membros 88 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Thomas E. Ricks lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and children. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas E. Ricks was born in Massachusetts in 1955, and graduated from Yale University in 1977. Prior to becoming the Washington Post's Pentagon and military correspondent in 2000, he was a mostrar mais Wall Street Journal reporter for 17 years. He has written several books and other publications on defense matters, including Making the Corps, which won the Washington Monthly's Political Book of the Year award, the New York Times bestseller Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008. Ricks lectures frequently to the military and is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is also a member of Harvard University's Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations, the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Credit: Terry Ballard, 2007

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A fantastic dual biography that traces the disparate paths taken to a common anti-totalitarianism by these giants of the twentieth century, and also their reputations after death.

From the mid-1920s onward, aristocratic politician and writer Winston Churchill was a right-wing democratic capitalist. During the same period, little-known novelist and journalist George Orwell was a left-wing democratic socialist. Before, during, and after World War II, both Englishmen were convinced of the wrongs of Hitler's Nazism and Stalin's communism, and both fought them in their own ways through words and deeds.

For an earlier take on this topic, see The Two Winstons, the final episode of Simon Schama's great documentary, A History of Britain.
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bibliothecarivs | outras 17 resenhas | Feb 12, 2024 |
Best book I read this year.

First Principles is a rollicking intellectual history of America's founding. Ricks takes a new approach: He reports on what the founders read, where they studied and who tutored them. He reads their writings to find out who they quoted, and what classical ideas informed their thought.

The book is wide-ranging. It examines the first four Presidents -- Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison -- in the years before the Declaration of Independence, through the war, past the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, and well into the first decades of the new nation. Of course Hamilton and Burr and Franklin and Paine and more are in that story. He explains how their thinking evolved, and how the culture and politics of the nation changed around them. He takes progressively bigger steps across those early decades, dealing with slavery, the emergence of political parties and finally reaching Lincoln and the Civil War.

This was both an insightful history of the founding and an exciting approach to the topic. I never realized how fundamentally classical Washington was, and apparently on purpose. I had no idea that the Catiline conspiracy in Rome was so nearly a current event for the founders. I got new insights into our founding documents, by understanding the how the drafters thought. I understand the founders better as people.
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mikeolson2000 | outras 5 resenhas | Dec 27, 2023 |
I'm a Tom Ricks fan -- I very much enjoyed Making the Corps, The Generals and First Principles. He's said on Twitter that he considers this book, Waging a Good War, to be his best. I'm not sure -- I loved Making the Corps -- but Waging a Good War is excellent.

It's an excellent history of a decade and a half of the Civil Rights Movement, but from a fresh and compelling perspective. Ricks is a military correspondent, and he examines the Movement in the light of a series of military-style campaigns. He argues that Movement leadership used a variety of tried and tested techniques also used by militaries preparing campaigns: rigorous training, careful strategic planning, assigning tactical initiative to leaders in the field and on the ground, post-conflict reconciliation and more.

It's a persuasive presentation. It's certainly helped me to understand the Movement in a new way.

He covers desegregation and voting rights campaigns across the South. Rosa Parks, the bus boycotts, the Freedom Rides and Freedom Summer and much more are all here. He writes about Selma and the march across the Edmund Pettis bridge. Montgomery, Nashville, Oxford, and Memphis, including Martin Luther King's assassination, all get the attention they deserve.

He writes about other leaders of the SNCC, SCLC, NAACP, CORE and the Black Panther Party as well. The interplay and interactions of those leaders when their organizations collaborated and competed are interesting.

This would have been a first-rate history of the Movement, just on the detail with which Ricks reports the facts. His analysis of the Movement in terms of military discipline is, as far as I know, brand new. This is a piece of scholarship that advances our understanding of that time, and that effort -- still ongoing!

I loved it.
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mikeolson2000 | outras 2 resenhas | Dec 27, 2023 |
A particularly timely book in 2018, and worthy of the fulsome praise it garners.
 
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Mark_Feltskog | outras 17 resenhas | Dec 23, 2023 |

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4,775
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