Archive for June 2008
Always in search of primary sources relevant to military history, I wanted to pass along the following find.
The Online Library of Liberty is a free access website maintained by the Liberty Fund, Inc.
The Liberty Fund Library provides online resources in multiple categories including philosophy, art, economics, war and peace and much, much more. It provides both a forum and the library of resources. Both are excellent. It also has robust search capabilities.
Of particular interest for the study of military thought is a full version of many of Machiavelli’s (below) writings made available in English here. [See a good biography of Niccola Machiavelli here.]
This allows students to view directly not only Machiavelli’s Art of War (here), but also his more famous work, The Prince and Discourses on Livy. Versions are available for download in multiple formats including: html, pdf and ebook formats.
Also available on the site – in the category of war and peace – are: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s final address, Thomas Hobbs’ translation of Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian Wars (Vol. 1 and 2), Rousseau and many more. The site provides an outstanding overview of history and thought with access to hundreds of other primary works.
I’ll be enthusiastically adding to my links.
Source: shamelessly copied and cropped from his publicity website.
While I’m shamelessly lifting items from his blog, ahem, I also am porting into my links a terrific site in his blogroll titled Reviews in History. Quite interesting and worth a look-see.
While on vacation, I received a review copy of David H. Jones’ Two Brothers: One North, One South.
This has moved very quickly up to the top of my reading stack for between terms. It is an aesthetically beautiful book. And I’m impressed by the weaving of fact into the story. I’m also hooked by the notion that poet Walt Whitman is the story’s glue. Can’t wait and more to come once I can put my feet up on the porch and enjoy.
By the way, Mr. Jones maintains a website here and a blog here which carries the same title as his book but covers more information. I’m adding it to my blogroll as I rather like the information and really do enjoy following the blogs or historical authors.
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher:Staghorn Press; First edition [February 1, 2008]
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979689856
- ISBN-13: 978-0979689857
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
I’m pleased to add the new blog of author and historian Alex Rose to my blogroll. Titled “The History Man” (see link here), it appears to be a promising addition to Alex’s website at http://www.alexrose.com and to the history blogosphere. Alex is a fellow wordpress.com blogger so nearer my virtual neighborhood (good choice).
Alex is author of Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, Kings in the North: The House of Percy in British History, and American Rifle: A Biography.
Coming in October, 2008.
I’m vacationing this week in Forth Worth, Texas attending the “Texas Jack Round Up,” the bi-annual gathering of the “Texas Jack” Association (see website here). John B. “Texas Jack” Omohundro was enormously famous in his era. The best friend of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, he was a famous western scout. And, he’s family, that is to say I married into the extended family.
John B. “Texas Jack” Omohundro
The following is a quick snapshot of Jack’s Civil War experience.
When the war between the states broke out, Jack’s older brother Orville (pictured with Jack below) joined the Confederate army as a lieutenant under the command of Col. J.E.B Stuart. Jack, then 14, immediately volunteered his services, and was, to his great disappointment, denied because of his age. After several attempts, he was finally accepted into the army when he was l6, and was assigned to his brother’s regiment.
John B. (left) and Orville Omohundro
Jack immediately gained renown as a scout of ability and bravery, working directly under Col. Stuart (pictured below), and was soon to be widely known as the “Boy Scout of the Confederacy”. Many times, he would act as a spy, moving among the Union troops as a chicken peddler or some other kind of tradesman, obtaining information about the enemy. Little was he to know that within the next 10 years, his best friends and saddle-mates would be former Union soldiers.
Colonel J.E.B. Stuart, CSA
Please note that I’m in process of adding more links to the right nav bar under the heading of “Reading Lists.” Collected here are professional military reading lists and those associated with universities in military history. These lists are really quite interesting and range from the classical works of military theorists to the latest in business leadership. If you find a list I don’t have noted, please let me know.
Those of you who follow my postings know that I’ve ruminated a bit on Jomini (pictured above). You can find the complete list of related posts here. For those who find discussion of Jomini and Clausewitz interesting, I wanted to pass along a link to an excellent essay by Major Gregory Ebner titled “Scientific Optimism: Jomini and the U.S. Army” available here. Ebner, in an essay that appears as a featured article in The U.S. Army Professional Writing Collection, makes a case for how the U. S. Army presents itself as a Clausewitzian organization at upper levels but is “firmly rooted in the ideals of Antoine-Henry Jomini” at the tactical and operational levels. He posits that focus on “good staff work and the military decision-making process (MDMP)” reflects a reliance on military science and method over the application of genius as espoused by Clausewitz. He further suggests that the Principles of War developed by the U.S. Amy was an encoding of Jomini in the form of doctrine. This essay is instructive to the study of military philosophers and military thought on several fronts. First, for the military philosophy student, it reinforces the theories of both Clausewitz and Jomini and would therefore make an excellent reading assignment after studying the primary works of both theorists. Second, it provides insight into the extent to which the largest army in present day has adopted and incorporated the ideas of both men at the doctrinal and operational levels.
For more information: