July 23, 2008

Book Review - With Speed and Violence

Pearce, an environmental science journalist, shares his increasing concern about global warming through this book. He writes that the more he learns about scientific predictions for environmental change, the worse things look. If any one clear message is conveyed through this book, it is that scientific predictions are uncertain. Pearce presents the complexity of global warming in a way that makes science approachable. He first presents some historical background on global climate study, discussing research that investigates the planet using core sampling as well as efforts to document climate and oceanography in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most parts of the book address different components of the climate change system: melting ice, deforestation and increasing carbon in the atmosphere, and fuel use contributions to warming temperatures. He combines these themes with information about geomorphology to analyze the cycle of ice ages and warming trends. He studies the balance of climate experiences within the earth system, showing how desert in Africa balances rain forest in South America, and looking at the effects of ocean behavior such as monsoons and El Nino phenomenon on terrestrial weather. The last two sections summarize the science, but conclude that the present climate situation is a turning point unlike past climate changes. Several possible tipping points are considered. Pearce clearly sends the message that everyone should be concerned about global climate change and that society needs to take immediate actions to turn us away from these tipping points. This book is based on a great depth of scientific research, but citations to that body of work are few for those who want to read further on this topic.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

With Speed and Violoence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change
Fred Pearce
QC 981.8 .C5 P415 2008

Book Review - Life After Deployment

This book highlights that post-deployment reunions, though a joyful time, are periods of change that may be difficult for each family member. Pavlicin offers humorous idea and survival strategies based on her own professional experience and passes along suggestions from servicemen and their families whom she interviewed. The introduction in many ways serves as the summary for the book. Pavlicin emphasizes keeping a sense of humor, allowing each family to make time for themself, communicating openly about everything, and taking time to adjust to the new situation. Other chapters focus on individual themes in post-deployment life. Three chapters address aspects of the immediate changes after coming home: the first meeting with someone who has been away, adjusting to each other's daily life routines, and dealing with the stressful situations that will arise. Other chapters discuss caring for wounded warriors and grieving for those who don't return home. The last chapter suggests strategies for moving forward with the rest of your life, including building new connections and relationships. A lengthy appendix lists books, military resources, and other organizations that provide information and support for military families or offer resources and assistance to those with anger, depression or PTSD symptoms, wounded warriors, or those suffering from grief. This is a practical guide which will give families lots of idea about places to look for support.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Life After Deployment: Military Families Share Reunion Stories and Advice
Karen M. Pavlicin
UB 403 .P35 2007

July 21, 2008

Book Review - George Washington on Leadeship

This innovative biography of George Washington examines the his efforts in the context of the colonial era, but discusses them in modern language. Brookheiser examines the challenges that Washington faced and brings out the personal and leadership qualities that allowed him to succeed. He factors in his military experience, political success, and financial savvy. From a modern perspective, Washington directed two start-ups--the army and the presidency--serving as CEO of both. He also chaired the most important meeting in American history--the Constitutional Convention--establishing him as a leader among leaders. Brookheiser paints Washington as a true renaissance man--a successful farmer yet an aristocrat, a clear communicator and likable as well as effective personnel manager, a practical man who could tackle the military and political problems around him yet a man with foresight about the challenges of the future. This treatment of Washington as a modern businessman will make history come alive for readers.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

George Washington on Leadership
Richard Brookheiser
E 312.17 .B85 2008

Book Review - Next Catastrophe

Perrow's perspective on accidents differs from the dominant view and offers a new way of thinking a bout disaster preparedness. He believes that multiple and unexpected crises are built into our society's complex system. Rather than emphasizing how to protect the existing targets, he asserts that our effort should be focused on minimizing potential damage and reducing the attractiveness of targets to possible attackers. Perrow discusses three types of catastrophes--natural disasters, organizational crises, and deliberate attacks--and suggests that the best way to reduce the possible impact is to disperse populations, corporations, critical infrastructures such as energy, water, and information systems. He states that the possibility for disaster is increasing, whether because of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or industrial accidents, and explains why federal and local agencies are not prepared to handle this. Perrow writes with academic authority but the current relevancy of his subject will make this book of interest.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities o Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters
Charles Perrow
HV 551.3 .P45 2007

July 18, 2008

Book Review - Your Military Family Network

This practical handbook covers a wide range of benefits, services and other resources available to military families. Among the topics that are discussed here are money matters, moving, food, fitness, medical care, marriage and family concerns, education, employment, legal issues, veterans benefits, and deployment concerns. This book is full of suggestions "from the field" and is written by soldiers, spouses, and civilians who have years of experience with family support concerns. Appendices provide information about service specific programs for all branches of the Armed Forces, resources available in each of the states, and businesses that are particularly friendly and supportive toward military personnel. This is an invaluable resource.

This book can be found at HECSA Library:

Your Military Family Network: Your Connection to Military Friendly Resources, Benefits, Information, Businesses and Advice
The Military Family Network
UB 403 .Y78 2008

Book Review - Organizational Culture and Leadership

This book attempts to define and understand the components of organizational culture and to show how it can be changed by determined leaders. The first part of the book defines both organizational culture and leadership, and explains how culture evolves within a new group. The second part analyzes organizational culture in depth. Most chapters discuss the assumptions that group members make about certain cultural characteristics. The third part discusses the role of leaders in building and adapting culture. Both case studies and conceptual models of organizational change are used to demonstrate the processes involved and the time that this kind of change likely involves. This is the third edition of a classic text on organizational culture.

This book can be found at HECSA Library:

Organizational Culture and Leadership
3rd Ed.
Edgar H. Schein
HD 58.7 .S33 2004

July 16, 2008

Book Review - Global Outlook for Ice & Snow

This is not simply a book about ice and snow. Certainly, it discusses in depth the polar regions and changes in ice and snow that are occurring there. However, this is really a scientific study of systems that include ice and snow. Early chapters provide historical background on ice and snow and explain how polar regions are studied. Ice and snow are both analyzed in depth. The second half of the book discusses the role of ice and snow within larger systems. As ice and snow melt, plant and animal habitats diminish, people are affected, the environment changes, ocean waters rise, and islands begin to disappear. Scientists agree that the cause and effect relationships here are complex, often feeding on one another. The consequences of changes in ice and snow are considered, as current trends are examined and the outlook for this century and beyond are projected. This book is global in its scope and presents environmental science in a way that is approachable for non-scientists.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Global Outlook for Ice & Snow
United Nations Environment Programme
QC 926.32 .G59 2007

Book Review - Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias

Since the end of the Cold War, most armed conflict can be best described as asymmetric--a small, agile group which employs varied and often brutal tactics against a large, well-armed, technologically superior traditional fighting force. Because this trend seems to be growing and spreading geographically, it is increasingly important to understand these unconventional groups, their motivations, and the tactics that they use. Shultz and Dew investigate the history and political climate of today's asymmetrical warfare. Focusing on four regions where this type of fighting is widespread--Chechnya, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq--they probe why these groups fight, how they recruit, the fighting tactics that they use, and how they find support and haven. They also examine what advantage these groups feel that they have and how conventional forces might combat them. This is an academic study, thoroughly researched and referenced, but one which sheds light on current conflict in a systematic and thoughtful way.

This book can be found at HECSA Library:

Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat
Richard H. Schultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew
U 240 .S34 2006

July 14, 2008

Book Review - Army Wives

"This is a true story about what happens when real life collides with army convention." Biank shares the story of four Army wives. Whether married to officers or enlisted men, Biank continually stresses that these women are not stereotypes, but rather unique, complex, resourceful, and strong individuals striving to define themselves within a culture of tradition and protocols. Biank approaches this book as an embedded reporter, both writing professionally for the Fayetteville Observer and as an Army wife and mother living at Fort Bragg. Sge reveals the support network that exists in military communities, but also shows that it has gaps and break-downs. She shows friendships between women, but also jealousy and back-biting. She exposes the pride of the Army, but also shows its secrets that many would prefer to remain hidden. The book is revealing about Army culture, but even more telling about the women who adjust their lives to accommodate it because of the love they feel for their soldier husbands.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage
Tanya Biank
UB 403 .B53 2006

Book Review - The Reason Why

This book examines the causes of one of the most notorious military slaughters in history--the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. Woodham-Smith places this catastrophe in multiple contexts. She discusses Great Britain as an imperial power, militarily committed throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. She discusses the economic depression ocurring in the mid-1800's. A series of poor harvests hit Europe particularly hard. Getting no relief or assistance from the government, peasants and farmers revolted. For the British, this was felt most keenly close to home, where the Irish potato famine and resulting social upheval required increasing numbers of troops to be recalled from far flung colonies to occupy Ireland. These same poor economic conditions provided the opportunity for wealthy titled aristocrats to buy social status in the form of military commissions. If a nobleman was willing to bear the cost of outfitting a regiment, he could be given command of it with no prior military service or training. The circumstances came together during the Charge of the Light Brigade, when untrained, inxperienced commanders charged into a valley in a valient attack on their Russian adversaries. Nearly the entire unit was slaughtered by soldiers positioned in the hights all along the valley, with the leaders escaping both unscathed and unaware. This tragedy caused a change in the procedures through which officers in the British Army were selected and brought attention to the geographic overstreach of imperial Britain that required political and strategic adjustments.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the Light Brigade
Cecil Woodham-Smith
DA 536 .C3 W6 1958

July 10, 2008

Book Review - Business Guide to Sustainability

Integrating sustainable practices into businesses and organizations is not just good for the environment, it can save the company time and money as well. Hitchcock and Willard define the concepts behind sustainability in practical terms and provide numerous examples of how these ideas can be integrated into manufacturing, business practices, and organizational behavior. In the first part, they introduce the fundamental concepts within sustainability, demonstrating its strategic goals and cautioning that a change agent or coordinator is required in most organization to keep the shift toward more sustainable practices on track. The second part offers concrete tools, tips and ideas for integrating sustainable practices. This part is divided by industry, addressing general offices and customer services, manufacturing and design, and government agencies. The third section continues to discuss practical ways to implement sustainable practices, but does so looking at traditional functions and roles within organizations such as management, facilities, human resources, purchasing, marketing, and financial management. This hands-on guide does not discuss the theories behind sustainability in much depth, but provides numerous small ways that these ideas can be used to improve businesses and organizations.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Business Guide to Sustainability: Practical Strategies and Tools for Organizations
Darcy Hitchcock & Marsha Willard
HD 30.255 .H58 2006

July 9, 2008

Book Review - Combat Stress Injury

It has become clear that combat stress can be devastating to combatants and their families. This book provides an overview of the research and understanding of combat stress and how it can be effectively managed. First, chapters discuss theoretical stresses, adaptions, and injuries acquired in combat situations. Next, a sampling of research on combat stress is presented. Topics include longterm effects of combat stress, links between physical and psychological trauma, and secondary effects of combat stress on military spouses. The last half of the book discusses a variety of management approaches for post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat stress reactions. This book is written in an academic style which makes considerable use of references and bibliographies. It is intended primarily for psychological professionals.

This book can be found at HECSA Library:

Combat Stress Injury: Theory, Research, and Management
ed. by Charles R. Figley and William P. Nash
RC 550 .C66 2007

July 8, 2008

Book Review - Heroes at Home

This book celebrates the role of wives and spouses in military families. By sharing her own personal anecdotes and profiling several other military spouses whom she terms "hidden heroes," Ellie Kay unveils the complicated lives of the military community's members who manage homes and enliven their communities. Along the way, she passes on advice about how to survive in the hectic, constantly changing military environment. She suggests practical help that can be provided to military families, how to handle deployments, missed holidays, and frequent moves, balancing stress and budgets, getting involved and creating support networks. The lesson that comes through clearest of all, however, is to develop a sense of humor. Kay's writing is charming and funny, yet it rings of common sense and the wisdom of experience. This book is a must-read for anyone who knows a military family, whether or not you consider yourself a part of one.

You can find this book at HECSA Library:

Heroes at Home: Help & Hope for America's Military Families
Ellie Kay
UB 403 .K38 2002

Book Review - Judgment

Judgment is required of all effective leaders. In fact, Tichy and Bennis assert that making judgment calls and seeing their decisions through execution is the primary responsibility of leaders. The first few chapters of this book describe how they create mental frameworks from their mission, vision, values, and the knowledge that they gather. These mental frameworks are used to generate storylines that are used to share their vision, persuade others, and to discuss potential outcomes from their initiatives. Most judgment calls fall into three categories--decisions about people, choices in strategy, and dealing with crises. Each of these is discussed not only as a potential problem, but also a potential opportunity. In order to prepare future leaders to exercise wise judgment, the book also includes an extensive index, a handbook that teaches leadership judgment. This is an excellent resource for both current and future leaders.

You can find this book can be found in HECSA Library:

Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls
Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis
HD 57.7 .T496 2007

July 3, 2008

Book Review - Limits to Growth

This book sounds the alarm about the effects that humans have on the planet. In 1972, a group of scientists used computer modeling to predict the consequences of unlimited population growth on the earth's climate and natural resources. In this edition, the intervening 30 years worth of data are added to this analysis. Chapters describe the causes of natural distruction, the role of the ozone layer in the decline of the natural environment, and the effects of technology and the international market. Two chapters speak directly to the need for sustainability and provide some tools for making this transition. This book is interesting to see how a short period can drastically change the predictions about our future as a planet.

You can find this book in HECSA Library:

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows
HD 75.6 .M435 2004

July 1, 2008

Book Review - Natural Area Tourism

This book asserts that tourism, when planned and carefully managed, can help people gain an understanding of and appreciation for natural environments. It begins by explaining the ecology of natural areas in non-technical terms, then goes on to discuss how tourism can impact these environments. The majority of the book, however, evaluates strategies to make ecotourism sustainable, both environmentally and economically, and to provide an enjoyable, high-quality experience for visitors. These strategies consider site management, ecological interpretation, and environmental monitoring. As ecotourism grows in popularity, this book is increasingly relevant.

You can find this book in HECSA Library:

Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, Impacts, and Management
David Newsome, Susan A. Moore, and Ross K. Dowling
G 155 .A1 N43 2002

Book Review - Coping with Anxiety

Bourne and Garano offer straightforward, practical advice for coping with anxiety. This little book begins by discussing different types of anxiety, its causes, and its symptoms. Each chapter, then, offers strategies and techniques to cope with anxiety outbreaks. These suggestions include relaxing your body, relaxing your mind, thinking realistically, facing your fears directly, getting regular exercise, eat right, nurture yourself, simplify your life, stop worrying, and learn to cope with anxiety attacks on the spot. This book is useful for everyone because the strategies discussed are equally relevant to coping with stress as they are to handling anxiety and fear.

You can find this book in HECSA Library:

Coping with Anxiety
Edmund Bourne and Lorna Garano
BF 575 .A6 B68 2003