September 12, 2008

Book Review - Courage After Fire

Change takes courage! This book carries that message by identifying areas in which change is common for service members and their families after a deployment. Chapters present case studies of common reactions to war and combat experiences and offer suggestions and exercises to help overcome the negative aspects of these reactions. Considerable discussion is given to changes that service members undergo when deployed as well as changes that may occur in family or work environments that they have left behind. The authors provide some explanation of why these changes may have occurred and provide guidance for reestablishing effective communication, avoiding conflicts, and establishing a new sense of normality and routine. This book is valuable to anyone who experiences long separations from loved ones or who frequently experiences change. The skills that this book offers are valuable to everyone who wants to better understand themselves and their own motivations as well as to communicate and form more effective partnerships with those around them.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families
Keith Armstrong, Suzanne Best, and Paula Domenici
RC 550 .A74 2006

Book Review - The General

This classic novel by C.S. Forester depicts life as an officer within the British Army between the World Wars. Although this is a work of fiction, the cultural setting is undeniably based on the history and traditions of the British colonial military. Many literary and historical scholars also assert that the main character, Herbert Curzon, is a composite of Field Marshall John French and Field Marshall Douglas Haig. Because of its strong basis in fact, this novel has been required reading for military officers and students from the time of Hitler to the present. While Forester writes critically about the way the British carried out World War I, he frames the descisions as coming from the often insular social context and rigid hierarchy of the British colonial military system. He explains that personal loyalties most often were tied to a regiment rather that to the nation or the army as a whole and where an officers rank and social station were tied not only to his intellectual abilities, but also to his family's wealth and social standing. With the swelling of the ranks and devastating losses in World War I, this complicated structure was quickly replaced by soldiers motivated to defend their country, many of whom did not plan on military careers. This is a story not only about military cultures or the power of a strong individual, but also about social and cultural change and how it is often brought about by war.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The General
C.S. Forester
PR 6011 .O56 G4 1982

September 11, 2008

Book Review - Environmental Deterioration of Materials

The amount of pollution that is constantly being added to the air, water, and ground not only affects the environment, but also has an impact on human-made materials and structures in our built world. At the same time, our society is increasingly recognizing the value of preserving what we have made. This book provides textbook-like explanations of the effects that pollution has on the most important and widely used building materials including brick, stone, concrete, wood, and a variety of metals. It discusses how these materials deteriorate and what effects their failure can have on the structures in which they are used. At the same time, the book offers preservation and protection techniques that can be used on buildings, bridges, industrial and agricultural structures, and other structures of lasting value or importance. This book will be of interest to engineers, particularly those who deal with materials and structures, but also to architects, preservationists, and environmentalists.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Environmental Deterioration of Materials
ed. by A. Moncmanova
TA 418.74 .E59 2007

September 5, 2008

Book Review - We Carry Each Other

Most of us know someone who is a care-giver. This book is a handbook for us, teaching us how to talk to, assist, and support these care-givers. It offers care-givers advice on how to care for themselves and how to ask for help from others. It also provides suggestions on tangible ways for us to make a difference in the lives of those living with illnesses or those grieving the loss of a loved one. Most importantly, it provides guidance on how to talk to the ill or bereaved without offending them and show how the smallest gestures and demonstrations of friendship can have tremendous impact on someone else's self-esteem and sense of hope.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

We Carry Each Other: Getting Through Life's Toughest Times
Sharon and Eric Langshur with Mary Beth Sammons
R 726.8 .L36 2007

Book Review - Inside Terrorism

This book is a seminal text on the historical development of terrorism and the mind of terrorists. In this revised edition, Hoffman updates his first edition to include detailed information about al Queda and other new terrorist groups, including their recruiting techniques, motivations, and tactics. Hoffman provides more than a simple analysis of these groups, probing the possible consequences of an insurgency in Iraq, terrorist's exploitation of contemporary and emerging communications technologies, and the possibilities of terrorists use of biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological weapons. He also discusses extremist groups within the United States. He is particularly interested in the role that they have played in American understanding of and interpretation of threats by terrorist groups abroad and how they are perceived since the increase of attention on global terrorism.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Inside Terrorism
Bruce Hoffman
Rev. and Expanded ed.
HV 6431 .H626 2006

September 2, 2008

Book Review - Savage Wars of Peace

Conflicts that have not been declared as "wars" have made up the majority of the military engagements that have involved the United States. Surprisingly, though, the American military has resisted preparing for conflicts at this scale, instead training for large-scale war. This book is, in part, an history of the small armed conflicts in which the United States has been involved from 1800 through the 1990s. It is also an analysis and criticism of American small wars doctrine, particularly as it has been applied in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Regardless, Boot brings to the foreground a part of American military history that often is ignored and unexamined.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power
Max Boot
E 181 .B728 2003

Book Review - Climate Confusion

What does science tell us about global warming? Spencer, himself an environmental scientist, says that much of what we are told, especially by the media and by politicians, is hype or poorly understood. He asserts that belief in global warming--its speed, severity, and wide-ranging natural disasters that are believed to be caused by it--has escalated to religious proportions. Because of this, he believes, both scientists and policy officials take drastic action to protect the environment, often considering the well-being of the human population as a distant second. He states that most of the actions currently being taken to curtail or delay global warming will be largely ineffective because they are based on a capitalist economic model and therefore require poor nations to halt energy-intensive development activities while at the same time asking rich nations to substitute research into alternative energy development for current wealth-accumulating activities. This is unlikely to occur because it is against human nature. Spencer asserts that global warming will continue into the future, and that if a real threat exists because of global warming, the new technologies and energy sources are the only possible solutions for us.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor
Roy W. Spencer
QC 981.8 G56 S645 2008