Book reviews from JoshuaLeinsdorf

New Jersey, United States

Number of reviews
Average review
JoshuaLeinsdorf's average rating is 3 of 5 Stars.

The Commander

by Laila Parsons

On Mar 10 2017, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:

Having trouble understanding the conflict in the Middle East in general and the wars in Syria and Iraq in particular? This brilliantly written book goes a long way toward explaining it all through the life of one of the great Arab commanders.

Winds Of Change, 1914-1939

by Harold MacMillan

On Mar 9 2014, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
This is the best book about the inter-war years and the run up to World War II. It is the most balanced account. Macmillan, a wounded World War I veteran, served almost continuously in the Houses of Parliament from 1924 - 1964. His is an insiders view; but balanced because his mother was an American. She was born in Spencer, Indiana, so Macmillan is meticulously honest in his analysis of the causes of World War II.
On Feb 13 2012, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
This is a brilliant, upsetting, unique, moving and essential book for understanding the Vietnam War. Todd grew up sometimes poor in Nebraska. This is the blue collar anti-war movement, the story of opposition from the perspective of those who fought the war.

Thirty Days

by Peter Stothard

On Aug 4 2011, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
JoshuaLeinsdorf rated this book 5 of 5 Stars.
Peter Stothard, is editor of the Times and Times Literary Supplement. Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed to have a reporter from the Times Supplement follow him for thirty days on the path to war with Iraq. The thirty days turned out to be the week before and the weeks after the war actually started. This is the best inside view of decision-making and life at the top. Bush appears twice, at a summit in the Azores and another in Belfast. This book is one of the best on Iraq, especially in retrospect.

Nixon and Kissinger

by Robert Dallek

On Aug 4 2011, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
JoshuaLeinsdorf rated this book 5 of 5 Stars.
This is an excellent book, based largely on declassified recordings of their conversations, about the relationship between Nixon and Kissinger. Dallek, however, misses the forest for the trees. Kissinger took all the credit for the foreign policy successes, which left Nixon helpless and crippled during Watergate. Normally, the subordinates sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the leader and nation. In this case, the leader was sacrificed to the egomania of the subordinate.The result was Ford, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush. Kissinger could sail under any flag.

Valley Of Death

by Ted Morgan

On Jul 22 2011, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
JoshuaLeinsdorf rated this book 5 of 5 Stars.
The book is the definitive explanation of how the United States became involved in Vietnam. If life has a purpose, the purpose of Ted Morgan's life is to have written this book.Morgan is a French-American Pulitzer prize winning writer who served in the French army in Algeria from 1955 - 1957. By documenting in detail, based on archival evidence, the American support for the French in Indochina, and then why Eisenhower resisted sending troops during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, he defines the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to send in the troops.A comprehensive, heart wrenching, story of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, this book is essential to anyone trying to understand the Vietnam War.
On Jul 11 2011, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
This is the best Marine memoir of the Vietnam War. The author entered in December 1964, when the nation was at peace. The Marines landed at Danang while he was still in boot camp. This book chronicles the shock of basic training, the tragedy of combat and the exhileration of both. There are many excellent Vietnam memoirs, but this one shows changes that took place in the nation mirrored in one person's life. Not to be missed.

War Memoirs, Volume I, Part 1

by David Lloyd George

On Jul 4 2011, JoshuaLeinsdorf said:
JoshuaLeinsdorf rated this book 5 of 5 Stars.
This book (all six volumes, only four of which seem to be available) is the most important history book of the 20th century. Lloyd George was in the catbird seat in Britain during World War I. Chancellor of the Exchequer in the run up to the war, he became the first Minister of Munitions, charged with solving the supply and bottleneck problems of the army. Britain traditionally had a small army and counted on its Fleet to defend the home islands and keep the routes to the colonies open.At the beginning of World War I, the British were outgunned 8 to 1. Lloyd George was one of only two of the allied ministers to serve for the entire war. He spent a decade after leaving office researching the facts so as not to rely on his own memory or biases. The result, published in 1934, just in time for the run-up to World War II was virtually ignored.This, along with Khrushchev's Memoirs, and the two indispensible books of the twentieth century.