CONFLICT

THE EVOLUTION OF WARFARE FROM 1945 TO THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE

A must-read for military historians and strategists.

The progress of modern warfare from 1945 to the present and into the future.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to rage, with ongoing reporting drawn to the increasingly sophisticated warfare maneuvers executed from the military on both sides, this conflict serves as a touchstone for authors, and this book is particularly timely. Petraeus, a global affairs specialist and retired Army general, and noted historian Roberts, author of Leadership in War and Master and Commanders, judiciously trace how modern warfare has progressed since 1945 through the present moment, and they set forth the possible implications of the Russian-Ukrainian war for global conflicts in the future. They closely examine key battles that contributed to this evolution—“such as in tactical concepts, or a crucial new weapon, or when defense became superior to offence (or vice versa)”—and consider a future that will likely entail cyber warfare and AI. The authors explore the Korean War, Vietnam, the two Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as where the U.S. had less or no direct involvement: Indo-China, the Arab-Israeli wars, the Balkan wars in former Yugoslavia, and brutal guerrilla wars in South African countries such as Rwanda. Petraeus and Roberts analyze the failures, achievements, and the lessons learned, emphasizing why the need for effective leadership at the strategic level “is absolutely critical—and can, in many cases, determine the outcome of a conflict.” As examples, they cite Moshe Dayan’s command of the Six-Day War in 1967 and Volodymyr Zelensky’s leadership in Ukraine. On the flip side, the authors show when a leader’s ego can lead to disastrous outcomes—e.g., Putin’s hubris in expecting a swift invasion of Ukraine. The authors’ conclusions may spark debate among some military strategists, but their arguments are consistently well grounded and based on vast experience.

A must-read for military historians and strategists.

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2023

ISBN: 9780063293137

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

BLACK LOVE LETTERS

A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.

Black Americans declare their love.

This anthology brings together dozens of love letters by prominent Black Americans. The entries, interspersed with illustrations, address an eclectic mix of topics arranged under five categories: Care, Awe, Loss, Ambivalence, and Transformation. In their introduction, editors Brown and Johnson note the book’s inspiration in the witnessing of violence directed at Black America. Reckonings with outrage and grief, they explain, remain an urgent task and a precondition of creating and sustaining loving bonds. The editors seek to create “a site for our people to come together on the deepest, strongest emotion we share” and thus open “the possibility for shared deliverance” and “carve out a space for healing, together.” This aim is powerfully realized in many of the letters, which offer often poignant portrayals of where redemptive love has and might yet be found. Among the most memorable are Joy Reid’s “A Love Letter to My Hair,” a sensitive articulation of a hard-won sense of self-love; Morgan Jerkins’ “Dear Egypt,” an exploration of a lifelong passion for an ancient world; and VJ Jenkins’ “Pops and Dad,” an affirmation that it “is beautiful to be Black, to be a man, and to be gay.” Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts’ “Home: A Reckoning” is particularly thoughtful and incisive in its examination of a profound attachment, “in the best and worst ways,” to Louisville, Kentucky. Most of the pieces pair personal recollections with incisive cultural commentary. The cumulative effect of these letters is to set forth a panorama of opportunities for maintaining the ties that matter most, especially in the face of a cultural milieu that continues to produce virulent forms of love’s opposite. Other contributors include Nadia Owusu, Jamila Woods, Ben Crump, Eric Michael Dyson, Kwame Dawes, Jenna Wortham, and Imani Perry.

A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781638931201

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Get Lifted Books/Zando

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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