Books & Reviews

A True History of the United States
Indigenous Genocide, Radicalized Slavery, Hyper-Capitalism, Militarist Imperialism, and Other Overlooked Aspects of American Exceptionalism

Author: Daniel A. Sjursen (Steerforth Press 2021)
Author Sjursen's strong-worded narrative of American history makes a credible effort to close “the gap between what scholars know and what students learn” and writes in a way that non-historians will appreciate. Of particular interest to soldiers and officers of any Western military, the book outlines the foundations for many decisions that led to actual deployments across recent generations. Accordingly, he writes that “the stories we tell about ourselves and our forebears inform the sort of country we think we are, the public policy we craft, and even what we imagine possible”. Read full review by Capt Alexander Landry, Engineering Staff Officer at NATO Allied Land Command.

The Lion, The Fox & The Eagle
A Story of Generals and Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda

Author: Carol Off (Random House 2000)
This self-proclaimed account of generals and justice, or perhaps a lack thereof, is a foundational review of the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian peacekeeping back when Canada played a pivotal role on the world stage. Twenty-plus years later, this non-fiction book highlighting the stories of three influential figures is becoming increasingly relevant once again as the world faces new complexities and hot spots, both around the globe and here at home. Read full review by Capt Alexander Landry, Engineering Staff Officer at NATO Allied Land Command.

Quietus by Anne GrafiukQuietus:
Wartime Aviation Stories on the Canadian Home Front

Second Edition release date: 2020
Author: Anne Gafiuk
Recommended for all pilots, from novices to high timers, this book examines the pre-war lives and training of Canadian airmen, peeling back layers of their humanity, their strengths and their failures. Using investigators' reports, the author details crashes, pilot error, maintenance issues and military misfortunes that claimed many airmen’s lives within Canada during WWII. Parts of these reports are quite graphic. Reviewed by retired Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Ken Armstrong.

Top Gun:
50 Years of Naval Air Superiority

Author: Dwight Zimmerman (2019 Motorbooks)
This compelling and informative historical account of the role of naval combat aviation juggles three themes: the story of the Top Gun program, Hollywood’s impact on fighter pilot aviation including of course the iconic movie Top Gun; and finally a history of the evolution of aircraft in a war fighting role. Chapters highlight the origin of the Navy’s fighter pilot program and its rigorous training, interspersed with personal vignettes and anecdotes of the pilots and their lifestyle. The book also reveals some of the many technological advances that transformed aerial combat from WWI to current day. Click here for full review by former fighter pilot Dick Mohns.

Making A Night Stalker by David BurnettMaking A Night Stalker
Release date: 12 Dec 2018
Author: David Burnett
What is it really like to serve in an ultra-secretive military flight crew working at the knife's edge, where a single moment of inattention can bring catastrophe down on you and your closest comrades? Author David Burnett's new book, Making a Night Stalker, shines a light on the teamwork and heroism that are integral to each operation. Its perspective – told through the eyes of an enlisted man – makes it all that much more compelling. Burnett opens up the highly secretive world of the Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) and presents a vivid picture of the vaunted unit and the toll it takes on its members.

Cyber-War by Kathleen Hall JamiesonCyberwar:
How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President

Author: Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Kathleen Hall Jamieson’s illuminating book Cyberwar is a major step forward in trying to understand the ‘new’ media order — and how readily it can be exploited for malicious intent. Focused on Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential elections, particularly breaking down and following the pathways, Jamieson’s conclusion is that it played a major role in Trump’s surprise win. The book offers perhaps the clearest-cut glimpse of what an information war looks like, and suggests that "frames of choice" prevented the full implications from sinking in. Click here for a review.

Operation Medusa
The Furious Battle that Saved Afghanistan
Authors: Major-General (retired) David Fraser and Brian Mannington
The book Operation Medusa explores otherwise well-trod ground to produce a compelling, and immensely readable, first-hand account that sets out a panoply of new insights through the unique perspective of an operational commander. The authors recount – with just the right amount of detail, and with crisp, precise prose – the many challenges of command in modern-day conflict. It is a memorable addition to modern-day military literature that will, no doubt, be featured on staff college reading lists throughout NATO member countries. The unique perspective of the operational commander is compelling and adds much to our understanding. Click here for full review by Brett Boudreau.

The Battle Within by Alastair LuftThe Battle Within
Author: Alastair Luft
The Battle Within journeys deep inside a troubled soldier struggling to adapt to life after combat. Set in a backdrop of war in Afghanistan, the story captures the obstacles arrayed against serving members and veterans who want nothing more than to serve their country and have a normal life, yet who struggle with the reality and stigma of PTSD. In this compelling book, Luft shares his perspectives on the meaning of service, sacrifice, and the effect of violence on a person’s humanity. Click here for more information.

Air Crashes and Aviation Safety
Brace for Impact

Author: Peter Pigott
Why do planes disappear or fall out of the sky? Brace for Impact traces the evolution of accident investigation and explains why flying is the safest form of travel. The history of air accidents is a harrowing one. Yet today flying is the safest mode of transportation, thanks in no small part to the work of crash detectives. Whenever a plane falls from the sky, the investigators pick through the wreckage for the clues they need to decipher what happened to that flight. Before the invention of the ‘black box’ and the evolution of forensic accident investigation, the causes often remained a mystery.

Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging book coverTribe
On Homecoming and Belonging

Author: Sebastian Junger
Sebastian Junger's Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging is unlike his previous books, which were focused on single events or subjects. Instead, Tribe is a rambling narrative about the contrasts between how individuals live in modern society and life in smaller and closer communities. He directs much of his attention on the plight of soldiers returning from combat where each is intrinsically linked to his / her buddy and often depends on the unity of a small group for feelings of safety, security and comradeship. Click here to read the book review by Tim Dunne.
Charlie Foxtrot
Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada

Author: Kim Richard Nossal
This book looks at the mess that is defence procurement in Canada. It begins with a survey of a century of procurement failures, from the Ross rifle during the First World War to the on-going problems with the CF-18 Hornet replacement. Nossal shows why Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative, have been unable to get defence procurement right, and proposes a series of “fixes” that focus on shifting the political culture of national defence in Canada.

Waiting for First Light
My Ongoing Battle with PTSD

Author: Roméo Dallaire
Roméo Dallaire’s openness and candour about his experiences and reactions to the massacres in Rwanda make Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD a difficult book to read. Harder still are his humbling acknowledgement that the shadow of Rwanda was also cast over the members of his family. This book provides the unvarnished story of one man's journey. As one former soldier who served under his command commented: "Former soldiers, be forewarned, and for everyone else, believe what you read." Click here to read the book review by Tim Dunne.

Too Young to DieToo Young to Die by John Bolieau and Dan Black
Canada's Boy Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen in the Second World War

Author: John Boileau and Dan Black
A companion book to "Old Enough to Fight: Canada’s Boy Soldiers in the First World War", this new book covers the experiences of several underage soldiers in Hong Kong, Dieppe, Italy and North-West Europe; sailors and merchant navy in the North Atlantic; and airmen in Britain and over Occupied Europe. In book stores now, it sells for $34.95.


Test and Evaluation of Aircraft AvionicsTest and Evaluation of Aircraft Avionics and Weapon Systems
2nd Edition

Author: Robert E. McShea
With its main objective being to provide the Avionics & Weapons Systems Test Community with a prime reference book on the basics of Avionics & Weapons Test & Evaluation, I found this to be both a very comprehensive, and well balanced textbook for everyone from Flight Test Engineers to support staff. Each chapter provides approximately 40 hours worth of detailed flight test curriculum interspersed with related historical and anecdotal information which is helpful in retention and a wider comprehension of the situation at hand. Each chapter also includes an extensive list of review questions at its close... Click here to read the book review by Jonathan Knaul.
Author: Brenda Corey Dunne
Dependent deals with issues ever-present in today’s service families — early marriage, frequent and long absences, the culture of rank, post traumatic stress, as well as harassment and abuse of power by higher-ranking officials. It presents a raw and realistic view of life for the lives of the invisible support behind the uniform.
Military JusticeMilitary Justice in Action
Annotated National Defence Legislation

Author: The Honourable Mr. Justice Gilles Létourneau & Professor Michel W. Drapeau (Col Retired)
Get the only published section-by-section annotation of the National Defence Act and the Queen’s Regulations and Orders. Military Justice in Action: Annotated National Defence Legislation provides you with a greater understanding of Canadian military law, whether you are involved in the judiciary, the military or civilian arm, or the military police. Military attachés, diplomats and government officials at the provincial and federal levels, defence procurement specialists and law scholars will also benefit from the valuable annotations in this portable resource. Commanders and commanding officers will find this new resource a reliable tool when dealing with discipline, claims and grievances as well as administrative law matters.
From Cold War to New MillenniumFrom Cold War to New Millennium
Author: by Colonel Bernd Horn
These war stories testify to the feats of courage and tenacity of Canadians tested in combat or engaged in the sometimes tedious regimen of peace. From Cold War to New Millennium detailes the story of The Royal Canadian Regiment from 1953 to 2008. The RCR’s history after the Korean War paralleled the growth and evolution of Canada through dangerous and trying times – from the brink of nuclear Armageddon to a freefall of global destabilization, economic catastrophe, resurging global terrorism, and the birth of transnational terror networks. The RCR contributed to the victory in the Cold War, participated in the bitter stabilization campaigns of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia, and fought and bled heavily in the reconstruction and counter-insurgency battle in Afghanistan.
Wearing the Green BeretWearing the Green Beret
A Canadian with the Royal Marine Commandos

Author: By Jake Olafsen
Olafsen served for four years as a Commando in the Royal Marines, an elite military unit based in the UK. He went to Afghanistan twice: in 2006, he went to confront the Taliban in Helmand Province for six months, and in 2007, he did it all over again. His story is filled with experiences, accomplishment, patriotism, and camaraderie. But all good things come at a price, and the sacrifices he made for the Corps are significant; he has killed the enemy and buried friends. This is an honest, gutsy story about the mud, the blood, the triumphs and the tragedies.
How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare
Author: Walter J. Boyne
From advancements to setbacks, the history of the military helicopter is a fascinating ride from invention to adaptation. Boyne’s analysis reveals how warfare and helicopters have evolved together, identifies great strides, and highlights those who have believed in such potential. He pays tribute to Vietnam’s Dustoff crew, who flew into combat zones to rescue wounded soldiers. He explains how General Bill Creech's contributions revolutionized the Tactical Air Command. On a controversial note, he points to mismanagement of U.S. military funds as explanation for why troops are using outdated designs despite billions spent on research and development. A retired Air Force Colonel and former director of the National Air & Space Museum, author Walter J. Boyne (enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007) co-founded what is now called the Military Channel and is the chairman of the board of the National Aeronautic Association.

Citizen Sailors
Chronicles of Canada's Naval Reserve

Author: Edited by Richard Gimblett & Michael L. Hadley
This commemorative volume, produced on the centennial of the Canadian Navy, records a special kind of citizenship: Canadians at sea in their nation's service while also living the demands of civilian occupations at home. This beautiful hard-cover book is filled with interesting photos and intriguing stories. The perspectives from Canada's Naval Reserve over the past century add an important dimension to the history of the Canadian Navy.
Hitler's PanzersHitler's Panzers
The Lightning Attacks That Revolutionized Warfare

Author: Dennis Showalter
In Hitler's Panzers, renowned World War II scholar Dennis Showalter presents a comprehensive study of Nazi Germany’s armored forces. By delving deeply into a detailed history of the theory, strategy, myths, and realities of Germany’s technologically innovative approach to warfare, Showalter looks at the military lessons of the past, and speculates on how the panzer ethos may be implemented in the future of international conflict. Interviews with soldiers, archival documents, and other information highlights the panzer’s contributions to the development of mechanized war and armor technology, their influence on the role of the army in German culture and society, and their role in the conduct of World War II.
No Prouder Place coverNo Prouder Place
Canadians and the Bomber Command Experience 1939-1945

Author: David L. Bashow
For a variety of reasons, most Canadian military historiography in the immediate postwar period produced an incomplete, historical record in the coverage of Canadian contributions in World War Two. The major emphasis of the historical record keeping appeared to be focused on a very small area of wartime events – primarily, the role of the government in the conduct of the war. While there was “official” and “semi official” survey histories of the three services produced, there was only a limited work carried out in this area. However to be fair there were a number of personal memoirs written, usually written by senior staff, or an occasional history of a particular engagement or event.
In The Footsteps of the Canadian Corps
Canada’s First World War 1914-1918

Author: Angus Brown and Richard Gimblett
In The Footsteps of the Canadian Corps is a fascinating book. In many ways it resembles the work done by Ken Bell in his 1970’s book Not In Vain. The basis of both books being the return to old battlefields and pictorially comparing the landscapes and locations of combat while the conflict was still fresh and there condition today. Ken Bell tackled the WWII campaign in Northwest Europe while Angus Brown and Richard Gimblett ventured further back to the European battlefields of the Canadian Corps during World War I. Here the comparison ends.
The Insubordinate and the Noncompliant
Author: Edited by: Howard G. Coombs
When I was first asked to review this series of articles contained in this book I was most pleased to accept the task. I had a motive. During my Senior Year at Simon Fraser University I did extensive research into both the Conscription Crisis and the so-called “riots” as part of my major paper for the History program. I was eager to see what advances had been made in the intervening years. Sadly, I found that we seem to have made little progress and, in some cases, appear to have even taken a step or two backwards. We are only interested in seeing the tip of the iceberg. We forget that Discipline, as a component of morale, is a two edged sword.
Kasztner's Train coverKasztner’s Train
The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust

Author: Anna Porter
Every once in a very long while there comes a book that changes or challenges your understanding of events that you have previously learned. Kasztner’s Train is such a work. It tells the story of an average man who through guile, subterfuge and sheer tenacity managed to arrange with senior SS officials to have trains take hundreds of Hungarian Jews to a neutral country. Originally the SS requested that the Jewish Agency provide the Germans with 10,000 trucks. Through bravado and bluff, Kasztner managed to come to a more achievable solution and the train loads of Jews were allowed to proceed to their neutral destinations. It is also the story of the inability of the various Jewish agencies to act in concert with one another.