Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

A library for troubled times

Written By: Bob - Jan• 10•13

Over the course of the last few months I’ve been busy educating myself when I’m not busy behind a keyboard.

I’ve read and re-read David Hackett Fischer’s brilliant Paul Revere’s Ride. Fischer’s Washington’s Crossing is cued up in my Kindle, just as soon as I finish up John West’s Fry the Brain: The Art of Urban Sniping and Its Role in Modern Guerrilla Warfare. To those books, I’ve added a deck of Victor Aguilar’s Sniper Flash Cards, which I picked up in hopes that they might help me figure out how to quickly estimate range using a mil-dot scope a little bit better.

If it sounds like an eclectic mix of colonial American history and tactical marksmanship… well, it is. But it helps me to know who we are when considering the steps that may one day prove necessary to recapture our liberties.

Towards that end, I’m in the process of cobbling together an wishlist that I’ve decided to call A Library for Troubled Times, which consists of books I’d like to add to my personal collection. Some are concerned with our colonial history and the revolutionary spirit and zeal which founded this nation, while others are much more current in nature, dealing with tactical and strategic issues which, quite frankly, have stumped the best minds the American military have been able to educate for a half century.

I’d argue that if tough times are indeed ahead, it would behoove us all to learn more about who we are, and what we may need to be. Create libraries of your own, and devour them. Our Founding Fathers were not born with wisdom, but thirsted for it with a zeal not often found today. Seek knowledge. The human mind is the sharpest weapon of all, and what we must have to recapture this nation from those who would turn us into just another memory.

* * *

Update: I shared the above wish list hoping that folks might find these suggestings worth reading, but they now seem to have disappeared. I don’t claim to be the most savvy Amazon user by a long shot. Any idea what happened to them all? I’ve put some more books in there to see if they get lost again. Weird.

I’ll try to replicate the list here as best I can, but I know I’m missing some (and may have added one or two I didn’t have before).

1776: The Illustrated Edition by David G. McCullough

Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America’s Founding Ideas (America: A Cultural History) by David Hackett Fischer

Lexington and Concord: The Beginning of the War of the American Revolution by Arthur Bernon Tourtellot

Almost A Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John E. Ferling

American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People by T. H. Breen

Total Resistance by H. Von Dach

War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare by Robert Taber

Phantom Soldier: The Enemy’s Answer to U.S. Firepower by H. John Poole, Mike Leahy and William S. Lind

The Tiger’s Way: A U.S. Private’s Best Chance for Survival by H. John Poole

Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent by H. John Poole

Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) by David Galula

Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam by John A. Nagl and Peter J. Schoomaker

The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One by David Kilcullen

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. M. says:

    I looked at your collection. I like it. You might also be interested in “Resistance to Tyranny: A Primer” by Joseph P. Martino. It doesn’t go in depth, but it does give you a primer and points you in the right direction.

  2. Cole says:

    It’s a wishlist. So people can purchase items on it and Amazon sends them to you as gifts. Look for the option to view purchased items and you’ll see all the ones listed in the article update. Maybe someone bought them for you. Maybe someone bought them for you thinking they were buying for themselves as an accident. Maybe Amazon counted readers buying the books for themselves as purchased for your wishlist. Maybe Amazon is just broken.

    • Cole says:

      Or it could put them in the purchased section automatically if you previously bought the books through Amazon. The minute you add them Amazon counts them as purchased. Not sure.

  3. Honeybadger says:

    Fry the Brain is an excellent read for the sniper community. Also the writings by Grossman, On Combat and On Killing. Both are required reading at West Point for a very good reason.

  4. Bill says:

    Wishlist is showing up fine here. I purchased “Fry the Brain” and am 7 chapters in. Very interesting stuff. Michael Yon is also pointing out a few interesting things on his online Mag. Such as “Mud”. (Yes, it really is that fascinating.)

  5. Karl says:

    Click my link to go to where I list the top books I’ve read on Communism. These books are great if you want to know what their next step(s) are. NOTHING has been a surprise to me!


  6. John Jacobs says:

    The Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla is a classic text, as well as Che Guevara’s work on guerrilla warfare. Like them or not, best to learn from the greatest practitioners of the art form…

  7. todd says:

    I would suggest “A RIFLEMAN WENT TO WAR” by H.MacBride. A fantastic accouxnt of a WW1 sniper who loved his job.