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Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph? Hardcover – February 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1st edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811706516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811706513
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,788,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A collection of essays by top-selling Peters, author of A Perfect Soldier (1995). Reprinted from such military-science publications as Parameters, Army Times, and Strategic Review, these essays pose major questions about Americas military preparedness to fight the type of conflicts likely to arise in the 21st century, those involving terrorist organizations (both independent and state-sponsored), ethnic strife, and an emerging Third World. Peters examines such possibilities with a sharp eye and then considers the ways in which the American armed forces are preparing to fight them. While his analysis is cogent, his conclusionsfor example, that the spectacularly expensive weapons systems being produced today are designed to combat Cold War enemies that no longer existare hardly as shocking or controversial as he himself would have the reader believe. (In fact, as long as there has been a military, there have been critics to point out flaws in preparedness.) While Peters is a reasonably proficient writer, his essays are marred by trite epigrams placed throughout the text, offering such no-brainer musings as ``Revolutions happen, above all, in the minds of men'' and ``If there is a single power the West underestimates, it is the power of collective hatred. When the author gets down to specific topics, such as the future of armored warfare or soldiering in an urban environment, he is at his best; unfortunately these sections form only a small portion of the book. And Peterss prose is pedantic, clich-ridden, and repetitive. In general, the average reader will be as entranced as if reading a military-science dissertation. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Review

“Peters has been the most profound, prolific and provocative essayist on the future of the military in the past decade.” -- Strategic Review

“…Every chapter challenges conventional wisdom…entertaining, thoughtful, direct, and always though-provoking, Peters is a man who makes us think.” -- Parameters, the Journal of the U.S. Army War College

“…a master craftsman…In sharp contrast to the predictions of many other futurists, Peters’ essays have a long shelf life.” -- the Marine Corps Gazette

“…arguably the best thinker and certainly the best writer on international affairs in America today.” -- the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“…the way [Peters] heaves rocks indicates a strong arm…unbridled intellectual energy.” -- The Washington Monthly

More About the Author

Fox News Strategic Analyst Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and former enlisted man, a controversial military-reform advocate, a journalist who has covered multiple conflicts, and a traveler and researcher with experience in over 70 countries. He is the author of 27 books, including a range of works on security matters as well as bestselling and prize-winning novels.

Customer Reviews

If you are a Military Professional, for your Troop's Sake, read this as a MANUAL OF ARMS.
Tracy Warrington
Trust me as one who knows - you can't get promoted in today's Army thinking, talking and acting like Ralph Peters.
Michael Horn
This is the real thing, about the real world--and the book is remarkably well written, as well.
Robert Ukrainer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nick San Mauro on September 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book should be read by every citizen in this country - yesterday. Peters' essays point the way to a much-needed revolution in American social, cultural, political and military thinking. His book describes the ultimatum technological change and social breakdown confront us with: recognize the suicidal implications of our current world view and take an uncompromising look at the developing dangers around the world confronting this country. Had "Fighting" been read and understood by the previous administration in the White House, the brutally effective attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon might well have been precluded. Kirkus Review's pedantic nitpickings obscure the life and death realities delineated in "Fighting." For anyone with an open mind, this book is impossible to put down.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Schrade on April 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I came upon this book after reading some of Peter's fiction: War in 2020 and Red Army. I really had no idea that he wrote such serious essays about military-related topics until I was searching for literature after September 11th to answer the question: "What now"? This book is a collection of his military essays compiled after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and woven around the theme of American triumph in trying times.
I had to take a break after each chapter to think about the questions raised. Many of his assertions challenged my view of the world. He is trying to shake we idealists and optimists from our hallucinating state to view the harsh reality of the world around us.
How does the world treat young men who are raised as warriors (killers) from birth in perpetually warring societies? What options other than force does a superpower have against the amorphous and state-less threat of terrorism? Will urban warfare be the rule and not the exception in the 21st century? Is there any hope for global stability? And finally, will America triumph?
I liked how the preface focused specifically on the events of September 11th and the myths Peters feels were perpetuated in our popular culture as a result. But the rest of this book raises more questions than it does provide answers. To his credit though, anyone who holds up answers in these trying times is a liar or a fool or both.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Warrington on May 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you're a citizen of the US, you need to read this book so you understand what's at stake; and what the real world is like outside our borders. There are no sound bites, instant gratification, feel their 'pain', or other such nonsense.
If you're a politician, read this book so you can get a clearer idea of where our foreign policy needs to go; quit hustling votes and LOOK at what we (the West) are facing. War is an extension of policy; and Mr. Peters quite adeptly shows where we need to stop talking and start hitting.
If you are a Military Professional, for your Troop's Sake, read this as a MANUAL OF ARMS. He doesn't have all the answers; but he certainly can give you a start on your mission-essential task list. The Marines are already codifying doctrine on the "Three Block War"; it's time get with the program. If you run into Senior Military Leadership that says we don't have a future in Urban Combat, avoid them like the plague.
We are in the for the fight our lives; and this book can reduce the casualties; Friend and Foe alike. He articulates what I personally saw happen in Iraq, Bosnia, Ethiopia and Somalia (9 months in Mogadishu alone). He has encapsulated the essence of what we have to do to ensure survival of our way of life.
He doesn't imbibe you with Patriotic Rhetoric, Mr Peters simply states that if we want to maintain the lifestyle we have, we'll have to fight for it; against people for which fighting is the ONLY thing they know. They don't want a lasting peace, they want a lasting piece of the action; on their terms, with no compromise or pity. Death and anarchy are a way of life, the groups described in his book exist and they don't want progress, they want the power of Gods.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Ukrainer on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was given this book by a friend of mine who is a West Point grad and now an international businessman. As soon as I read it, I got the point: The author's observations about the causes of violence in societies, the nature of conflict, and, above all, why some groups and states prosper while others fail simply ring true to anyone who has actually seen anything of the greater world first-hand. Given that the essays in this book were written back in the nineties, almost every one is amazingly prescient--he even discusses, briefly, a terrorist attack on lower Manhattan. The picture Peters draws for us isn't pretty, but it's brutally honest and directly helpful--unlike the nonsense turned out by the campus crowd. This is the real thing, about the real world--and the book is remarkably well written, as well. I recommend reading it a chapter at a time and thinking about it--but, above all, I strongly recommend reading it. For me, personally, it just may become one of the most influential books I've ever read. No doubt it's useful to military officers and diplomats, but it's also a first-rate primer on conflict and crisis for anyone who does business in the developing world. Absolutely first-rate!
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