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Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War Paperback – June, 1994

21 customer reviews

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From Publishers Weekly

Traditionally the most unglamorous and under-appreciated facet of the military, logistics comprises transportation; oil and fuel management; food, water and ammunition supply; and many other day-to-day needs that must be met before an army can fight. U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Pagonis presents a definitive case study of modern logistics in the context of the Gulf war. With unprecedented speed and efficiency, Pagonis's 22nd Support Command moved nearly 500,000 soldiers and seven million tons of supplies halfway around the world, a feat that General H. Norman Schwarzkopf called "absolutely gigantic." Here Pagonis provides a virtual textbook of logistical problem-solving in such arcane areas as organizing recreational activities for several thousand men and women under the host-nation's severe religious and social constraints, as well as such conventional problems as whether to construct an overpass at the Mother of all Intersections. Pagonis makes many useful comments, of interest to the private business sector, about time management, delegation of authority and boss-to-staff communications. Photos. 50,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jeffrey L. Cruikshank is a cofounder of Kohn-Cruikshank, Inc., a Boston-based communications consulting firm. He has written or cowritten a number of business-related books, including the bestselling Do Lunch or Be Lunch, and was a coauthor with David Sicilia of The Little Engine That Could.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; New Edition edition (June 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875845088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875845081
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David A. Appling on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a logistician, I bought this book in the expectation that it would enhance my professional knowledge. It didn't, and it didn't stay on my bookshelf, either.
Written for the general reader in the profession of management, this book will enlighten no one in the profession of arms. The treatment of military logistics is all too shallow (and the treatment of the author all too deep).
Gus Pagonis did a magnificent job in the Gulf under incredibly difficult conditions. I had hoped that this work would tell us in some detail how he did it. But no. I suspect his editors at the Harvard University Press had a lot to do with that. It's too bad the publisher wasn't Presidio Press or some other house that understands military affairs.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Traill VINE VOICE on April 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
From a military history point of view, logisticians get far too little credit for allowing the front line to even exist. Lt. Gen. Pagonis' book does attempt to offer some insight into the challenges of supplying the Army's needs as it built up during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91, and then through Desert Storm. Very little is said about the withdrawal process of Desert Farewell.
The problems with this book are that it is too much centered around a business school philosophy book- not to take too much away from the success that Pagonis had, but it seems less about the challenges of supply in a hostile environment than a depiction of how to solve problems. I greatly respect the efforts and solutions that Pagonis encountered and defeated, but wish this was more a military-oriented book and less of a business school effort.
Regardless of these issues, Moving Mountains will give a reader some appreciation for all of the tasks and unsung duties by the rear echelon forces in combat, and how the Army has developed its ability to deal with any potential environments it may find itself in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick J. McCall on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The best book to date on military logistics.Explains in detail how the U.S. Army was able to accomplish it's mission in supplying over half a million troops when and where it was needed.Gen.Pagonis has written an excellent guide for officers and NCO's involved in logistics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By railmeat on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
While the victory in the gulf war of 1991 was obviously an accomplishment, it was perhaps most of all an achievement of logistics. Moving Mountains tells the story of that achievement and of the General who lead it.
The book included a number of biographical references about General Pagonis. Fortunately these are kept brief. Pagonis's life, outside of the military seems to be largely unremarkable. In the military Pagonis reached a high rank. The text provides no clues as to what made him a success as an officer.
Once the text turns to the gulf war it becomes much more absorbing. The descriptions of the early stages of the build up are interesting. So are some of the descriptions of the interactions with a few of his subordinates.
The last chapter is a summary, or list of prescriptions of how to manage. These range from being specific to the military to being so general as to be trite and meaningless. There is nothing in between.
In the end this book was fairly boring. It might be of interest to students of the gulf war, or to those in the military who might face similar situations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By glowworm6 on March 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually own an autographed copy of this book. I had the honor of serving with General Pagonis when he was a LTC and when he found out I was retiring he sent me a copy of his book with an autograph. One of the better books out their on leadership and problem solving. I bought this copy for my niece, she is graduating from college this year and I thought this would be a good book to read. Flexibility, problem solving and leadership will always be in short supply where ever she go's. These traits must be nourished and developed. This book will help her with those traits. This is not a book for those looking for trite buzzwords. He gives real world examples of his problems, and by looking at those problems will give you insight to yours. I highly recommend adding this book to your reading list
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brittain C. Ladd on April 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in buying this book must understand two things up front:
1. This book is written by a professional soldier and not a business school professor.
2. This book is one man's account of his duties and opinions on the subject of logistics and is not intended to be a textbook on the subject of logistics or a war novel.
If you understand these two things before you by the book then you will find this book to be very interesting as it is one of the few books written on military logistics. Moreover, you will gain insight into as to how General Pagonis used his personal leadership style to manage the logistical challenges of the first Gulf War. For someone wanting to learn about the nuts and bolts of logistics this book isn't for you. However, for those of you who want to gain an understanding of how logistics can impact the success or failure of a war while picking up a few words of wisdom in leadership from one of the best in the business will enjoy this book. I have read this book twice and I enjoyed it each time. Although I couldn't use much of the material from the book in my MBA classes, I was able to apply some of the information from this book while I was earning a graduate certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Penn State.
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