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Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy
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Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Colin Gray presents an inventive treatise on the nature of strategy, war, and peace, organized around forty maxims. This collection of mini essays will forearm politicians, soldiers, and the attentive general public against many—probably most— fallacies that abound in contemporary debates about war, peace, and security. While one can never guarantee strategic success, ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Potomac Books (first published April 30th 2007)
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James Murphy
Oct 30, 2012 James Murphy rated it it was amazing
Gray's writings on strategy provide us the realistic look at how nations use peaceful and military coercion to achieve national policies. His perspectives stand outside the narrow confines of journalists and public political debate. The 40 maxims on strategy, war, and peace allow us to peer around the blinds thrown up by political rhetoric and the media's creation of the news to see the truer cause of contemporary events and how the lessons of the past always apply to the present. Gray's axions ...more
Urey Patrick
Gray is the modern day Clauswitz, to whom he pays great homage. This is a short book, consisting of 40 maxims on war, peace and strategy defined and described by Gray, each with a short essay explaining the immutable significance and application of the maxim with historical examples and compelling reasoning. As you read it, and contemplate events, policies and results around the world, you will have many "aha!" moments. Gray's perceptive, incisive and historically substantiated arguments and ...more
C. Patrick
Nov 17, 2014 C. Patrick rated it it was amazing
I'm with Dad and some of the other reviewers who applauded Gray's effort to reduce his 30-plus years of experience as a strategist and social scientist to produce these thoughtful and incisive maxims. Indeed, there were many "Aha!" moments, notable for me the quick takedown the author performs on the arms control field.
Brian Ridge
Jul 12, 2015 Brian Ridge rated it liked it
Shelves: military
A bit heavy at times, but the manner in which the content is presented makes getting through the book pretty easy. A good read. Informative...
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Colin S. Gray is a British-American strategic thinker and professor of International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Reading, where he is the director of the Centre for Strategic Studies. In addition, he is a Senior Associate to the National Institute for Public Policy.

Gray was educated at the University of Manchester and the University of Oxford. He worked at the Internationa
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“It should be needless to add that policy needs to be somewhat flexible and adaptive since war has a way of frustrating political intentions. It is a blunt instrument, and there are many reasons why cunning plans often go awry, not the least among which is the fact of an enemy with an independent will.
It would be difficult to overstate the significance of this maxim. Maxim 3 insists both that we never forget that war is about peace (see Maxim 2), and, more pointedly, that the making of peace is likely to be more difficult than the waging of war. It is a common, and somewhat understandable, error to assume that if one takes care of the fighting in an efficient manner, and the enemy is duly humbled, somehow the subsequent peace will all but take care of itself. Indeed, to go further, it is by no means unknown for professional soldiers to be less than fascinated by the political consequences of their military efforts.”
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