Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Books: A Textbook Surprise

Unsurprisingly, University life has dealt me a bit of a wild card.

As I noted in some detail, I was informed of some of the textbooks I was supposed to procure and read prior to my arrival, and I gave it a yeoman's effort. In the end, I completed something like six of the nine books that were confirmed by the updated welcome letter. As it turns out, two of the additional three that I didn't read are on the required reading list for the first sequence, which means I'll have to buy them and read them, post haste.

Beyond just that, one of my two classes this sequence (to be discussed in detail later) is a brand new class, never taught before, and do you know what that means? Bingo: more textbooks, and lots of 'em.

So, here's the run down:

  • John Baylis et al.: Strategy in the Contemporary World (Strategic Theory/general reference)
  • Colin Gray: Modern Strategy (Strategic Theory/general reference)
  • Elinor C. Sloan: Modern Military Strategy: An Introduction (Strategic Theory/general reference)
  • Christopher Andrew, Richard J. Aldrich, and Wesley K. Wark: Secret Intelligence: A Reader (Strategic Intelligence)
  • Michael Herman: Intelligence Power in Peace and War (Strategic Intelligence)
  • Peter Gill and Mark Phythian: Intelligence in an Insecure World (Strategic Intelligence)
  • John Keegan: Intelligence in War (Strategic Intelligence)

    Modern Military Strategy and Intelligence in War were both available on Kindle... Which, due to the University's Internet setup and Kindle's lack of proxy support, can only get online at Starbucks. At any rate, the former cost me $38.93, which saved me two cents off the American paperback list price ($38.95), both of which are more expensive than it would have been to buy the paperback at Blackwell's (£23.99/$38.71). Intelligence in War cost me $15.99 on Kindle, compared to the £10.99 ($17.73) it would have cost me to buy the paperback at Blackwell's.

    So, what about the rest of the books? Well, I'm hoping to be able to skip Thomas G. Mahnken and Joseph A. Maiolo's Strategic Studies: A Reader entirely, although it's the first book I bought and the first one I started reading. I'll also be able to skip Beneath the United States: A History of US Policy Towards Latin America by L. Schoultz and Policing Democracy: Overcoming Obstacles to Citizen Security in Latin America by Mark Ungar, because I won't be taking the course on "Latin" American security (at least, not for credit). I'll likely need to purchase and read International Law and the Use of Force by Christine Gray for my course on said topic next sequence. I'm not sure yet whether I'll need to purchase and read Cables from Kabul by Sherard Cowper-Coles for next sequence's course on Global Security Issues.

    At the behest of the Director, I also broke down and finally bought a copy of the The Penguin Dictionary of International Relations. Does anyone want to take bets as to whether I'll ever so much as crack it? Also visible on the shelf are:

  • The Art and Science of Embalming: Descriptive and Operative by Carl Lewis Barnes (don't ask)
  • The Design and Evaluation of Physical Protection Systems by Mary Lynn Garcia (for my PSP certification study)
  • SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East by Tony Jeapes (for my potential dissertation)
  • The Secret War: Dhofar 1971/1972 by David C. Arkless (for my potential dissertation)
  • Where the West Ends by Michael J. Totten (for recreation/professional development)
  • an Oberon journal refill (one of two, for taking notes from The Design and Evaluation of Physical Protection Systems and other books on security and risk management)
  • Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger (for recreation/professional development)
  • Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories by Ian Fleming (for recreation)
  • The Rough Guide to Oman
  • Lonely Planet Libya
  • The Book of Common Prayer
  • a Gideons New Testament

    I obviously have my work, and many hours of reading, ahead of me.
  • 1 comment:

    1. Goodness!! I don't have any classes that required textbooks this semester, which is SO strange to me. I've bought a couple of the optional ones anyway, since I need the extra help. I almost don't know how to study without textbooks.

      You have LOTS and LOTS of them! Good luck!!