Sunday, April 22, 2012

Expanding Your Warfare Library

I'm pleased to announce, or re announce, several books dedicated to a military study of The Book of Mormon. If you like this blog you should enjoy these books:

Warfare in The Book of Mormon:

This is a classic text from over 20 years ago. As with many collected volumes from FARMS, it is a who's who of writers from the Mormon community. The articles by Brent Merrill on Nephite captains and Hugh Nibley's Clausewitz piece inspired two of my chapters. This is available for free at the Maxwell institute, which certainly beats the 40.00-300.00 dollar prices on Amazon.

Wars and Rumors of War: Understanding Mormon's Metaphor:

Written by Brian Steed, a former military officer, this book is actually an abridged version of a much longer tome. I had the honor of an advance review of the book. He admits that much of his material is educated guessing, but his guesses are the result of more thought than many that I've seen. The book is 24.95 for the paperback version and I haven't seen any critical feedback or indications of the traction it has received in the wider community.

The Nephite Art of War:

This is by John Kammeyer. Again, I had the honor of an advanced copy of the book. (Having the only blog on the subject certainly delivers special benefits.) The book has a great discussion of political science and Old World connections. It is 5.99 on Ebook.

All the Arts of War: Ancient Warfare and Modern Lessons from The Book of Mormon:

I hope you save room in your library for my book. I was saving this for another post but I'm in discussion with a publisher and recommend edits for my manuscript should arrive any day. (I would name the publisher but I haven't signed an agreement and don't know the protocol.) The table of contents, so far, largely remains the same. And I haven't reached the cover art or price phase. I generally write in a terse style and wanted my book to be affordable, that is, less than 20.00 dollars and hopefully in the 15.00 dollar range. I wrote a short enough book to reach that goal, but I don't know a great deal about publishing so I will likely defer to the editors. If you enjoy book reviews and have a faithful following I hope you would consider reviewing this book for your blog or other outlet.

Now every parent thinks their child is the cutest. With that disclaimer in mind every historian has to justify the reason for his or her research. Thus, I think my book offers several advantages. Since I've read the other three I know that mine offers unique topics. I discuss a pertinent political topic in pre-emptive war. I have a strong background in Chinese military history and military theory which are reflected in the book.

I am also the only academically trained military historian. (Both authors have several degrees but they are in other fields.) This increases the methodological control of my comparisons. It helps me identify gaps in the field and how my book fills them.  It reinforces the need to have a superior grasp of pertinent secondary literature in Book of Mormon studies. A short time ago I discussed the concept of an insurgent medium. The two most recent books are self published and mine is going through a publisher. It doesn't mean that self published books are junk, but I think an editor and a respected press make a critical difference in increasing quality of my book and the traction it will receive in the academic and wider community.

Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for reading.

Update 4/28: I went to Deseret Book today and found Defenders of the Faith. The book is from an Iraq War Veteran. He is not a military historian and focuses a bit more on the personal and devotional aspects of the scriptures. It is 17.99 and from Cedar Fort Books. After reading it I still believe I have the advantages I described above.


Michaela Stephens said...

I'd like to review a copy. :-)

Morgan Deane said...

Awesome! I will keep you in mind as I move forward.