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The Path to Victory: America's Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs [Hardcover]

Donald Vandergriff
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 5 2002
Army gadfly Donald Vandergriff argues that what is needed is a true revolution in military affairs. In this book, Vandergriff warms to the task as he takes on the army's personnel system with a clarion call for a revolution in human affairs.

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About the Author

Donald Vandergriff is an active duty army officer currently serving as deputy director of army ROTC at Georgetown University. He is the author of Spirit, Blood and Treasure.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vandergriff "Iron Major" = Next Emory Upton Jan. 31 2003
BG Upton Failed, MAJ Vandergriff will not! Great book!11 The pending war, excepting, for Army to take the lead promote Vandergriff-MacGregor (COL-Braeking The Phalanx-at Ndu in D.C.,) now! With their views the army can take over as the premeir fighting force in 21st century-with decisive victories.
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This work is a tour de force, perhaps best shown by Secretary of the Army Tom White's enthusiastic adoption of its ideas. Vandergriff ably identifies the Army's longest-lasting and most serious systemic problem -- human resources mismanagement as it affects training, deployment, cohesion, and effectiveness in battle. Based on extremely extensive research (meticulously documented), he ably describes the evolution of the problem and presents the promised "path to victory."
Despite the effectiveness and timeliness of this book, it does have a couple of significant (and related) weaknesses. First, despite the meticulous endnoting, it is difficult to sort out which ideas are Vandergriff's own and which derive from his multitude of sources. The sorting can be done, but, if done thoroughly, would require the reader actually to construct an "idea matrix" from the endnotes as he goes along.
Second, this is a work with 796 (!) endnotes -- but with no bibliography at all. All in all, Presidio Press has made the book quite difficult -- unnecessarily difficult -- to use as a reference. This does detract somewhat from its value as a synthesis of ideas and guide for follow-on work. Fortunately, these weaknesses detract very little from the overall message.
Highly recommended. (But if there's a second edition, could we please have a good solid bibliography?)
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Balls Than I Did! Dec 8 2002
Vandergriff exemplifies what Sec Def Rumsfeld says he wants-innovation & moral courage! I was in from 59 to87-Right on target-cease fire! Great research, little hard to read, I beat Vandy is very intense, intelligent, passionate, but with a temper? I know the type-great troop leader, poor administrater. Anyway-good work Van. They wll force you out-run for office-on the truth ticket. Must buy-shuold be a legacy book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Sept. 26 2002
An excellent book for even the unmilitary.The research is outstanding and gives the reader a good view of the present military.As a daily reader of current events the book puts the present state of our country in a better position for the reader.
I look forward to the next book by this author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Modest Proposal Aug. 7 2002
By A Customer
Path to Victory is extensively researched, concisely written, and wonderfully appropriate to the current debate over the future transformation of the Army. MAJ Vandergriff has written a book that all senior Army leaders should read, and anyone who follows civil-military relations or current events should own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Crusade for Common Sense July 16 2002
Donald Vandergriff is one of those rare men who live their beliefs. Now, he has written a fine, clear-thinking, heartfelt book detailing the deep flaws in the Army's (and our military's) personnel system. But the book is much broader than that. Although he does not use quite these terms, the text constitutes a demand for a sensible post-modern personnel system that rewards the core military virtues, in place of our current, long-outdated, poorly-performing industrial-age system, a legacy of both Henry Ford's assembly line mentality, in which all parts, even the human ones, are interchangeable, and a bizarre, inchoate conviction within the Army that, really, it's still 1944 and the draft will supply the needed talent to replace that which is squandered. Even now, in 2002, there is a bizarre belief among the Army's hierarchy that every officer (and soldier) is easily replaceable, if not perfectly interchangeable. Well, tell that to corporate America, or the scientific community, or to the arts community. America has achieved its paramount position because we recognize and reward the unique talents of the individual--but our military resists excellence whenever it can (what passes for excellence is a polished conformity to superficial forms). Our broken-down, morally-bankrupt personnel system may be well-suited for the ten-million-man military with which we ended WWII, but it is a travesty when it comes to developing the right Army for the 21st century. Critics may respond that the military is not about individual excellence, but about teamwork--but teamwork based upon excellence is far more impressive than group-think and timid acquiescence based upon lowest-common-denominator professional values. Read more ›
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