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April 07, 2006

Cassandra asked, I answer.

Post 2500. Anudder milestone.

Over at Villainous Company, the dyspeptic wench posits a poser:

I felt that this question, more than any other, gave me a real sense of who the candidates were: what there values were and how they thought. The question was, "What book or author, more than any other, most shaped your intellectual life?"

So I'm going to throw that question out to you all, because I think it's an interesting one. And don't limit it to non-fiction, because I think that would be a mistake. I was surprised to realize that fictional works often had a profound effect on my values and the way I ended up viewing the world.

If you had to list 5-10 authors or works, who or what would you list as the most influential? I would probably focus on authors, but if there's a particular work you can add that in parentheses afterwards.

A very small portion of the Bookshelves of Argghhh!!!

Heh. Shoulda posted that pic of Jock there yesterday...

I sat and pondered. And decided I would go with my gut. If I couldn't recall it easily, then it probably didn't meet the criteria.

So, this is my response as I left at her place (others have responded there too, don't forget to check 'em out):

Russell Davis. (Marine at War.) I ceased having an interest in being a fireman, warrior was the life for me. I was in third grade. I *still* like the book.

Robert Heinlein. (Rocket Ship Galileo.) Discovered science fiction while Dad was in Vietnam.

Leon Uris. (Battle Cry!) The whole brotherhood of war thing.

J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) Completed the Science Fiction/Fantasy link.

Heinz Höhne (Order of the Death's Head) Evil is real. And terribly mundane.

John Pullen (The 20th Maine) Introduction to Joshua Chamberlain, my warrior/scholar beau ideal.

Guy Sajer (The Forgotten Soldier) Little is as simple as it seems.

Over at Cassie's I left out three books I probably shouldn't have.

Ed Ezell's Small Arms of the World.

John Batchelor's and the estimable Ian Hogg's Artillery: the Gun, Rail Guns, Coastal Guns, Anti-aircraft Guns, Anti-tank Guns, Self-propelled Guns, Recoilless Guns, Fuzes

Martin Brice's Forts and Fortresses: From the Hill Forts of Prehistory to Modern Times: The Definitive Visual Account of the Science of Fortification. Those three books formed the kernel of the interest that bloomed into the reality that is The Arsenal of Argghhh!.

Heh. I'm pretty one-dimensional. No wonder I'm humorless and boring at parties. No great works of philosophy. No great books of/about religion. Not that I haven't read them, appreciated them, and drawn mental sustenance therefrom. I just am what I am. A soldier.