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Reading Book Guide

Warriors Seven: Seven American Commanders, Seven Wars, and the Irony of Battle, by Barney Sneiderman.

Warriors Seven offers a fascinating collection of American commander "profiles." Each essay sketches the ironic twists of fate that befell these men at or near the peak of their careers. We hope these thought-provoking questions lead to some lively book discussions.

  1. Which of the subjects covered in Dr. Sneiderman's Warriors Seven did you find the most intriguing, and why?
  2. Why do you think Benedict Arnold decided to turn his back on his new country? How would we think of him today if he had remained by General Washington's side through victory at Yorktown?
  3. Andrew Jackson was an extraordinarily capable battlefield commander, but we do not hear much about him today in that regard. Why do you think that is?
  4. Winfield Scott's campaign against Mexico City was hailed as one of the most brilliant in history. Can an argument be made that Scott's enemy was clearly not up to the task, and the result was thus a foregone conclusion? If so, does that mean Scott is not entitled to the exalted status he holds in American military history?
  5. Given that he had never led an army in battle before, how well did Robert E. Lee handle his Army of Northern Virginia during the Seven Days' Battles? What were his major mistakes?
  6. What can we learn from George Dewey's (and the American's) experience in the Philippines that we might apply today against the Islamo-Fascist threat spreading around the world?
  7. Was the courts-martial of Billy Mitchell warranted? If deserved, do you think history has largely "forgiven" Mitchell?
  8. How well do you think George Patton's superiors handled his slapping of American soldiers? We were in the middle of the most significant war in history when this event took place, and Patton was one of our truly outstanding commanders. Was too much made of this event?
  9. Which of the wars discussed in Warriors Seven is the most fascinating to study, and why do you think so?
  10. Which of the commanders profiled in Warriors Seven would function best in today's modern environment against today's enemies? How did you reach this conclusion?