Book Report ✯ Spring 2017

2017 COLBY AWARD WINNER

Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS
DAVID J. BARRON

The winner of the 2017 Colby Award has been called a “timely account of a raging debate.” In Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS, David J. Barron delves deep into the history of the ongoing struggle between American presidents and Congress over who has the power to declare and wage war. Formerly a Harvard Law School professor and U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General, Barron is today a U.S. Circuit Court judge.

The Colby Award is presented to the authors of a first work of fiction or nonfiction that furthers the public’s understanding of intelligence, military history, or current affairs. A $5,000 author honorarium is provided through a grant from the Chicago-based TAWANI Foundation. The award was presented at Norwich University during the 22nd annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, April 12–13, 2017. Learn more.

Fate’s Finger: True Life
Adventures Commanding Tanks in World War II
ROBERT WILLIAM CHRISTIE ’44

Commanding a tank platoon during World War II,you never knew where or when fate’s finger would fall. Bob Christie ’44 offers a true-to-life but fictionalized account of tank warfare, drawn from his own experience as a WWII tank platoon leader and company commander. Having entered the war while still a Norwich undergraduate, the author puts readers into the turret of an M3A4 tank, shedding light on a tanker’s understanding of what the costs of an under-gunned design meant for the men who lived through the mud, terror, and trauma of war.

Dark Ideas: How Neo-Nazi and Violent Jihadi Ideologues Shaped Modern Terrorism
TRAVIS MORRIS

This book by Norwich criminal justice professor Travis Morris is the first of its kind to show how ideas have transformed violent extremism over the past six decades. Dark Ideas comparatively examines strategic and tactical ideas used by violent jihadi and neo-Nazi ideologues. Innovations such as how to weaponize thoughts, create new forms of violence, or shift targets, thrust terrorism studies into the realm of violent extremist doctrine. Each chapter examines the most influential violent jihadi or neo-Nazi ideologue behind an innovation, the context from which it originated, and how it transitioned from idea to action.

The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns: Union Soldiers and Trench Warfare, 1864–1865
STEVEN E. SODERGREN

The final year of the Civil War brought about a profound transformation in modern warfare, a shift that produced unprecedented consequences for the soldiers on the front lines. In The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns, Norwich history professor Steven E. Sodergren examines the transition to trench warfare, the lengthy campaigns that resulted, and how these new realities affected the mindset and morale of Union soldiers. Drawing from soldiers’ letters, diaries, and other historical records, he paints a vivid picture of the daily lives of Union soldiers as they witnessed the beginnings of the shift in the way the world imagined war.

Being Anglophone: Language, Place & Identity in Quebec’s Eastern Townships
AIMEE VIEIRA

In Canada, about 80 percent of the population of Quebec speaks French as its first language, while English first-language speakers comprise around 8 percent of residents. Although concentrated in Montreal, Anglophones—English-speakers—can be found throughout Quebec. This ethnography reveals fissures in Canadian language and class. The nuances of difference extend beyond the distinction of locals versus people from “away,” and reveal an increasingly complex rural economic landscape with multiple interpretations of what it means to be an Anglophone in Quebec.

By Strength and by Guile: The Story of the Sween Ranch and the Fall of Civilization
ANGUS MACM. HODGSON ’75

This new novel from author Angus Hodgson ’75 tells the story of Iain McKenzie, a man who uses his lottery windfall to create his own Utopia in the form of a sprawling ranch in Texas. Iain’s wealth allows him to build a crack security and intelligence team that will all-too soon become indispensable when the world as he knows it falls apart at the seams. By Strength and By Guile is a riveting story of one man’s response to a nightmare scenario. Two of the book’s characters are Norwich grads, and a few others have names from Norwich history.

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