Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thomas Ricks want to know Worst War Memoir Ever

Thomas Ricks a reviews War Memoir of General Mark W. Clark and doesn't like it;
First question: Is there a relationship between the quality of generalship and the quality of a memoir? I think there is, if only because the more adept and successful generals have more interesting stories to tell. In this sense, war memoirs invert Tolstoy's famous observation that all happy families are alike. All successful generals are different, but all defeated generals are essentially similar-or at least their memoirs are. Two of the best generals' memoirs of World War II, I think, are Slim's and Eisenhower's. Likewise, the best Civil War memoir is Grant's. By contrast, what would Fredendall or Short have to say?

Clark wasn't a failure, but he was mediocre. So his memoir is worse than his record would indicate.

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