02 May 2010

What I'm reading

Finally, I've gotten to Dr. Patrick Porter's "Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes". After reading the first chapter, I've skipped ahead to his analysis on the 2006 Lebanon War, as I'm very curious to hear his analysis on that topic. I hadn't seen the war viewed through a sociological/anthropological lens before, so I think it will be quite fascinating.

One consistent theme I've noticed in Dr. Porter's work at Offshore Balancer is the debunking of cultural mythologies which have evolved around history and, in particular, war. As many of the historical interactions of East and West often fall into the realm of pseudo-myth (Lawrence of Arabia, Marco Polo, Ghengis Khan, etc), it should prove to be interesting to see what Dr. Porter has to say about them.


Graham J. said...

That book is fantastic. It was one of the few assigned for one of my classes that I actually got around to reading, and it was even better than I hoped it would be.

Interestingly, I found the Lebanon section to be the weakest, but good as it is, that's not saying much. I even wrote a review.

Let me know how you find it!

jenniferro10 said...

I'm sure you've read *Power, Faith and Fantasy* (M. Oren). If not:

He goes into great detail on the topic of Western fantasies (including religious mythologies) overwhelming reality in our dealings with the "Middle East".

aircopa said...


Enjoy your stuff, even if you are a rotary wing guy.

Would like to participate in your COIN for Aviators project as well.

Recommend you take a look at OVERLORD: General Pete Quesada and the Triumph of Tactical Air Power in World War II

Shows that that some of us fixed wing guys got it a long time ago.

Drop me a line at copatdy@gmail.com

Also recommend you take a look at


Backwards Observer said...

I'd been thinking about ordering a copy of Military Orientalism, but was skeptical. I guess seeing it mentioned on your site a while back, I figured what the heck. Am about halfway through. Very insightful and accessibly written. Hope to read more from Dr. Porter. Enjoy reading your blog, by the way.