Guerrilla Warfare: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Sourcebook

Article excerpt

GUERRILLA WARFARE: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Soucebook by Anthony James Joes. 320 pages. Greenwood Press, Westport. CT. 1996. $89.50.

Seldom does a title so accurately reflect a book as this one. Anthony James Joes, professor of international relations at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia has written a valuable, if maddeningly flawed, "first-look" reference source for those interested in the history of guerrilla warfare and insurgency.

The first section, "History and Analysis," provides competent short narratives of 40 guerrilla struggles, ranging from the American Revolution through the bloody insurgency in East Timor. The subsequent 10-page analysis is probably the best short treatment available of successful counterinsurgency principles. However, from this high point the book plummets.

The biographical sketches of insurgents and counterinsurgency leaders are too short to be truly useful. For example, Ronald Reagan only merits 71 words. and the Iran-Contra affair is not even mentioned. The sketches are not cross-referenced or supported by suggestions for further reading and are marred by egregious errors-General Creighton Abrams, commander of US Forces in Vietnam and Army chief of staff, suffers the indignity of having his name misspelled ("Abrahms") at least five times. …