Book Review: Shattered Minds

I picked up this copy of Shattered Minds: How the Pentagon Fails Our Troops with Faulty Helmets almost immediately after its release, having been recommended it by an acquaintance. First up I'll give you the short version - If you have any interest whatsoever in the U.S. Military procurement process, DoD decision making, the inner workings of government bureaucracy, and the effects of these things on the lives of the average American soldier then buy this book.

The story told within is not just drab technical details on helmets and associated gear (though there is some of that in there for the more technically oriented reader), it's a tale of the soldiers impacted by the bureaucracy and fallible decision making ability of the DoD and its procurement process and of people who made sacrifices to ensure the safety of American soldiers being deployed to combat.

While not a flawless read it is eye-opening in the extreme. Few books have so far been able to evoke the feelings of frustration and empathetic anger in me that this one did. I'm of the opinion that this is required reading for both those with an interest in the history and technical details of U.S. Military equipment (and tactical gear in general) and those with concerns regarding government bureaucracy and the lives of American soldiers.

All that said I strongly recommend getting a copy. It is an overall excellent inside view of corporate corner cutting, inane bureaucracies, and provides insight on the impact of warfare on the lives of soldiers both during and after their tours of duty.

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