What America does best


From A to B

How Logistics Fuels American Power and Prosperity

256 pages; 6" x 9" ; 12 B&W Photos; Notes; Bibliography; Index

$24.50   $19.60
Available: November 2011
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Logistics includes the planning and practice of moving “stuff”—raw materials, tools, finished products, and even people—from one place to another. It carried American settlers over the sparsely populated Great Plains to connect the East Coast to the West Coast and has underpinned our domestic prosperity ever since. Logistics also solidified the global power and influence of the United States by guaranteeing our ability to rapidly reinforce Europe in the world wars, by helping us win the Cold War, and by enabling the current U.S. military to fight two wars at once. Further, logistics undergirds the world economy as swelling populations vie for shrinking resources, including energy, water, arable land, food, and cheap labor. Natural disasters urgently increase such demand.

From A to B is the story of modern American logistics, which will continue to shape the nation’s role in this century. The book begins with a U.S. Army transportation company in Iraq during the height of insurgent attacks on American supply networks. Then it tours the shipyards, railways, highways, airports, classrooms, corporate boardrooms, and laboratories that make up our complex and colorful transportation culture. With competition stiffening and our national transportation infrastructure crumbling, we must find ways to move resources and products even more efficiently if we are to thrive. From A to B presents this challenge.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)

DAVID AXE is a freelance war correspondent based in Columbia, South Carolina. Since 2005 he has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, East Timor, Somalia, Congo, and Chad, among other conflict zones. His work has appeared in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Times, the Village Voice, Popular Mechanics, Wired, Popular Science, Salon, and the Columbia Journalism Review. Axe has appeared on BBC Radio, C-SPAN, and PBS, and is the author of several books, including the graphic novel War Is Boring: Bored Stiff, Scared to Death in the World’s Worst War Zones with Matt Bors (NAL, 2010) and From A to B: How Logistics Fuels American Power and Prosperity (Potomac Books, 2012).


"From big rigs running supply lines in Iraq, to the next generation of robotic cars, From A to B has it all. David Axe, one of our most savvy young war journalists, captures the hidden story of American power: our massive network of logistics."—P. W. Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

"There's an old military saying: amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics. When it comes to war reporting, David Axe is more than a pro. He's one of the bravest, most incisive conflict journalists we've got. And he writes so well, he makes convoy runs and pallet loads as gripping as firefights."—Noah Shachtman, contributing editor, Wired

"From A to B is an engaging look at the diverse influences future technologies will have on our ability to move and supply our troops and our economy. Axe continues to entertain and inform—and his closing comment is a clarion call: 'World-beating logistics requires investment on a national scale. That kind of investment requires political will'".—Cpt. Nathan Finney, Review, Military Review, January 2013

"Axe has produced a though-provoking, never dull but always vivid profile of a side to military and naval operations that is by and large ignored by those profiling today's turbulent world."—Review, Warships International Fleet Review

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