NONFICTION

Shattered Minds: How the Pentagon Fails Our Troops with Faulty Helmets

Bauman, Robert H & . Potomac. Mar. 2019. 336p. notes. index. ISBN 9781640120365. $34.95. HIST
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Bauman and Rasor (coauthors, Betraying Our Troops), who have both written on privatization and excessive spending in the military, weave two stories about malfeasance in military procurement to demonstrate the problems involved in getting materiel of the right quality and timeliness to soldiers. Whistle-blowers at a company making Kevlar helmets were fired, then after much personal trauma, ended up winning a court judgment against the company. At about the same time, a retired U.S. Navy doctor was arguing with the U.S. Marines bureaucracy because he discovered that the webbing and padding inside Kevlar helmets was inadequate. He learned that the helmets were demonstrably better at preventing or lessening traumatic brain injury when the proper webbing and pads were used; Marine logistics bureaucracy was unresponsive, even though other services had adopted the newer technology. Overall, the authors provide a lengthy, involved, and depressing overview of the private companies that supply the vital, expensive, and complex equipment used throughout the U.S. military.
VERDICT Limited readership; likely to be valuable mainly in collections specializing in government, military management, and weapons development.

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