From the transcript of an online discussion hosted by the Washington Post, featuring Ken Burns, following the premiere of the first episode of his documentary The War.
Boston, Mass.: If you had to pick one war-related book and movie (fiction or non-fiction) for a commander-in-chief to read and watch before making a decision to go to war what would they be? My book would be, “All Quiet on the Western Front” and my movie would be, “Saving Private Ryan” (although there are several others of note).
Ken Burns: That’s easy, my book would be “With the Hold [sic] Breed” by Eugene Sledge and the film would be our film. As Gen. Schwarzkopf told us after our Civil War series was aired, he was grateful for our approach that the arrows on our maps were real human beings.
The typist botched the title – it is With The Old Breed – but that is one of the books I read this August. I strongly encourage you to add it to your reading list; it is a truly eye opening account of war in the Pacific.