Ender’s Game is a medium length novel dealing with the mind set required to excel as a s leader. Ender is trained from a young age in to become the best commander the earth has ever had. I am not going to review so much so plot spoilers start now. I would strongly recommend getting this book to most people, its a fun read and [amazon text= available on Amazon&asin= 0812550706]
I really enjoyed this book. Its a great story with lots of valuable life lessons o be learned. The main take aways for me are:
-If you are going to use force use it completely so you do not fear retaliation
-To be an effective warrior you must be self-reliant and not expect others to care or help you. You are the only one who can solve your problems.
-Good teamwork is essential, this involves trust and communication. This might seem paradoxical to the last point but its not.
I recently re-read The Prince and the first two points are also found in that book. I used Machiavelli’s wording for the first and the second can be inferred from his stance on mercenaries, he’s strongly against them.
The book starts out with Ender being picked on by bullies. He manages to drop one and repeatedly kicks his helpless foe. Ender recognizes if he just simply beats the bully he will face retaliation. His only hope is to beat him up so bad that the other kids fear messing with him. When Ender explains his reasoning to a state official for his cruelty the state official is pleased.
Ender is a project of the military so that he can become the best Commander of their fleet, so they can fight the buggers. A hostile alien race. His training is intense and cruel as his superiors make sure he is isolated and can not form any stable friendships at the training facility. It is a recurring theme that Ender can not think anyone is going to help him. This makes sense, people will take the easiest route and appealing to authority is easier than standing up for yourself. Since Ender is supposed to become a commander one day he can not get into the habit of relying on higher authority. A good leader is responsible for his crew and the leader has no one to appeal to.
My last take away can be judged from the tactics Ender develops for his crew. Instead of using rigid formations he trains his group with basic tactics that can be used for a variety of purposes. Instead of trying to micro manage his subordinates he allows the squad leaders a great range of flexibility to implement what they think will work best. A commander is supposed to decide on strategic objectives and the squad leaders achieve these via tactics. The commander is to far removed from the action and has to much to think about that he can not decide on the best tactics. By extensive training squad leaders can have harmonious thinking and this can greatly increase the effectiveness of a military force. The author mentions in the introduction that he was inspired by “Warfighting”, a popular military book.
I would strongly recommend Ender’s Game. Its an easy read intended to be accessible for early teens and isn’t overly long. I got through it in 2 days. I think the strongest testament for the book is its place on the US marine’s reading list.
Its a great book that almost everyone can enjoy and learn from.