I recently finished John Mosby’s The Reluctant Partisan book. I read a lot of books in the field of survival, firearms, and tactics. I’m rarely impressed with most of the books I read. Not so with this one. The Reluctant Partisan gets a well-deserved five-star rating.
Billed as “the prepared citizen’s answer to The Ranger Handbook,” the book provides a comprehensive training and evaluation program for tribal, community, and family security preparedness. In essence, it distills the author’s military experience as a former US Army Special Operations soldier into lessons that the average person with no military experience can learn.
Although I’ve been a cop for almost 20 years, I don’t have any military background. I’ve always wanted to acquire some of the skill sets (like team fire and maneuver tactics) I’ve seen my military friends demonstrate, but there haven’t been many formal opportunities to learn them. I enjoy learning from books, but I’ve found the military manuals I’ve read to be dry, boring, and written in a style that doesn’t resonate with me.
The Reluctant Partisan is the exact opposite. In it, the author provides all of the knowledge contained in dozens of military tactical manuals in a single, easy-to-read volume. The author’s irreverent style makes the book incredibly entertaining . It’s almost as if you are sitting down with the author and sharing experiences over a cold beer. Folks who are easily offended by coarse language will despise the book, but those of us adults who appreciate colorful elocution will revel in the candor. As an example of the author’s style, here is some of his advice about the reality of guerrilla fighting operations:
“The reality is, fighting as a guerrilla pretty much sucks dick. You don’t get to go home and sleep in your soft bed, nuzzled up against your hot wife every night. You might not get to go home for any nights at all for many months or even years. You may not ever get to go home, since it may very well end up burned down around your happy ass by rivals who want your farm ground or hunting territory. You won’t have ready access to all that rice and freeze-dried food in your basement storage. You are not going to be able to protect your wife and kids—or even yourself—from every possible threat, regardless of how thorough your preparations are. Sniper fire, even from an untrained hillbilly with a shitty deer rifle can come from nowhere at the least expected time and place. Kidnappings, rapes, and destruction of property are the norms in tribal conflicts.
If you somehow think that, because “this is ‘Murica! ” that things will be different here, then you’re a fucking moron.”
The book contains chapters on fighting tactics, realistic strength and conditioning training programs, hand to hand combatives, rifle marksmanship, emergency medical skills, tactical movement, camouflage, land navigation, patrolling tactics, and defending fixed positions. In addition, the book has several extremely useful appendices. One of the appendices is a complete list of drills the author uses in his class to turn a novice shooter into an accomplished rifleman. That chapter alone is pure gold and worth the entire cost of the book.
Speaking of cost, the book isn’t cheap at it’s $70 price tag; but is worth every penny. Think how many college textbooks you’ve purchased for twice that amount of money and the relative lack of useful knowledge you’ve obtained from them. This is the text for a graduate-level education in guerrilla fighting techniques and is priced accordingly. It’s a value at any price.
The book can be purchased at the Forward Observer Magazine website. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy today. Even better, buy several copies. The holidays are coming and your preparedness-oriented friends will treasure the gift of a book like this.