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Book Review - American Football and American Way of War: The Gridiron and the Battlefield 

Updated: May 26



“American Football” is a riveting exploration of the profound interconnections between military strategy and the strategic foundations of American football. This book skillfully outlines how the principles of strategic planning and execution are paralleled on the gridiron. Colonel Sukman’s insightful analysis and thorough understanding of both realms shed light on the intricate ways in which the strategies used in football mirror American military strategy as it is employed on the battlefield.


What sets this book apart is its unique appeal to diverse readers. For those new to military strategy, it supplies insights into all the major concepts in an easily comprehensible manner. For the seasoned strategist, it offers a new perspective and a fresh take on the key ideas, presenting them in ways previously unconsidered.


Through careful examination of historical precedents and current practices, the book presents a distinctive viewpoint on the evolution of strategic thought in both military and sporting contexts. The narrative is enhanced with detailed case studies that not only underscore the strategic similarities but also explore the cultural importance of these parallels in shaping the American identity.


Particularly compelling is Sukman’s research into the numerous U.S. Presidents and Generals who began on the football field well before they set foot on the battlefield. Eight American presidents since 1900 have played football, as well as generals who triumphed in World War II, such as Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton. Without question, the ties between the gridiron and the battlefield are deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness.


The author’s academic approach, combined with a captivating writing style, makes this book an essential resource for professionals, scholars, and aficionados of military history as well as fans of American football. It prompts readers to recognize the intricacies of strategic planning and execution, fostering a more profound comprehension of the strategic dimensions that underlie both military strategy and sports.


In essence, Sukman’s “American Football” is a seminal work that significantly enhances our understanding of the symbiotic relationship between military strategy and sports strategy, providing deep insights into the strategic framework of American culture and its unique way of war.



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