Culture: Book: Subject
Profiles In Cowardice   (+5, -2)  [vote for, against]
Just as inspirational, but a better read.

I've wanted to read this book for awhile. A collection of stories about the great cowards and personal cowardly acts in Western history.
-- miggavin, Dec 16 2005

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee http://en.wikipedia...art_at_Wounded_Knee
[DrBob, Dec 16 2005]

[theircompetitor, Dec 16 2005]

The Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser.

<not the start of a list/>
-- ConsulFlaminicus, Dec 16 2005

"I laughed; I cried; I ... oh, who'm I kidding. I appeared as a footnote."
-- reensure, Dec 16 2005

This would most likely be written by politicians of one party about politicians of another party to explain why they didn't solve [particular social/military problem] with [particular favored solution].
-- shapu, Dec 16 2005

The good soldier Sjevk (or possibly Svejk), by Jaroslav Hasek.

Not sure whether he's really a coward, but it's a good book anyway.

[miasere], run-of-the-mill courage isn't that exciting either. It's the extreme acts of cowardice that I can see being quite entertaining - the sort of people who order their supply column to retreat, and end up crossing three continents.

A good starting point might be the Guinness Book of Military Blunders.
-- moomintroll, Dec 16 2005

Baked. 'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' (linky) is a catalogue of the cowardly betrayals and massacre of innocents carried out by the US Government against the native population.

After that you can move on to the list of backshooting murderers that Hollywood has lionised as iconic gunfighters in the Westerns.

Follow that with a history of the European expansion into Africa during the nineteenth century, with a quick sidetrip into the creation of concentration camps during the Boer War and then move swiftly on to the murder by firing squad of their own shell shocked troops by callous officers during the First World War and the mass drafting of civilian populations to die under a hail of artillery during both World Wars, the gassing of the Jews and anyone opposed to the Nazi regime in Germany and the deportation to Siberian labour camps of anyone who acted likewise in Soviet Russia. Not to mention the bombing of civilian populations throughout Europe by all sides and the atomic bombings of Japan.

Moving swiftly on to Vietnam we have the burning of villages and rape and murder of civilian populations by both sides plus the numerous South American, African, Middle-East and Asian dictators who 'disappeared' anyone who spoke out against them and continue to do so to this day.

Then of course there's the numerous terror attacks on civilian targets currently being carried out in various locations.

We also have the suppression of campaigners for workers rights, womens rights, black rights, gay rights and any other kind of right throughout the ages.

And then lastly there's the cold blooded murderers who prey on the innocent or the unaware or the just plain lost every day of every year.

This book doesn't sound like a very good read to me I'm afraid. (-)
-- DrBob, Dec 16 2005

Lets say you compile the nescessary stories and write the book, may I suggest, The Yellow Pages, as the title?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 16 2005

That's a masterpiece, moomintroll
-- theircompetitor, Dec 16 2005

I would argue that cowardice and betrayal are different subjects but that's another debate.

As for a start to this book, what about a collaboration of people that have fought off theives? Watching a face turn white when someone learns you are willing to fight for your money is priceless and satisfying.
-- The Acrimonious Obfuscator, Dec 17 2005

random, halfbakery