What's the cover photo?
Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration, the cover photo is of the release of U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam, including future Senator John McCain. We thought the photo would serve as an appropriate reminder to users of the Manual of the human impact of compliance with - and violations of - the law of war.
Full citation: Photograph of John McCain After Being Released as Prisoner of War; General Black-and-White Photographic File of the Department of Navy, 1958-1981; General Records of the Department of Navy, 1941-2004, Record Group 241; National Archives at College Park, MD, ARC identifier 1633553.
Does this edition have the same page numbers as the original?
Under common citation rules, such as the Bluebook, citations should properly reference sections in the Manual in order to be more precise (see, e.g., Bluebook Rule 3.3). Due to the expanded length of the December 2016 electronic version of the Manual our Third Edition departs from the pagination in the original in order to keep the entire resource within one manageable volume.
Isn't the Manual available for free?
In electronic form, yes. The Department of Defense released the initial Manual in June 2015 in pdf format (an archived version of the original version is available here) and promulgated a a revised, "updated" version of the Manual in May 2016, which was publicly released in July 2016 (an archived version of that version is available here). The most recent version of the Manual was published in electronic format in December 2016 (an archived version of this current version is available here)
Our practitioner edition is for users who prefer an old school print version either on its own or to use in tandem with the electronic version (a technique we have found useful for moving back and forth through such a dense resource with frequent cross references).
And while you can certainly print out the 1200 pages on your own, wouldn't you prefer a handsome, properly-sized Manual with a handy thumb index and pages you can dog-ear?
About Lieber & Sons
Lieber & Sons is veteran owned and operated. After learning that the Government Printing Office would not produce a print version of the Manual, ours is a small, artisanal effort to fill that void for the benefit of old-timers who prefer hardcopy and for long-term preservation on library shelves. Our intent was to give the historic publication of the Manual the presentation and respect it deserves (perhaps with a little splash of style) and we hope that we have succeeded.