The Book of War

ISBN 13: 9780670852994

The Book of War

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9780670852994: The Book of War

"The Fog of War Hides the Scene of Battle" and also muffles its sounds. Occasionally, however, the authentic voice of a combatant breaks through to recount what happens within the murk. Some of these voices come to us from the long-distant past, for war has been the most compelling of subjects since the earliest days of writing. Others are hot off the press. In either case, the account rendered always conveys the same elements: danger, fear, pain, courage and cowardice. Emotion and circumstances are altered, however, by time and geography. Modern warfare, conducted with precision weapons at long range, separates the combatants and hides them from each other. The illusion of the empty battlefield is one to which all contemporary warriors testify. An earlier breed saw each other face to face and fought with edged weapons. Modern battle can endure for weeks, even months. The conflict of earlier times was usually over within a few hours of daylight, leaving the exhausted victors to occupy a bloodstained ground and the defeated to fly, if they could, for their lives. This anthology collects such testimony from ancient and recent times, from the world of Greek antiquity to that of the late 20th century, from the Peloponnesian War to the Gulf War. The military practice of primitive peoples is as important to an understanding of warfare as is the strategy of the Blitzkrieg of 1939-41. The Aztec code of religious self-sacrifice is as significant as that of the chivalry of medieval knights. The "calvary revolution" of the first millennium BC transformed the dynamics of conquest as spectacularly as did the technology of the tank in the mid 20th century. John Keegan's collection of warrior testimony from the beginning of recorded time to our own age epitomizes the history of war.

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In this eclectic anthology of war writings, military historian John Keegan (author of The Face of Battle and The Second World War) has collected some of the best that has been thought and said about armed conflict over the course of 25 centuries. Keegan is especially interested in how war has evolved over time; his introduction is a brief history of this development, from the heroic age of individual combat to the horrific "total war" of the 20th century. He begins with a pair of 5th-century-B.C. excerpts from Thucydides and concludes with a British soldier's brief description of combat against Iraqi soldiers in the 1991 Gulf War. In between are selections by Julius Caesar, Davy Crockett, Victor Hugo, George Orwell, and many others. If there is a theme to this book, it may be the clash of cultures: what happens when different military traditions collide, such as when the Romans invaded Britain, the Muslim Turks besieged Malta, or General Custer and the 7th Cavalry faced the Sioux in Montana. He understandably gives only cursory attention to several wars--the U.S. Civil War, Korea, and Vietnam--and lingers a bit on his coverage of the First World War (which Keegan views as a key to interpreting the whole 20th century) and the Second World War. The selections themselves are continually exciting, and rarely predictable. There are even a few poems thrown in for good effect. The Book of War may focus on an awful subject ("The history of all forms of warfare is ... essentially inhumane," writes Keegan), but it is also full of awfully good writing. --John J. Miller

About the Author:

John Keegan, one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians, was for many years Senior Lecturer at Sandhurst, the British Royal Military Academy, and Defense Editor of the London Daily Telegraph. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Keegan is the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War (all available from Penguin).

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John Keegan
Verlag: Viking (1999)
ISBN 10: 0670852996 ISBN 13: 9780670852994
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Buchbeschreibung Viking, 1999. Hardback in Dust Wrapper. Please note that at 1Kg. this book will require additional postage outside of the UK. | Dust Wrapper over Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 9½" x 6¼". 492pp. Index. Bibliography. | First Edition (First Printing).From the preface: "This anthology has been designed to exemplify these contrasting military traditions. Many who read it will understandably be horrified by the record of inhumanity that the testimonies from the non-European world depict. The history of all forms of warfare is, however, essentially inhumane. That should be the message of this collection of warrior words from the European and non-European worlds." For more photos or information, use the «Ask Bookseller» button and I'll be pleased to help. The book is in stock and ships from the rustic nirvana of Peasedown St. John, near Bath, England from a long-established bookseller - guaranteed by my reputation and the UK Distance Selling Act. Remember! BUYING THIS BOOK means my Jack Russells get their supper! Condition :: Very Good+ - in Very Good+ DJ. Price Clipped. Artikel-Nr. 163792

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Keegan, John (Ed.):
Verlag: London: Viking (1999)
ISBN 10: 0670852996 ISBN 13: 9780670852994
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Buchbeschreibung London: Viking, 1999. 1. XIX, 492 S. Gr.-8° Ppbd. m. OU. Gutes Exemplar / Fine copy. Sprache: Englisch 880 gr. Artikel-Nr. 906355

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