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For the past half century, John Keegan, the greatest military historian of our time, has been returning to the scenes of America's most bloody and wrenching war to ponder its lingering conundrums: the continuation of fighting for four years between such vastly mismatched sides; the dogged persistence of ill-trained, ill-equipped, and often malnourished combatants; the effective absence of decisive battles among some two to three hundred known to us by name. Now Keegan examines these and other puzzles with a peerless understanding of warfare, uncovering dimensions of the conflict that have eluded earlier historiography. While offering original and perceptive insights into psychology, ideology, demographics, and economics, Keegan reveals the war's hidden shape--a consequence of leadership, the evolution of strategic logic, and, above all, geography, the Rosetta Stone of his legendary decipherments of all great battles. The American topography, Keegan argues, presented a battle space of complexity and challenges virtually unmatched before or since. Out of a succession of mythic but chaotic engagements, he weaves an irresistible narrative illuminated with comparisons to the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and other conflicts. The American Civil War is sure to be hailed as a definitive account of its eternally fascinating subject. From the Hardcover edition.
A fascinating guide to the history and historiography surrounding the Second World War.
The Face of Battle is military history from the battlefield: a look at the direct experience of individuals at the point of maximum danger. Without the myth-making elements of rhetoric and xenophobia, and breaking away from the stylized format of battle descriptions, John Keegan has written what is probably the definitive model for military historians. And in his scrupulous reassessment of three battles representative of three different time periods, he manages to convey what the experience of combat meant for the participants, whether they were facing the arrow cloud of Agincourt, the musket balls at Waterloo, or the steel rain of the Somme.
At once a grand tour of the battlefields of North America and an unabashedly personal tribute to the military prowess of an essentially unwarlike people, Fields of Battle spans more than two centuries and the expanse of a continent to show how the immense spaces of North America shaped the wars that were fought on its soil. of photos.
The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unprecedented ferocity, it abruptly ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Victorian era, unleashing such demons of the twentieth century as mechanized warfare and mass death. It also helped to usher in the ideas that have shaped our times--modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, radical thoughts about economics and society--and in so doing shattered the faith in rationalism and liberalism that had prevailed in Europe since the Enlightenment. With The First World War, John Keegan, one of our most eminent military historians, fulfills a lifelong ambition to write the definitive account of the Great War for our generation. Probing the mystery of how a civilization at the height of its achievement could have propelled itself into such a ruinous conflict, Keegan takes us behind the scenes of the negotiations among Europe's crowned heads (all of them related to one another by blood) and ministers, and their doomed efforts to defuse the crisis. He reveals how, by an astonishing failure of diplomacy and communication, a bilateral dispute grew to engulf an entire continent. But the heart of Keegan's superb narrative is, of course, his analysis of the military conflict. With unequalled authority and insight, he recreates the nightmarish engagements whose names have become legend--Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli among them--and sheds new light on the strategies and tactics employed, particularly the contributions of geography and technology. No less central to Keegan's account is the human aspect. He acquaints us with the thoughts of the intriguing personalities who oversaw the tragically unnecessary catastrophe--from heads of state like Russia's hapless tsar, Nicholas II, to renowned warmakers such as Haig, Hindenburg and Joffre. But Keegan reserves his most affecting personal sympathy for those whose individual efforts history has not recorded--"the anonymous millions, indistinguishably drab, undifferentially deprived of any scrap of the glories that by tradition made the life of the man-at-arms tolerable." By the end of the war, three great empires--the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman--had collapsed. But as Keegan shows, the devastation ex-tended over the entirety of Europe, and still profoundly informs the politics and culture of the continent today. His brilliant, panoramic account of this vast and terrible conflict is destined to take its place among the classics of world history.
The acclaimed author of The Face of Battle examines centures of conflict in a variety of diverse societies and cultures. "Keegan is at once the most readable and the most original of living military historians . . . A History of Warfare is perhaps the most remarkable study of warfare that has yet been written."--The New York Times Book Review.
'No war can be conducted successfully without early and good intelligence, ' wrote Marlborough, and from the earliest times commanders have sought knowledge of the enemy, his strengths and weaknesses, his dispositions and intentions. But how much effect, in the 'real time' of a battle or a campaign, can this knowledge have?In this magisterial new study, which will fascinate readers of both military and more general history, the author of A History of Warfare goes to the heart of a series of important conflicts to develop a powerful argument about intelligence in war. From the Napoleonic Wars to the sophisticated electronic warfare of the twenty-first century, John Keegan finds linking themes which lead to a compelling conclusion. His narrative sweep is enthralling, whether portraying the dilemmas of Nelson seeking Napoleon's fleet, Stonewall Jackson in the American Civil War, Bletchley as it seeks to crack Ultra during the Battle of the Atlantic, the realities of the secret war in the Falklands or the polymorphous intelligence issues of the contemporary fight against terrorism.
Author of the acclaimedThe Face of Battle, and, most recently,Intelligence in War, John Keegan now brings his extraordinary expertise to bear on perhaps the most controversial war of our time. The Iraq War is an urgently needed, up-to-date and informed study of the ongoing conflict. In exclusive interviews with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks, Keegan has gathered information about the war that adds immeasurably to our grasp of its causes, complications, costs and consequences. He probes the reasons for the invasion and delineates the strategy of the American and British forces in capturing Baghdad; he examines the quick victory over the Republican Guard and the more tenacious and deadly opposition that has taken its place. He then analyzes the intelligence information with which the Bush and Blair administrations convinced their respective governments of the need to go to war, and which has since been strongly challenged in both countries. And he makes clear that despite the uncertainty about weapons of mass destruction, regime change, and the use and misuse of intelligence, the war in Iraq is an undeniably formidable display of American power. The Iraq War is authoritative, timely and vitally important to our understanding of a conflict whose full ramifications are as yet unknown.
Illuminating the history of naval conflict as it has evolved from Nelson's day until our own, offering a dissection of four landmark sea battles, each featuring a different form of warship.
John Keegan, widely considered the greatest military historian of our time and the author of acclaimed volumes on ancient and modern warfare--including, most recently, The First World War, a national bestseller--distills what he knows about the why's and how's of armed conflict into a series of brilliantly concise essays.Is war a natural condition of humankind? What are the origins of war? Is the modern state dependent on warfare? How does war affect the individual, combatant or noncombatant? Can there be an end to war? Keegan addresses these questions with a breathtaking knowledge of history and the many other disciplines that have attempted to explain the phenomenon. The themes Keegan concentrates on in this short volume are essential to our understanding of why war remains the single greatest affliction of humanity in the twenty-first century, surpassing famine and disease, its traditional companions.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A history of various Greek/Helinistic period wars and concepts.
Refreshingly short and accurate biography.
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