- Tapa blanda: 528 páginas
- Editor: Penguin Group (1 de noviembre de 2000)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0140296557
- ISBN-13: 978-0140296556
The Book of War: 25 Centuries of Great War Writing (Inglés) Tapa blanda – nov 2000
Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
Acclaimed military historian John Keegan's anthology of war writing from 25 centuries of battle
In The Book of War, John Keegan marshals a formidable host of war writings to chronicle the evolution of Western warfare through the voice of the most eloquent participants--from Thucydides' classic account of ancient Greek phalanx warfare to a blow-by-blow description of ground fighting against the Iraqi troops in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Keegan gathers more than eighty selections, including Caesar's Commentaries on the Roman invasion of Britain; the French Knight Jehan de Wavrin at the battle of Agincourt; Davy Crockett in the war against the Creek; Wellington's dispatch on Waterloo; Hemingway after Caporetto; and Ernie Pyle at Normandy.
"The best military historian of our generation." -Tom Clancy
"A monumental piece of literary military history." -Chicago Tribune
A brilliantly edited and comprehensive anthology."--"The New York Times Book Review."
Biografía del autor
Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan (1934-2012), was one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians and was for many years the senior lecturer at Sandhurst (the British Royal Military Academy) and the defense editor of the "Daily Telegraph" (London). Keegan was 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," and was a fellow at the Royal Society of Literature.
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The book is a great collection of some of the greatest war writings available, and that's the best way to describe them. Mr. Keegan introduces each "article" with short tellings of the background of each piece. These short intros are worth their weight in gold, as they are clear, honest, and detailed. Small gems for the reader, that's the best way to describe them.
Now, after each of these gems comes a tale, epic, letter, or poem, yes poem! "In Flanders fields the poppies grow.." or how about "Into the valley of death rode the 600..." How refreshing to revisit these childhood memories while exploring such dramatic tales of combat, fear, or war. Truly remarkable. I couldn't put the book down for fear of missing the next literary jewel.
Now let's talk about Victor Hugo (in War?) or George Orwell's terrible wound described by himself. There's also Davy Crockett, and my favorite, the stunning Julius Caesar. When Caesar writes an after-action report, he gets the point across. Also read about the soldier lost in the WWI trenches, the A-bomb aftermath, and Ernie Pyle's report from Normandie. The famous "Thin Red Line" of Balaclava is presented in 1st person reality that is awesome in it's readability.
So in other words, this is a termondous book. Mr. Keegan, you have done us all a great service by 1) your choice of the fine materials you included, and 2) by your excellent preparation of each for the reader. I'm a believer now, and my Keegan section will soon be growing...Thank you.
The choices are excellent and some of the works are not easily accessible in other forms. I have tried (with no success) to obtain copies of the some of the original books, many of which are out of print. Many of the images are unforgettable.
Readers will find many familiar names such as Agincourt, Waterloo, Gallipoli, the Somme, Saigon, and the Gulf War. Yet many of the testimonies in Keegan's anthology will be unfamiliar to even professional readers. Hence, Keegan provides a valuable service for many by presenting a heuristic glimpse into the military lives of lesser-known or studied groups such as the Gurkhas, Boers, Cossacks, and the last Prussian cavalry unit. Indeed, it is likely that few have read accounts of warfare by the knight of an Islamic Caliphate, nor a French priest's testimony of an attack by Iroquois Indians. These are rare glimpses, further exemplified by the harrowing experiences of an 18th century militiaman captured by Indian warriors, and a German U-boat officer, whose service suffered a 70% death rate, the highest of any category of military unit during the Second World War. Throughout, Keegan refuses to whitewash the hypocrisies of his protagonists. For instance, he notes how Davy Crockett could impugn the military practices of the Creeks but overlook those of his Indian allies. Similarly, Wellington's English soldiers took their compensation in plunder, female virtue, and the lives of French civilians.
Particularly praiseworthy is Keegan's insertion of some of Western history's most haunting poetry. Included are Thomas Hardy's, 'In The Time of The Breaking of Nations,' Thomas Campbell's 'Hohenlinden,' John Scott of Amwell's magnificent 18th century anti-war poem, 'The Drum,' and Wilfred Owen's opus magnum, 'Anthem for Doomed Youth.' Moreover, Keegan's book is just as valuable for what it does not include. He refrains from including a warmed-over serving of Clausewitz or SunTzu, as well as sparing us a currently fashionable diatribe on the supposed leadership qualities of history's mass murderers. Likewise, we must not overlook the fact that Keegan includes the testimonies of both victors and vanquished, a fact making the work all the more alive and didactic.
There is little to criticize in this outstanding anthology. As only so much poetry could be included, I would have dropped one of Sassoon's two poems and added one from an era subsequent to World War I. The universal lessons of Goethe's 'Campaign in France' (1792), a poignant portrayal of war as seen through the innocent suffering of horses would have underscored much. But such considerations take nothing away from Keegan's present anthology, which remains a paragon of military anthological writing.
Keegan has a good sense of which stories to choose. They are full of emotion and tidbits of historical trivia. Keegan chooses to include the Crusades, but from the Turkish perspective. He includes a memoir of Erwin Rommel, but it was written as a young infantry officer in World War I and not as the famous tank general of WW II. Some stories are more interesting than others. Still each offers a unique, personal glimpse of war.