The Mask of Command

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Penguin, 1988 - History - 368 pages
3 Reviews

John Keegan's brilliant look at the meaning of leadership

In The Mask of Command, John Keegan asks us to consider questions that are seldom asked: What is the definition of leadership? What makes a great military leader? Why is it that men, indeed sometimes entire nations, follow a single leader, often to victory, but with equal dedication also to defeat?

Dozens of names come to mind...Napoleon, Lee, Charlemagne, Hannibal, Castro, Hussein. From a wide array, Keegan chooses four commanders who profoundly influenced the course of history: Alexander the Great, the Duke of Wellington, Ulysses S. Grant and Adolph Hitler. All powerful leaders, each cast in a different mold, each with diverse results.

“The best military historian of our generation.” –Tom Clancy

“A brilliant treatise on the essence of military leadership.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Fascinating and enlightening… marked by great intellectual liveliness… Mr. Keegan knows how to bring fighting alive on the page.” –The New York Times






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User Review  - vguy - LibraryThing

readable and informative as Keegan always is. Odd to include Hitler in his set, who was out of his depth as commander and took half a world down with him, whereas the other three (Alexander ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

A certain part of military life is talking other people into risking their lives to accomplish the goals, worthy or unworthy of those who pay your salary. Of course there's an ideological element in ... Read full review

Contents

PreHeroic Leadership
1
Alexander the Great and Heroic Leadership
13
The AntiHero
92
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

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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