A History of Warfare

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Vintage Books, 1993 - History - 432 pages
9 Reviews
In this encyclopedically learned and immensely gripping book, one of our foremost military historians demolishes the famous dictum that war is the continuation of policy by other means. On Easter Island, for example, rival factions exterminated one another in a ceaseless competition for the egg of a sooty tern. The Aztecs seem to have fought for nothing more than the captives that they slaughtered by the thousands. And what policy could possibly have informed the Gulf War, in which the United States and its allies destroyed the army of Saddam Hussein, only to leave Saddam himself securely in power? Analyzing centuries of conflict-in societies from the Amazon to the Balkans, waged by nomadic horsemen, peasant guerrillas, and superbly disciplined regiments-John Keegan unveils the deepest motives behind humanity's penchant for mass bloodshed. A History of Warfare is a masterpiece of military scholarship, irresistible in its style and terrifying in its implications.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keylawk - LibraryThing

Keegan, "A History of Warfare" (1994). A military historian with an anthropological bent, labels his sections "Stone", "Flesh", "Iron", and "Fire". From the first section, he asks "Why do Men Fight ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JeffV - LibraryThing

Eminent Military Historian John Keegan does not endeavor to give us a chronology of wars and battles -- that has been done many times over by lesser authors. Instead, he begins with a look Clausowitz ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

John Keegan was for many years senior lecturer in military history at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and has been a fellow at Princeton University and a visiting professor of history at Vassar College. He is the author of twenty books, including the acclaimed The Face of Battle and The Second World War. He lived in Wiltshire, England until his death in 2012.

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