The Soldier, the Builder & the Diplomat

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Cune Press, 2005 - History - 192 pages
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Contemporary readers, who wonder at the British and American knack for misguided adventure, will enjoy these three essays on Custer, the Titanic, and the onset of World War I. The book consists of rapier-like literary thrusts into the lives of General George Armstrong Custer, Thomas Andrews (the builder of the Titanic), and Edward Grey (British Foreign Secretary before World War I). However spectacular their failures, it's generally agreed that these men (or, in the case of Edward Grey, the men around them) could have avoided disaster except for arrogance -- a flaw that has long characterised the imperial ambition of leaders from both countries. One shudders to think where such a mentality will take us in a nuclear age. Schlesser's readable study is more than entertainment or scholarship, it is a plea for balance, probity, and reason in an era when a single fit of arrogance by a world leader can devastate hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings and imperil the very project of civilised human existence on this planet. It's difficult to overstate the importance of this unassuming book. Essays on the problem of pride and avoidable failure.
 

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Contents

Introduction
13
The Strange Ride of George Custer
19
The Short Happy Life of Thomas Andrews
49
The Last Man of the Nineteenth Century
85
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
97
Appendix
135
World War I
141
Asides
149
Titanic
160
World War I
177
Bibliography
183
The Author
192
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