SOLDIERS: Great Stories of War and Peace

Book number: 91638 Product format: Hardback Author: MAX HASTINGS

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Bibliophile price £8.00
Published price £25


Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome's Captain of the Gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon's marshals, Ulysses S. Grant, George S. Patton, Sir John Moore at Corunna, Michael Strachan's vignette of Colonel J. Enoch Powell in 1943 in North Africa and Rory Stewart's 2004 experience of Iraq may come fresh. Max Hastings has drawn upon writers and narratives that have stirred his imagination over a lifetime. Modern scholars scorn for instance C. V. Wedgwood's writings on the English Civil Wars, those of Cecil Woodham-Smith about the Crimea, and Barbara Tuchman's Big Books. All were brilliant narrative historians who have been his faithful companions for 60 years. Likewise he has included several of Elizabeth Longford's vignettes of Wellington. Her account of the June 1815 Duchess of Richmond's ball before Waterloo, that glittering 'revelry by night' is 'more vivid than that of any other writer I know, save Byron and Thackeray.' Dr Johnson quoted a French savant who noted that 'There are many puerilities in war'. Most of those who fight are young, and thus the spirit of armies is distilled from a mingling of soldiers' physical vigour and intellectual immaturity with their licences to kill and opportunities to die. Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales which rings the changes through the centuries. The nearly 350 stories illustrate vividly what it was like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female 'abosi' fighters of Dahomey, and heroic ambulance drivers of WW1. Max Hastings also shows compassion for the victims, above all civilians. 517pp, 16 pages of colour and other illus.

Additional product information

ISBN 9780008454227

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