2 of the reviews section features books about Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance.
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Military history and history in general is one of my primary interests; here are some new and some good older books on historical topics that you might find interesting.
|Finally in trade paperback, this a wonderful collection of historical What ifs? What would have happened had the British soldier who had Washington in the sights of his Ferguson rifle pulled the trigger? What would have happened if Alexander had died younger than he did? Could Hitler have won WWII? If this kind of speculation fascinates you as much as it does me, this is a good book indeed, with contributions by some of the best military historians writing today. Victor Davis Hansons majestic essay on Salamis, Sir John Keegans look at WWII, Thomas Flemings speculations on the American Revolution...this book is full of interest. Very highly recommended.|
|The Western Way of War was Victor Davis Hansons first entry into the world of military history, and remains perhaps the most important book on Greek hoplite battle. It is well written and researched, relentlessly interesting, and exceptionally influential. After being out of print for a time, this new edition features an introduction by Sir John Keegan.|
|The Soul of Battle is a fascinating look at the generalship of democratic armies. Hanson focuses his study on Epimanondas, Sherman, and Patton and the great crusades of democratic peoples to smash the tyranny of Sparta, the injustice of the Confederacy, and the horror of Hitlers Third Reich. An exceptional work well worth close study; democracy will have to march out again to defeat tyranny and we should be ready and willing to do so, and understand why. Now also available in trade paperback!|
|The First World War by Sir John Keegan is his latest work, and is a fascinating look at that most confusing of conflicts. Keegans discussion of the origins of the war is especially illuminating.|
|The Face of Battle is the book that made Keegans name as a leading military historian of our time. His close study of the reality of infantry combat and the experience of common soldiers at Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme was a first in a field that had previously focused on generals and tactics.|
|The Mask of Command is my own personal favorite Keegan book. Keegan studies the evolution of military leadership through the personalities of Alexander the Great (Heroic Leadership), the Duke of Wellington (Anti-heroic), Ulysses S. Grant (Non-heroic) and Adolf Hitler (False Heroic) and then goes on to discuss the need of the nuclear era for Post-heroic commanders who refuse to take heroic poses and instead act with rationality and intelligence (i.e, not Dubya).|
|Anyone interested in Rome needs to treat themselves to Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. However, many will find the sheer size and scope of this vastly learned work intimidating. This is an excellent abridged edition of Gibbon taken mostly from the first three books of the complete work which focus primarily on the Western Roman Empire, with a few interesting selections from the latter part of the work. Not only is this is a good introduction to Gibbon, it makes a nicely portable copy. Gibbon was writing this at the time of the American Revolution, but it holds up very well today, and in addition is beautifully written.|
|The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius is a lighter read than Gibbon, but no less useful. Suetonius, who was a friend of Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, combined history and gossip in this fascinating, often scandalous collection of biographies of Romes first twelve emperors, from Julius Caesar to Domitian.|
|Unfortunately, much of Tacituss History has failed to come down to us. However, this book presents one of the most interesting surviving sections of the complete work, the story of the Year of Four Emperors during which, following the death of Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian contended for the throne of the Empire. Tacitus has some faultscharacters tend to pop up out of nowhere and then vanishbut the style of historical writing has changed a great deal since then.|
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