December 7, 2010
December 7, 2010
For the past half century, John Keegan, the greatest military historian of our time, has been returning to the scenes of America’s most bloody and wrenching war to ponder its lingering conundrums: the continuation of fighting for four years between such vastly mismatched sides; the dogged persistence of ill-trained, ill-equipped, and often malnourished combatants; the effective absence of decisive battles among some two to three hundred known to us by name. Now Keegan examines these and other puzzles with a peerless understanding of warfare, uncovering dimensions of the conflict that have eluded earlier historiography.
While offering original and perceptive insights into psychology, ideology, demographics, and economics, Keegan reveals the war’s hidden shape—a consequence of leadership, the evolution of strategic logic, and, above all, geography, the Rosetta Stone of his legendary decipherments of all great battles. The American topography, Keegan argues, presented a battle space of complexity and challenges virtually unmatched before or since. Out of a succession of mythic but chaotic engagements, he weaves an irresistible narrative illuminated with comparisons to the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and other conflicts.
The American Civil War is sure to be hailed as a definitive account of its eternally fascinating subject.
From the Hardcover edition.
Considered by many to be the preeminent military historian writing today, John Keegan here applies his best analytic and narrative skills to the war that is perhaps most written about but which still eludes a grand, satisfying explanation. Keegan provides astute assessments of the leaders on both sides; he examines the pitiful conditions of the soldiers and the awesome loss of life; and he considers the great role that geography played in determining the course of the conflict. While the last focus is not especially new--the various Union armies, after all, were named after the rivers with which they were associated--in Keegan's hand, this focus adds great interest and makes eminent sense, as the lay of the land connects leadership and the human experience to the larger canvas of American history.
- Genre: History
- Subgenre: United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
- Edition: Reprint
- Language: English
- Author: John Keegan
- Online Item #: 12762180
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 248-50-2834
- ISBN: 9780307274939
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported