The Face Of Battle: A Study Of Agincourt, Waterloo And The Somme by John Keegan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I debated between being objective about this nonfiction or just reviewing it based on my gut feeling.
In the end, I had to give it a 5 for good analysis and its own bright objectivity.
But for myself, I have to wonder why I read military history and why, after each time I do it, I feel sullied and unclean. If I leave enjoyment out of it, I did learn a lot about the details of these battles and the author did his very best to bring in all sides of the battles, not just what-ifs and strategy, but a lifetime of critical thinking.
I really appreciated that. And, a point-of-fact, I would absolutely recommend this book for all military buffs and history buffs. He's not only pretty exhaustive and wise about the battles, but he has a healthy dose of self-doubt tempered by a lot of experience. But not of battle. He makes it very clear he cannot understand battle from direct knowledge. But more importantly, neither can almost anyone. :)
But, of course, any history is going to rest or fall on its details and analysis. Fortunately, this one comes through with flying colors. :)
But again... I really didn't *enjoy* this text all that much. Be it mood or distaste, I generally don't go out of my way to read about war and for that reason alone I had a hard time liking it. And yet I can still appreciate a good dose of new knowledge, so it balances out.
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