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    The Art of War (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works)
    by Samuel B. Griffith
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1971)
    list price: $9.95 -- our price: $9.95
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    Editorial Review

    The Art of War is the Swiss army knife of military theory--pop out a different tool for any situation.Folded into this small package are compact views on resourcefulness, momentum, cunning, the profit motive, flexibility, integrity, secrecy, speed, positioning, surprise, deception, manipulation, responsibility, and practicality.Thomas Cleary's translation keeps the package tight, with crisp language and short sections. Commentaries from the Chinese tradition trail Sun-tzu's words, elaborating and picking up on puzzling lines. Take the solitary passage: "Do not eat food for their soldiers."Elsewhere, Sun-tzu has told us to plunder the enemy's stores, but now we're not supposed to eat the food?The Tang dynasty commentator Du Mu solves the puzzle nicely, "If the enemy suddenly abandons their food supplies, they should be tested first before eating, lest they be poisoned." Most passages, however, are the pinnacle of succinct clarity: "Lure them in with the prospect of gain, take them by confusion" or "Invincibility is in oneself, vulnerability is in the opponent." Sun-tzu's maxims are widely applicable beyond the military because they speak directly to the exigencies of survival. Your new tools will serve you well, but don't flaunt them. Remember Sun-tzu's advice: "Though effective, appear to be ineffective." --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (239)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
    I'm not really a student of military tactics, so I can't judge this work on those merits.From what I understand from the other reviews, and from the ravings of enthusiasts that I have heard, this book is one of the more important books covering the topic.This particular edition was interesting to me because there were a few examples of various applications of Sun Tzu's writings in actual battles from Stonewall Jackson to Hannibal given in the form of notes (I assume by Giles).Since I am more interested in historical events, than in strategy, this helped me understand the fine prose of the writer, even if I am not quite able to apply any of his "art" to my everyday life.I'm certain that a student of strategy would appreciate this work, as would people who are interested in Chinese history.I fail to see how it could be applicable to a corporate environment, but once again, that's not really my forte.I did love the concise method of the author, the easy to follow philosophies intertwined with the codified systems, and the colorful grace in which the subject was handled.The Introduction to this edition was also most insightful, and gives the reader an idea of what kind of man the author was.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not an instruction book for ass-whoopin'
    It is interesting to note that all of the readers see this as a text on war, and how to beat your enemies.The first part of the book should be a leson to all of the war-mongers out there, that is If You Go To War You Have Already Lost.The consequences to your own people and soldiers and even the land must be counted for years after the battle is done.Sun-Tzu explains this well, and proceeds to explain how to wage a war causing the minimum amount of damage and suffering.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good price, but not the complete Giles translation
    This edition of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" (by Sunzi, et al) is the classic translation by Lionel Giles.For the price, it is a great buy, but it is not the complete Giles translation.In the full work, throughout the text, Giles included commentary by various ancient writers as well as his own explanations and clarifications of Sun Tzu's statements.

    Lionel Giles was a curator of the British Museum, in charge of Oriental printed Books and Manuscripts.In that position, he was the world's leading authority on ancient Chinese writing, having read and analyzed more material than perhaps anyone who ever lived. Not including Giles's commentary makes this a rather bare-bones book, or actually a booklet.This volume does, however, overcome the major objection to Giles' annotated work which was that the commentary tended to muddle the flow of Sun Tzu's expression.By stripping away the commentary, it leaves a text so clean that it is almost poetry.

    Unfortunately this almost poetic monologue can be interpreted to mean almost anything the reader wishes it to mean.To more nearly understand what Sun Tzu was attempting with his essay requires the kind of in-depth scholarship that Giles included in the original imbedded commentary.Without the accompanying detailed explanations, the bare translation is very limited.

    To overcome both objections to the various editions of "The Art of War" you should consider also buying a second copy of the Giles translation that contains the complete commentary.Another alternative would be to get the 2005 edition that contains both versions in one volume: "The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Special Edition." ... Read more

    Isbn: 0195014766
    Subjects:  1. Early works to 1800    2. Eastern - General    3. Military    4. Military - General    5. Military Science    6. Military art and science    7. Philosophy    8. Technology    9. Other prose: classical, early & medieval    10. Warfare & Defence   


    On War
    by Carl von Clausewitz, Michael Eliot Howard, Peter Paret
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 October, 1976)
    list price: $95.00 -- our price: $81.44
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    Reviews (42)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor
    "Buyer Beware!" The Penguin edition of On War is abridged and is missing Chapters Five, Six, and Seven (actually Books Five, Six, and Seven). The Princeton edition and the Everyman edition are edited by Peter Paret and Michael Howard and are complete and unexpurgated. For some strange reason, the reviews of the Everyman edition of On War and the Penguin edition are combined giving readers the idea that reviewers are discussing one edition when they are actually talking about another. The only thing the Penguin edition has going for it is that it is cheaper, so it might be useful for college students taking a course during 1 semester. Otherwise, get the Everyman edition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Diplomacy By Other Means
    Carl Von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian aristocrat who served as an officer during the Napoleanic Wars and who began writing this treatise on warfare upon the conclusion of the conflict.Although primarily philosophical, Clausewitz' efforts are to explain the nature and the dynamics of war.Unlike Sun-Tzu's "The Art of War" which is primarily a work of maxims or dictums, Clausewitz tried to put such concepts into a theoretical and empirical framework.

    This edition does a fine job at clarifying the historical context in which Clausewitz was writing his work as well as what issues he was trying to address.Clausewitz never found his works to be ready for publication but his wife had them published shortly after his death.One can see Clausewitz' efforts to categorize his concepts were strongly influenced by Emmanuel Kant's philosophy. This factor,in addition to his work being mostly rough drafts, can make Clausewitz a difficult writer to follow.

    Clausewitz' most important and relevant concepts to the world today would be his "Books" 1-4 and 8 which deal with the theorical and philosophical aspects of war: his most famous phrase being that war is the execution of a state's diplomatic policies by other means (i.e. organized military force.)The objective of war is to make the enemy do your will (ideally with unrestricted force) which is to make him surrender unconditionally.The question then being who has the means and methods to put those principles into effect successfully.Clausewitz then goes into the concepts of leadership and strategy that are important in winning a battle or a war.Clausewitz' remaining works on offense, defense, and military forces are less relevant as they are more products of the Napoleanic War: their tactical and strategic insights are of limited use in the context of modern mechanized warfare.

    This is a great edition as it is accompanied by a very detailed preface and introductory essays that clarify Clausewitz' convoluted manuscripts.The essays bring his work into modern perspective and discuss its important contributions to modern political and military thinking.I strongly recommend this edition and translation over other works as the reader will simply get more bang for their buck compared to publications by Penguin or others.

    1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS EDITION OF ON WAR!!!
    On War is an incredible work, but the Penguin Classics edition is terrible - the translation was done by an editor who was openly hostile to Clausewitz, something to do with Kissinger (whom our editor detested) being a Clausewitz fan.There are entire sections that are specifically translated in ways that make Clausewitz look bad, and edits to the same effect.

    I highly suggest that you read this book - but read the Everyman's or Princeton version - those editions have the Peter Paret translation and are far superior in every way.The Everyman's edition in particular is fantastic - hardcover, elegant, and only a few dollars more than Penguin's steaming pile of excrement. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0691056579
    Sales Rank: 207261
    Subjects:  1. History    2. History - General History    3. Military    4. Military - Strategy    5. Military Science    6. Military art and science    7. War    8. War And Peace    9. European History    10. History / Military / Strategy    11. Political Science and International Relations   


    Strategy : Second Revised Edition
    by Hart B. H. Liddell
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (30 March, 1991)
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
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    Reviews (37)

    4-0 out of 5 stars uninspiring as a history, provoking as a book on theory
    I apologize in advance for my lack of brevity, but to be fair to the author I feel that I must analyze this book at length.
    While somewhat unimpressed by Hart's biography of Scipio Africanus, Hart's enviable reputation and the praise he garnered from some of our century's greatest generals encouraged me to give Strategy a chance. At first it looked like another disappointment, but I have come to appreciate this as a truly worthwhile book.
    The bad first:The opening section of this book is an attempt by Hart to trace the entire history of Western warfare and demonstrate that in each era of history the indirect approach has worked better than direct assaults.For 143 pages he makes this point over and over again without adding any more detail.I quickly began to feel that he was oversimplifying events, and several times he seems to make very tenuous stretches between events and his theories.At other times it feels like he is attempting to stretch events to fit his theories when there is an insufficiently strong connection.He also seems to have an inadequate grasp of some of the historical periods.His knowledge of the American Civil War seemed a bit piecemeal to me, and his assertion that McClellan's indirect approach during the Peninsular campaign failed due to Lincoln's refusal to increase McClellan's forces does not match well with what I have heard from other sources, which blame McClellan's failure on his own hesitations.
    After this section Hart enters into the period of the World Wars.Here he truly starts to shine.The campaigns are described in much greater detail and readers are treated to much better examples and explanations than previously.At last his theories can be envisioned and we hear something more detailed than the monotonous (if correct) repitition of the phrase "indirect approach."
    After this excellent analysis of the World Wars, Hart moves on to discuss his theories.Here at last is the brilliance that had been promised.As irritated as I was with his history, his abstract writings were beautiful, concise, and thought-provoking.He is even-handed, imaginative, and rather than the over-simplification that I criticize him for in his earlier chapters he gives excellent and informative explanation.Of particular merit is his discussion of the limitations of Clausewitz (as commonly interpreted).
    His final chapter discusses guerilla warfare and raises some fascinating questions about the downside of encouraging guerilla warfare against your enemies.While I think Hart might have erred on the side of caution here, the points he raises all have great merit and the fact that US-funded guerillas in Afghanistan later became a threat to the US bears out his warnings.My one criticism of this chapter is that it feels unfinished; he does not develop both sides of the argument and he does not suggest measures to help with the problems that he foresees.
    On the whole, I find Hart to be an uninspiring historian but a brillian strategist and highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in grasping the true art of military matters.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Belisarius said it Best!
    I have an original edition of this book and found it useful to read at odd moments.As a naval oficer and one-time World History teacher, I found the early parts of the book fascinating and useful.And by the time Hart reaches his discussion of the age of Justinian and the re-conquest of the Roman Empire by Belisarius, one really has learned quite a bit about Western Civilization and its war history.

    The chapter on Belisarius should be committed to memory by all of the current administration's strategic advisors should, because it was Belisarius who developed the Byzintine Empires strategy of winning wars by not "fighting" them.

    Belisarius realized that a defeated Roman Empire could re-emerge as a great threat to Constantinople, as could the re-energized Persian Empire and the numerous babarian states surrounding Byzantium.And even with its great position as a world culture and trading capital, neither Justinian nor his empire could afford to engage every threat directly.Therefore, surrogates, feints and his age's version of "gunboat diplomacy" was much more cost effective.In fact Belisarius was one of the most effective generals of all time, even though his actual field leadership experience in battle was relatively limited.

    (As an aside -- I would not be surprised if Belisarius was studied vigorously by every Soviet general who ever served.It seems that even though their government carried out a flawed political ideal, their strategies definitely articulated many of Belisarius's military ideas.)

    3-0 out of 5 stars You better reaaaally like military history
    The book is good. Personally i'd give it 4 stars, but because i'm thinking of the general public i'll give it 3 stars. My complains are that the maps are absolutely necessary to understanding the subject matter yet almost 100% impossible to read. The maps are so hard to read i can't even tell if the cities mentioned are on it or not.

    The strategy is extremely detailed. This is almost more of a reference book to military strategy than anything else. Forget what Hannibal did vs Scipio? Open the book, "Oh yeah, now i remember". Although you can read it without any knowledge of the battles, as I did, you may get annoyed at the fact that the author hardly ever even bothers to mention which side generals belong to. You will be told that Prussia and Russia are at war (a totally made up example) and it will tell you about 2 generals that are fighting each other, but you won't know which one belongs to which side. This is why it is more of a reference manual than an amateur book.

    Another BIG complaint that i haven't noticed others mention so far is that the author seems to have a HUUUUGE problem with proper pronoun usage. Specifically, there were way too many times where I felt like i could not tell which side was performing the action i was reading about because the general was ambiguous.

    But othere than these complaints, i really enjoyed the book. I felt like i really learned a lot from it and would suggest it to anyone who is interested in military history as hardcore as i am. I specifically loved reading about Belisarius, who i never heard about before this book who, after reading about him, became my favorite general of all time. If you go to your local bookstore at least rip that chapter out of it because i think that EVERYONE would enjoy it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0452010713
    Sales Rank: 38400
    Subjects:  1. History - Military / War    2. History: World    3. Military - Strategy    4. Military history    5. Strategy    6. Business & Economics / General   


    Maurice's Strategikon: Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy
    by George T. Dennis
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 2001)
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $18.95
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding resource on Late Roman/Byzantine strategy
    This is a beautifully produced translation of the Strategikon, a military manual attributed to the eastern Roman emperor Maurice and thought to have been written sometime between A.D. 580 and 600. Packed full of the accumulated wisdom of a thousand years of Hellenistic and Roman experience in warfare, the Strategikon was meant to be a primer for the novice general--roughly the Western equivalent to Sun Tzu's "Art of War."

    Simply put, the Strategicon is a gold mine of historical data on the Roman army of the late 6th century. It is of particular interest because this period marks a time when Roman power had made its last vain attempt to regain authority over the Western provinces of the Empire, and was now undergoing a period of contraction and collapse. The Strategikon describes an army whose core is no longer the heavy infantry of the early Roman Principate, but armored cavalry lancers and archers. It is a time when Greek was fast becoming the predominant language in Roman society as a whole, while vestiges of Latin remained in the jargon of the army. The legion of old was replaced by the meros, the centurion by the hekatontarch.

    The Strategikon records many aspects of the Roman army life at this time, including: induction of new recruits, description of ranks and responsibilities, formation of units, drills, rules, punishments, instructions on marching through enemy territory, foraging for food, and the set-up of fortified camps. It is rich in advice for the prospective general when battling against the various enemies of the Empire, from the Persians, to the Slavs, to the Avars and Goths. Perhaps most interesting of all, it contains several detailed diagrams for the order of battle of a Late Roman/Early Byzantine army of various sizes and configurations. It also gives a great deal of advice on how to defeat the enemy via guile, deception, misinformation, ambush, concealed traps, etc.

    All in all, the Strategikon is a source that can not be neglected for the scholar of the Late Roman or Byzantine army. The University of Pennsylvania Press is to be congratulated for making the work available in such an accessible and attractively-produced volume.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent contemporary guide to Medieval Byzantine warfare.
    Long attributed to the Byzantine Emperor Maurice, the "Strategikon" became the practical handbook for Byzantine army organization, covering everything from basic training to tactical planning against the armies of different nations and to basic strategy and diplomacy.

    A young Byzantine man of good birth was expected to learn from childhood how to use the bow, ride a horse, then do both, while also training to fight on foot with sword, and then train to do it all in armor, and be capable of making long rides or long marches in full kit before being deemed fully qualified for service in the army.

    Although heavily dependent upon mercenary forces, the Byzantines did not forget the lessons of the latter Western Roman Empire -- along with the mercenaries, the Byzantines established a hard core of well-trained native soldiers who acted as a unifying force around which the mercenaries gathered.

    The "Strategikon" gives detailed marching orders for a variety of column types, orders of battle, the fighting styles of different enemies of the Byzantines, etc.It is this detail which helps the textual critics to analyze whether or not the Emperor Maurice himself wrote the book, or if it was written at his request, or under his dictation.Whoever the author, it is undoubted that he was a skilled tactician and an experienced veteran officer of high rank.In any case, "Strategikon" was for generations one of THE handbooks of military theory for the Byzantines, one which enabled them to maintain their independence (even in exile) for centuries after the book was written, and one which still has value for "Maurice's" comments on the need to train recruits thoroughly in ALL of the types of fighting which they might need to do.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth translation of a singular milestone in military texts
    This is my first exposure to Maurice's handbook, so I cannot write a critical review of Mr. Dennis' work. Absent my ability to critique the translation, I give the book five stars as a combined score for Mr. Dennis and the long-departed Roman author.

    Mr. Dennis' translation is very readable and smooth. The glossarywas valuable while reading, and the index has been useful as I'm going over some specific topics again. The introductory material provided enough tutorial that I could enjoy the text without confusion. I appreciated the footnotes that give the Latin commands for directing troops. I find the "Bibliographical Notes" more useful than the typical stark list of references.

    The only thing that I could really wish for are footnotes detailing variants in the surviving texts. While that would satisfy my curiosity, it could serve only as a distraction for those not interested in minutiae. One can't mark the book down for personal quirks. :-)

    As for the text itself, it's a fascinating journey through the mind of a seasoned Roman general. Written to train the Empire's top military leaders, the well-organized handbook presents the material thoroughly without repetition. The plain, no-nonsense language keeps the material accessible to the non-erudite. The fact that it influenced warfare for hundreds of subsequent years comes as no surprise. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0812217721
    Sales Rank: 80015
    Subjects:  1. Ancient - General    2. History    3. History - Military / War    4. History: World    5. Medieval    6. Military - General    7. Military - Strategy   


    Book of Five Rings : The Classic Guide to Strategy
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (28 May, 1988)
    list price: $9.99 -- our price: $8.99
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    Editorial Review

    To learn a Japanese martial art is to learn Zen, and although you can't do so simply by reading a book, it sure does help--especially if that book is The Book of Five Rings. One of Japan's great samurai sword masters penned in decisive, unfaltering terms this certain path to victory, and like Sun Tzu's The Art of War it is applicable not only on the battlefield but also in all forms of competition. Always observant, creating confusion, striking at vulnerabilities--these are some of the basic principles. Going deeper, we find suki, the interval of vulnerability, of indecisiveness, of rest, the briefest but most vital moment to strike. In succinct detail, Miyamoto records ideal postures, blows, and psychological tactics to put the enemy off guard and open the way for attack. Most important of all is Miyamoto's concept of rhythm, how all things are in harmony, and that by working with the rhythm of a situation we can turn it to our advantage with little effort. But like Zen, this requires one task above all else, putting the book down and going out to practice. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (90)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Martial Arts--but that's it
    This is a wonderful book on swordsmanship.It's not about strategy.Strategy is very high level (there are three levels of warfare: strategic, operational, and tactical).This book is about tactics.Strategy is how to win a potential war from a national level; operational refers to how an area commander (e.g. General Schwartzkoff) fights a theater; tactics is how you take a hill or defend your ship.I've got tons of experience in program management, have published articles on management, have scientific degrees and an MBA, and I fail to see how this is a management book.It seems like a HUGE stretch to me.The rating, unfortunately, seems to depend on what one expects from the book.I expected something that would be strategically useful (or at least operationally) from a management perspective.Sun Tzu's "Art of War" (one of my favorite books and far better, I think, than von Clauswitz) certainly qualifies.This book does not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not influential in his own time, but who cares?!

    Musashi's now-famous 'Book of Five Rings' is simply not the most influential sword-fighting book written in Feudal Japan. The most important book on Japanese swordsmanship, and the text of the Shogunate's own selected shool of swordsmanship is 'The Sword and the Mind': available as a translation by Hiroaki Sato. Musashi had a very personal and unique style of fighting involving the long and short swords used together. Quite possibly his style developed through the influence of his father, who was an expert in the jitte: a parrying weapon held in the left hand. Even if wielding the long sword by itself, he recommends holding it only in one hand, and developing the strength to do so: he mentions how often you will have to grab enemy spears or other objects with your left hand while fighting, and how holding a sword in two hands limits your sword's movement.Musashi was fully devoted to swordsmanship, and it seems as if he spent all day every day of his life swinging his swords about: no wonder no one could match him! Musashi's main principles are: 1) Train as much as possible 2) Always be on the attack, and turn every defence into an attack 3) Do unexpected strange things to confuse the opponent 4) Attack while the opponent is in the middle of doing something else such as taking a step or breathing etc 5) keep yourself relaxed while fighting 6) Train to achieve complete control of movement. There are lots of little useful anecdotes he tells us about, such as how to keep the sun at your back and thus in the opponent's face. He also gives us a window into 17th Century battles concerning the benefits and detriments of the various weapons and so on. What clearly rings through the entire book is that this is the work of someone who is intimate to an incredible degree with the movements of the sword and the body. A great deal of his strategy involves timing and rhythms: catching the opponent at just the right moment. There is no doubt that these principles are of the utmost importance in winning any kind of sport; however, they are very simple principles and really depend on the swordsman having an incredible amount of skill and training which gives him enough freedom of movement and acute sense of timing to carry them out. One can sense the love Musashi has of fighting and the thrill he gets at his feeling of superiority at winning. However, Japan was not as impressed with his style as he was. It was the two-handed style outlined in 'The Sword and the Mind' that became the standard for samurai. I am not a duellist who's life is on the line, so I am not in a position to muse about why the preference remained for a two-handed grip, but certainly having more control of the blade, more speed, and a longer sword must have been factors. So, even though Musashi was undefeatable, he became so using apparently inferior weapons. While this is all the more impressive, it also means that his style is defective in its most basic element: its weapons! I should probably add here that Musashi clearly was acquainted with literature, and the fact that he was trying to immortalize himself through his book is obvious on every page. He was a great artist too, and his paintings and sculptures have been prized ever since he created them. He wanted to remain the best swordsman after his death, and this book was conceived as his means to that end. There is a great deal to be sure to be learned from this work - it is quite possibly the best book ever written on hand to hand combat, and it is very well organized. I should add too that where Musashi speaks of large-scale military manoeuvers he is speaking from experience, since he fought in and commanded in several battles. We however must remember that in his own time and later his style of two swords hardly had any students - and there are no fencers from his Nito school that ever became famous. While his very seemingly-practical 'hands-on' approach to swordsmanship appeals to us impatient moderns, the deeply introspective, psychological mind-games of Munenori's "The Sword and the Mind" appealed to the samurai of the Edo period.However, the samurai of that period took on the role of civil servants and their role as warriors became less and less important, so practical advice on winning battles such as Musashi gives seemed less relevant to them than spiritual cultivation.It is really a miracle that Japan's greatest samurai actually wrote a book telling us how to become as great a fighter as himself!This book is a guide to success in martial arts, and it will give your martial arts knowledge a touch of 'class', since this book is a true classic of the best kind: if you can quote Musashi in your teaching, it can only look good for you!I ought to note that Thomas Cleary's edition of the "Book of Five Rings" also contains the entire "Sword and the Mind" of Munenori, so Cleary's book would be ideal to buy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like poetry it suggests more than it says
    Okay, so I really have no clue as to what compelled me to buy this book.I hate to admit it but it looked "pretty" and it looked "historical," so I got it.I also love the Japanese film classics starring ToshirĂ´ Mifune as the ultimate samurai warrior.Many of them illustrate a combination of charm, sophistication, humor, even comedy, with violence, ruthlessness, and arrogance.The comparative lack of graphic bloodiness tends to focus the viewer on the human dynamics and art of the situation, and while some of these classics have been translated by the Hollywood film industry for Western tastes, what transpires still has a "foreign" feel.One sees the action and senses that something going on here is different, uncomfortable.Upon reading a few paragraphs of the Book of Five Rings : The Classic Guide to Strategy, I understood why.

    For one thing, I had not understood that the character in the samurai collection that Mifune had been portraying had actually been an historic individual living in a unique period of Japanese history.Why I should have been surprised, I don't know, since the exploits of the likes of Pat Garret, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holiday became the basis for a good deal of 19th and 20th Century pulp fiction, TV series, and movies in the United States.In fact, the period in Japanese history that the translator describes sounds not unlike the "Wild West."The sod busters and the ranchers have made their peace, leaving hundreds of gunmen unemployed.The lucky ones find work as lawmen while the unlucky wander the country looking to enhance their reputations by lethalconfrontations to see who's "fastest on the draw."The winner may ultimately find a job as a peace keeper; the loser finds a spot on boot hill.In the case of the American western, the contestants use guns;in the case of the Japanese samurai, they use swords and other equipment.Still there seems something more to it. The something more, I think, is a philosophy, a school, an etiquette, even an art that leaves the Western mind a little uncomfortable.

    With some of the techniques of sword work and battle strategy, I think that as Musashi himself informs the reader, it is very difficult to "write" how to do a mechanical task.One can only convey the "feeling" that performing such a task has for the expert writer on the subject.In modern times this facet of the learning process is overcome by photo illustrations, but even then only to a very limited extent.As the author points out, there is no substitute for experience with the process and practice, practice, practice.Even the very limited experience I acquired years ago when I took fencing lessons helped me picture more clearly some of the moves the author described.

    Part of the difficulty in connecting with the author's experience as he performs the various actions of sword fighting may be that this book is a translation from the Japanese, was originally written in an older version of the language, and embodied an ancient version of the culture itself, one that is no longer available even to modern Japanese let alone a Western translator.A warrior of Musashi's time may well have connected far better with the similes he uses than a modern person.The unique benefit of this fact, however, is that a great deal can be read into the work.Part of this is the author's intention, but part of it is due to the very ambiguity of the work.Just as the author himself suggests, the reader who does not concentrate on the words but allows the mind to float over them makes all sorts of interesting discoveries.For instance a book on dealing with problem people suggested a technique much like Musashi's "To Know the Times," essentially to match the rhythm and intensity of the subject until one can gain control of that rhythm to de-escalate it.His "To Become the Enemy" immediately brought to my mind the individual characters of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and his opponent George McClelland.As Musashi suggested, the enemy always feels he is outnumbered which means that a few may defeat many if they are trained in The Way.Or as Lee is reputed to have said before a battle, "The Army of the Potomac is a very good one, unfortunately General McClelland brought himself along."Lee understood The Way.He knew that McClelland's personality, or lack of The Way, produced vast armies of the enemy in his mind.

    In all a very interesting and surprising book, one I expect to read again and again to mine for concepts.For a slender 95 pages, the author, like a good poet, has packed each word with a maximum of information because they encapsulate concepts and principles. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517415283
    Subjects:  1. Business & Economics    2. Business Life - General    3. Early works to 1800    4. Management - General    5. Martial Arts & Self-Defense    6. Military    7. Military Science    8. Military art and science    9. Personal Growth - Success    10. Sale Books - Adult    11. Strategic Planning    12. Swordplay    13. Self-Help / General   


    Vegetius : Epitome of Military Science (Liverpool University Press - Translated Texts for Historians)
    by N. P, Milner
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 1997)
    list price: $28.95
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars applicable today as well
    It is a wonder to me that more people have not discovered translations such as this one, Vegetius's seminal work "Epitome of Military Science". Compare Vegetius to such works as the Sun Tzu's "Art ofWar", but put it in the perspective of Ancient Rome and you'll be spoton.

    I liked this work because it gave an excellent insight into allaspects of managing military groups. It covered not only things such astroup placement and tactics, but also much baser aspects of military life,such as the logistics of training, what or how to feed large numbers oftroops, and how to deal with troop morale.

    For the historian (and membersof re-enactment groups similar to the SCA) this is an excellent book forresearch if you're willing to ignore the fact that the text is only theEnglish translation and not a side-by-side comparison of the original andthe modern. ... Read more

    Isbn: 085323910X
    Sales Rank: 1605681
    Subjects:  1. History: World    2. Literature - Classics / Criticism    3. Medieval    4. Military Policy    5. History / Medieval   

    The Face of Battle
    by John Keegan
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 July, 1995)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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    Reviews (57)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Are There
    My generation's war was Viet Nam, which I avoided with a teaching deferment and a high lottery number. As a result, "The Face of Battle" was an eye-opener for me, since it captures the real, not Hollywood, experience of battle for the common soldier who draws a sword, fires a weapon, or attacks an insurmountable position. Those who want to know what Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme were really like should read this book. The lucky survive. Bravo, John Keegan!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    John Keegan has written many books about the conduct and outcome of wars. In this, he focuses on the question: what is it like to be in a battle? Why do studies show that even at the height of a battle, typically no more than one in four soldiers ever fire their gun? And why, on the other hand, do so few soldiers run away?

    To answer the questions, he studies three different battles, representing three different types of combat: the hand-to-hand combat of Agincourt, the single-shot guns of Waterloo, and the mechanised destruction of the Somme. He talks about the kind of men who found themselves in each battle and the kind of experiences they had. You learn about the overwhelming noise of Waterloo, about how the raw recruits of Kitchener's army made it necessary to rely on artillery barrages to win the Somme, about the technical miscalculations that made this strategy go desperately wrong.

    It's striking and moving, and unlike any other book about battle -- Victor Davis Hanson's recent "Carnage and Culture" does almost as good a job of capturing the experience of battle, but without the same level of compassion. Recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great account of 3 British battles
    This book provides a great account of Agincourt, Waterloo, and The Somme. The author has a unique talent of presenting these battles through multiple perspectives. He provides a revealing historical context, and experience of the solider, as well as the tactical aspects of the fights. His description of Agincourt is amazing. The other two accounts are more than worth your time. I think this is one of the best military history books I've read, and strongly recommend it for anyone interested in warfare, history in general, or just looking for an engaging read! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140048979
    Sales Rank: 20233
    Subjects:  1. Battles    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: World    5. Medieval    6. Military - General    7. Military history    8. Special Interest - Adventure    9. Land forces & warfare    10. Modern period, c 1500 onwards    11. USA    12. War & defence operations    13. World history    14. c 1000 CE to c 1500   


    The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece
    by Victor Davis Hanson
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (11 February, 2000)
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $12.89
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    Reviews (17)

    3-0 out of 5 stars what's the real point?
    Ever since reading this book and being obliged to teach it to undergraduates in a staff-taught course a number of years ago, I've wondered what Hanson's real point is.I think the argument is fascinating, even if I also think his leap from hoplite battle to nukes over Japan is a bit forced.But it seems to me that the sections where Hanson is most present to the reader and most engaged with his material are the assurances of first-hand knowledge we get for some of his claims about how it felt to fight in hoplite gear and formation.How does he know?He and his students made armor and weapons for themselves and then went out on the campus lawn and staged mock hoplite combat.For all of the originality of the book's argument, I can't quite shake the feeling that Hanson's real interest is in playing soldier with his students.Paintball in the ancient world, anyone?

    4-0 out of 5 stars The cultural genesis of limited war?
    The other reviews on this book have covered more than I could say.This book, for me at least, led to an eye opening "paradigm shift" in European military history prior to WWI.What I saw in this book was the beginnings of cultural obsession with limited warfare for limited gains (as opposed to the later conepts of total war) which dominated western Europe for millenia.Hence, the Western historians' fascination with "decisive" battles which, ultimately, led not to any decisive change in political or cultural institutions (after all, did Waterloo really change French institutions that much?).

    Immediately after reading this book, I read "The Devil's Horseman", a history of the Mongol "Invasion" (it was actually a reconnaisance in force) of Europe.I was struck by the baffelment of the Europeans when, after defeat at the hands of the Mongols, they were not offered some sort of terms of surrender.It struck me, after reading Dr. Hansen's work, that the ancient Greeks had passed on much more to Western society than philosophy, trigonometry, or democracy; they had also passed on an idea of limited warfare for concessions rather than absolute destruction of the enemy and the removal of his capacity to resist.

    I would recommend this book to anyone interested in military history; it is well written (although dry at times), and will provide a new viewpoint from which to consider when reading new books or re-reading old favorites.For the insight alone, it is well worth the investment.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Former Western Way of War
    Interesting book, but something seems amiss. While the Greek hoplite way of war may have been an impetus, I don't see it as being carried through to modern times. It seems there is another school that attempts to avoid standing toe-to-toe to fight through the ages - armored knights, fortresses, bow, firearms, and the nails in hoplite fighting coffin - long range artillery, armor, and air power. Still thought-provoking. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0520219112
    Sales Rank: 20508
    Subjects:  1. Ancient - Greece    2. Ancient Greece - History    3. Greece    4. History    5. History - Military / War    6. Infantry drill and tactics    7. Military    8. Military - General    9. Military - Other    10. Military History - Ancient    11. Military art and science   


    Frontinus: The Stratagems and the Aqueducts of Rome (Loeb Classical Library, No 174)
    by Frontinus
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 June, 1925)
    list price: $21.50 -- our price: $21.50
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    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars One perspective on the Aqueducts
    The famous quote of Frontinus, commissioner of public water works under Trajan:
    "With such an array of indispensable structures carrying so many waters, compare, if you will, the idle Pyramids or the useless, though famous, works of the Greeks!" Perhaps the Aqueducts of Rome, with its scientific shortcomings, does not have the audience of the Strategems. But it shows that those Romans knew how to get things done: a city of one million had a water supply comparable to a metropolis today. The famous quote recalls the effort of the Romans to distinguish their culture by outdoing all others in utility and sheer size.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The ROman equivalent of Sun Tzu
    The Strategems is a little-known work that is filled with cunning tricks used by ancient generals. Unfortunately Frontinus' other work, the "Art of War" doesn't survive. But the Strategems is still a very interesting piece of literature, reminding me of Sun Tzu in many ways. Also look out for Aeneas Tacticus, Onasander and Asclepiodotus in Loeb, for other military manuals from ancient times! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0674991923
    Sales Rank: 281388
    Subjects:  1. Ancient, Classical & Medieval    2. Literature - Classics / Criticism    3. Military Science   


    Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (14 August, 2001)
    list price: $29.95
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    Editorial Review

    Many theories have been offered regarding why Western culture has spreadso successfully across the world, with arguments ranging from genetics tosuperior technology to the creation of enlightened economic, moral, andpolitical systems. In Carnage and Culture, military historian VictorHanson takes all of these factors into account in making a bold, and sure to becontroversial, argument: Westerners are more effective killers. Focusingspecifically on military power rather than the nature of Western civilization ingeneral, Hanson views war as the ultimate reflection of a society's character:"There is…a cultural crystallization in battle, in which the insidious and moresubtle institutions that heretofore are murky and undefined became stark andunforgiving in the finality of organized killing."

    Though technological advances and superior weapons have certainly played a rolein Western military dominance, Hanson posits that cultural distinctions are themost significant factors. By bringing personal freedom, discipline, andorganization to the battlefield, powerful "marching democracies" were more aptto defeat non-Western nations hampered by unstable governments, limited funding,and intolerance of open discussion. These crucial differences often ensuredvictory even against long odds. Greek armies, for instance, who elected theirown generals and freely debated strategy were able to win wars even when faroutnumbered and deep within enemy territory. Hanson further argues that grantingwarriors control of their own destinies results in the kind of glorification ofhorrific hand-to-hand combat necessary for true domination.

    The nine battles Hanson examines include the Greek naval victory against thePersians at Salamis in 480 B.C., Cortes's march on Mexico City in 1521, thebattle of Midway in 1942, and the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. In the book'sfascinating final chapter, he then looks forward and ponders the consequences ofa complete cultural victory, challenging the widespread belief that democraticnations do not wage war against one another: "We may well be all Westerners inthe millennium to come, and that could be a very dangerous thing indeed," hewrites. It seems the West will always seek an enemy, even if it must come fromwithin. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

    Reviews (93)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Answers the question left hanging by Guns, Germs, and Steel
    I really enjoyed this book. I suggest reading it after Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. At the end of that book, Diamond leaves the question hanging as to why Western Civilization ended up dominating the globe. This book provides a compelling answer.

    I especially liked the section that described how the Spanish Conquistadors defeated the Aztecs. He explains that after landing in Mexico, the Spanish set up a gunpowder factory. All of the ingredients necessary for making gunpowder were there, but the Aztecs hadn't discovered it.

    The other thing he points out is that the Aztec way of fighting emphasized capturing their opponents so they could be sacrificed in a ritual. The Spanish concentrated on killing the enemy. This difference and the fact that the Aztec dictatorship was unpopular in surrounding areas are what enabled a relatively small number of Conquistadors to defeat the Aztec empire.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
    Hanson really seems to have a knack for analyzing how society's input has shaped Western warfare. I must admit, I was biased towards the chapters on Rorke's Drift and Midway, however the entire book is fascinating. I found it easy to side with Hanson on most points, though I tended to lean his way before reading the book.

    The only drawback to the book was the ending chapter (the Tet Offensive). I would have loved to have seen an analysis of the first Persian Gulf War or Any of the US military excursions to Africa in the late 90's.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tainted Heart
    When the thought of war comes to one's mind, images of bloodshed or victory enter the mind. Now when that term is applied to the western civilization the image of failure rarely comes up. Over the course of history western civilization rarely ever loses a war to a non-western civilization. The question of why western civilization is a powerhouse in the game of war can be related back to the ancient civilization of Greece and Rome.
    Victor Davis Hanson in Carnage and Culture gives readers a different viewpoint to see military history form "My curiosity is not with Western man's heart of darkness, but with his ability to fight - specifically how his military prowess reflects larger social, economic, political and cultural practices that themselves seemingly have little do with war." Instead of taking the typical approach to military history, which deals with the strategies of war and the blood of war, he takes a very different approach to military history. Hanson wants to make the reader realize that the culture of the soldier, the way his government acts towards him and other social influences beckoned upon him can affect his psyche.
    The three parts of his book are appropriately titled creation, continuity and control. Here we see how through the battles he has chosen that the foundation of western power in warfare is laid out. In the continuity part we see the transformation from an emerging power into a force that is to be reckoned with later on in history. The part titled control is how it sounds, in which the western implants its talons on the world.
    The details in Hanson's book, for some strange reason, makes it more intriguing not boring. Usually one when hears a book has great detail they either avoid the book or fall asleep while reading it. Hanson prevents you from putting down the book by making you feel like you're actually watching a TV report of the battle. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0385500521
    Subjects:  1. Adventure    2. Battles    3. History    4. History - General History    5. History: World    6. Military - General    7. Military History (General)    8. Military history    9. Special Interest - Adventure    10. World - General    11. History / Military / General   

    100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present
    by Paul K. Davis
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 2001)
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Sometimes a battle, such as the one that raged along France's MarneRiver in 1918, involves hundreds of thousands of soldiers and costs many lives. Sometimes, as in the case of Tippecanoe, a battle involves only a few hundred fighters. Great or small, as historian Paul Davis notes, history has turned on clashes such as these.

    In this well-researched compendium, Davis examines battles that have had far-reaching historical consequences. The first entry covers the Battle of Megiddo, which delivered unto the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III an uneasy dominion over Palestine and broadened his empire into Asia; the final entry, set not far from the first, describes the Allied victory over Iraq in Desert Storm, which "denied control of a large portion of the Middle East oil reserves to dictator Saddam Hussein and showed the ability of a multinational coalition to succeed in the post-Cold War world, perhaps setting an example of future international military action." In between Davis considers similarly fateful but often forgotten contests, such as the Battle of Chalons, when another coalition--this one of Visigoths, Romans, and Gallic and Germanic tribes--turned back the huge Mongol army of Attila in A.D. 451, and the Battle of Shanhaikuan, when, in the spring of 1644, China's Ming dynasty fell to Manchu invaders. Davis sometimes prefers sweeping themes to mundane realities (the fact, for instance, that the Battle of Adrianople turned on the recent invention of the stirrup), and his compendium tends heavily toward Europe at the expense of other parts of the world. The illustrations are also of uneven quality and usefulness.

    Still, readers with an interest in military history will find this to be a handy reference and overview, and they'll enjoy second-guessing the author, nominating battles that didn't make his hundred while learning from the obscure, but nonetheless critical, ones that he does address. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Informative Resource
    "100 Decisive Battles" provides detailed information about 100 of the most important battles in the history of the world. With an average of 4 or 5 pages per battle, the book not only provides the reader with an excellent resource, but informative, in- depth passages as well. Every entry includes the name and date of the battle, as well as information about the opposing commanders, the size of the forces involved, and casualties. Also, the campaign and historical setting surrounding the battle are analyzed and explained. Many maps, pictures, and 'sidebars' with information about topics related to the battle are included.

    Unlike many similar books, "100 Decisive Battles" is unbiased in its account of the battles, and also gives equal coverage to battles in all parts of the world, including regions often given insufficient coverage by other sources, such as the Middle East and Central America.

    A table of contents, a preface explaining how the battles are selected, and an easy to use index are included.

    Here is a list of all the battles listed in "100 Decisive Battles":

    Megiddo, Thymbra, Marathon, Salamis, Leuctra, Syracuse, Chaeronea, Gaugamela, Ipsus, Metaurus River, kai-hsia, Zama, Pydna, Alesia, Pharsalus, Actium, Teutoburg Forest, Beth-horon, Milvian Bridge, Adrianople, Chalons, Tricameron, Badr, Constantinople, Tours, Pavia, Lechfeld, Hastings, Manzikert, Jerusalem, Hattin, Second Battle of Taraori, Bouvines, Ain Jalut, Hsiang-yang, Hakata Bay, Brusa, Crecy, Orleans, Constantinople, Grenada, Tenochtitlan, Panipat, Vienna, Cajamarca, Lepanto, Spanish Armada, Sekigahara, Breitenfeld, Shanhaikuan, Naseby, Battle of the Dunes, Blenheim, Poltava, Culloden, Plassey, Quebec, Trenton, Saratoga, Yorktown, Valmy, Rivoli, Aboukir Bay (Battle of the Nile), Trafalgar, Jena?Auerstadt, Tippecanoe, Borodino, Leipzig, Waterloo, Ayacucho San Jacinto, Mexico City, Antietam (Sharpsburg), Gettysburg, Atlanta, Sedan, Tel el Kebir, Manila Bay, Mukden, Tsushima, First Battle of the Marne, Verdun, Brusilov Offensive, Second Battle of the Marne, Warsaw, Poland, Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Moscow, Pearl Harbor, Singapore, Midway, Normandy (D-Day), Okinawa, Isreal's War of Independence, Huai Hai (Suchow), Inchon, Dien Bien Phu, Tet Offensive, Desert Storm.

    Overall, this book is essential to the library of anyone interested in history or warfare.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Military History Book Ive Read
    I frequently read military history books of all kinds and this is the best one ive found yet. It describes 100 battles that shaped the world and the choices are sound ones. While everyones favorites may not be in there such as the Battle of Cannae, you can understand why they could not be included. I agree with other reviewers in that the illustrations and maps arent so great but I disagree in that I think he does an excellent job of explaining the battle as it happens, given the limited information avaiable on the older battles. Each battle is set up nicely, explained thouroughly, and the effects of it are explained fully. There are also small side sections on some of the battles that further explain interesting topics such as the military career of Belisarius or the life of Joan of Arc. I don't think theres too much of a bias towards western culture because there are Chinese and Japanese battles included because of their importance. The book spans an incredible amount of history and I do think it slowly gets boring simply because ancient and medieval warfare is so much more interesting than modern. With the advancement of technology tactics are relied on less but that cant be helped. Overall this book gets 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys history and/or warfare.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
    This book is great for students who have an interest in military history. The descriptions of the battles are only covered over a few pages but Davis is able to give you a good back story, a solid duration and the impact the battles had on the on corse of history. This book won't give you all the facts but it's an excellent book to build a foundation for research. I'm not a regular read but I ate this book up. After finishing I couldn't wait to pick it up again and read about the next battle. Seasoned history buffs may find the descriptions redundant but new comers should learn to love this book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0195143663
    Subjects:  1. Battles    2. History - Military / War    3. Military    4. Military - General    5. Military Science    6. Military history    7. Reference    8. Technology   


    by Jay Luvaas
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (09 June, 1999)
    list price: $25.00
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    Reviews (6)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Do we need another potted compilation?
    I have many other books on the great man himself. Along comes this "must-have" book and I plonk down my money. Afterwards, I realise that many of these maxims and one-liners are already embedded in my other books. The truly bad thing about books like this is that it takes things out of context.
    It is probably a great read for business managers.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Ironic
    This book is a very good compilation of Napoleon's writings, in which is discussed the policy, composition, discipline, and strategy that armies must employ to be successful. There is a quote in the book from Kircheisen, a Napoleonic Scholar, stating that Napoleon's ability to successfully wage war was not in the realm of strategy, instead it was grounded in organization and attention to detail, which leads me to the intrinsic irony of this book: In the end Napoleon did not follow many of his own axioms.

    Ultimately it was his total failure in the Russian Campaign that caused his downfall. This incident demonstrated to the rest of Europe that Napoleon was not the living reincarnation of the god of war; quite to the contrary, he was a mediocre strategist. His failure was the result of his lack of organization, and his inability to compete with the Scorched Earth Policy and a small typhus endemic. In fact, his failure was so total that his "Grand Army" was decimated from 422,000 men strong to a mere 10,000: that is 97.6% casualties. This complete failure was caused because he did not heed the things that he himself propounds in this book.

    That begs the question: Can this book truly be reflective of Napoleon?

    If you want to know how to run an army: read this book.

    If you want to keep your idealized version of Napoleon: avoid this book because it will demonstrate just how absurd his command was in the end.

    4-0 out of 5 stars How the Little Corporal Thought
    There is probably no man in history that has been written about widely as Napoleon, with writings either praising him or decemating him littering bookshelves world wide.However, this selection is quite different, as it is an assortment of letters, mandates, orders etc. that Napoleon decreed or wrote for numerous purposes throughout his time.The accumulation of these letters into chapters of different broad topics makes for a read that provides more insight into the mind of Napoleon than any of thousands of other books ever kind.The reason for the insight is this cannot be biased, for it is Napoleon's own words. The portion describing military training and education is especially notable, and it would be wise reading for anyone considering the military field.Other sections describing leadership of all types, preperation, motivation etc. all show clearly why Napoleon was the man he was, and why so many millions followed him blindly.Anyone in a leadership position could do well to learn from the greatest leader of all time, and this book provides an opportunity for just that. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684851857
    Sales Rank: 753241
    Subjects:  1. 19th century    2. Campaigns    3. France    4. France - History - Revolution And Napoleonic Empire (1789-1815)    5. History    6. History - Military / War    7. History: World    8. Military - General    9. Military - Napoleonic Wars    10. Military History - Modern    11. Military Science    12. Military art and science    13. Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815    14. Sources    15. History / Military / General    16. Military leadership    17. Napoleon   

    3 Byzantine Military Treatises (Dumbarton Oaks Texts)
    by George T. Dennis
    Hardcover (01 December, 1985)
    list price: $30.00
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    Isbn: 0884021408
    Sales Rank: 2431199
    Subjects:  1. Byzantine Empire    2. Byzantine Empire - History    3. General    4. History - General History    5. History, Military    6. Military History (General)    7. Military Science    8. Military art and science    9. Reference   

    Aeneas Tacticus Asclepiodotus Onasander (Lcl, 156)
    by Aeneas Tacticus
    Hardcover (01 June, 1986)
    list price: $21.50 -- our price: $21.50
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    Isbn: 0674991729
    Sales Rank: 112152
    Subjects:  1. Ancient and Classical    2. Literature - Classics / Criticism   


    Military Misfortunes : The Anatomy of Failure in War
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (07 May, 1991)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $11.20
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    Reviews (6)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Campus nonsense, no dirty boots
    If you're an armchair general who never served in the military and who believes that professors know more about war than soldiers, this is the book for you.If you love dreary writing, buy two copies.If tendentious history is your thing, buy three.This is campus arrogance with little sense of the complexity, confusion and danger of battle.But if you're just aching to believe that generals are all dummies, and that anybody with a doctorate in international relations could run our wars better than the men and women who sweat, bleed and die for our country, this is the perfect book for you.Good trees died for this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and highly recommended
    If you enjoy this type "failure" analysis (such as the book "Normal Accidents"), I think you'll find this to be an excellent read. My interest is primarily in business strategy and related issues (not in military history and strategy per se), but the authors present material which I found to be very useful across many different professions. My complements to the authors for good cases, good analysis and good writing. I really had great fun reading this book. It could have used better proof reading, but the errors enountered in no way hindered the presentation in any material way.

    2-0 out of 5 stars What?
    I am not sure what to make of this book. The model is nothing new if you really think about it. It's bottled snake oil to some extent. The analysis is arbitrary (that does not mean wrong) and one can find subtle flaws. There are many interesting facts, and other ways to look at events and battles, but the book is useful only to the narrow-minded. I wonder who wrote the other reviews. His friends? ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679732969
    Sales Rank: 237612
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. History    3. History - Military / War    4. History: World    5. Military - Strategy    6. Military art and science    7. Military history    8. Military history, Modern    9. History / Military / General   


    The Generalship of Alexander the Great (Da Capo Paperback)
    by J.F.C. Fuller
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1989)
    list price: $19.00
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    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent View of Alexander
    There are many biographies of Alexander the Great out there.Most tend to look at his influence on the the times he lived in, as well as his legacy to the world.There are many ways to view the Macedonian juggernault.Here we have a unique perspective by a reknowned military historian.JFC Fuller takes Alexander's career and provides a first-rate look and analysis. The book is divided into two roughly equal parts.The first section provides a fast moving mini-bio of his life, emphisizing the major battles and campaigns of Alexander.The depth here is lacking, and purposely so, as this information is only provided in order to follow the discussion of his generalship.

    Alexander exercised a unique kind of leadership. In addition to leading from the front in battle, he also combined the abilities of general and statesmen all in one person. In battle Alexander's presence was a decisive influence.He had an innate ability to read a tactical situation, and adapt it to the abilities of his Macedonian army.Its important to understand how important this army was to Alexander's strategy.Without this carefully crafted force which his father, Philip II created, Alexander could not have accomplished what he did.Fuller helps us to understand this by showing how Alexander used this army as a tool for all his endeavors.Its important to remember how much the Macedoonian army out-classed its Persian and Indian opponets.It was also a very versatile army, able to operate in almost any circumstances.

    We see Alexander's brilliance both in major and minor battles and campaigns.This book is a must have for the Alexander specialist.It can serve as a useful guide for any of the numerous biographies out there which tend to gloss over many of the details of his generalship.Highly recommended for Alex buffs, and for the recent interest generated by the new movie on this subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good -
    This book was fascinating to read in High School. The ambition of Alexander the Great is a wonderful example for men to follow. This book is brilliant and flows very well.
    Each of his great battles are examined in depth.


    4-0 out of 5 stars Fuller on Alexander
    An incredible study of Alexander's' life, political leadership and campaigns by a retired British General. Fuller was very conscious of the fact that modern men can learn from the experiences of Alexander. His awareness lead to not only an adept analysis of Alexander's leadership (military, political and diplomatic), but of commentary as applicable today as forty years ago. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0306803712
    Sales Rank: 234309
    Subjects:  1. Ancient - Greece    2. History - General History    3. Military - General    4. Alexander,    5. the Great,    6. HISTORY-MILITARY/WAR   

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    Books - History - Ancient - Military History - Strategy, Tactics & Leadership   (images)

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