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Alchemist Of War: The Life of Basil Liddell-Hart [Paperback]

Alex Danchev
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

11 Nov 1999
Basil Liddell Hart was a rare bird: military writer, creative artist, journalist, propagandist, controversialist, archivist, adviser, exemplar, thrower of stones and a leading authority on fashion. This is his biography.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New edition edition (11 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753808730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753808733
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,468,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

“A serious biography of this man, who certainly came closer to the stature of Clausewitz than any other in the twentieth century, has long been overdue. And we are fortunate that the task has fallen to so erudite and percipient a stylist as Mr Danchev” Alan Clark, Daily Telegraph

About the Author

John Keegan in his review of ALCHEMIST OF WAR in The Spectator described Danchev as "one of the two most brilliant people [he] taught at Sandhurst". He is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Nottingham. In addition to editing the Alanbrooke WAR DIARIES he is the author of an acclaimed life of Basil Liddell hart, ALCHEMIST OF WAR.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overdoes the indirect approach 19 Feb 2002
This is very uneven. It starts as a standard narrative from 1895 up to, in effect, Liddell Hart's exit from soldiering at Mametz Wood in 1916. Then I felt it lost the plot and went through a series of not very clearly focused chapters until suddenly it was 1937 and then the plot was lost again until after WW2 was all over. The good qualities of the book are (a) the study of the relationship with Fuller, (b) the exposure of Liddell Hart's gullibility in 'The Other Side of the Hill' and (c)demonstration of Liddell Hart's over-inflated ego (passim). But it is very much an indirect approach to Liddell Hart's life for most of the time. If it had developed his thinking in detailed contrast to other writers that would have been fine; if it had detailed his life and development chronologically that would have been fine too. The problem is that it does neither and I found the book more a test of endurance than an enlightening experience.
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