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Conflicts That Changed The World Paperback – 12 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Futura; 1st Edition edition (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708804888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708804889
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Commended for his meticulous research and fluency of expression, Rodney Castleden's work has been published for 30 years. A teacher of history, he lives and works in Brighton.

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Ebzy on 6 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Having watched the movie 300 I was intrigued by the famous last stand of king Leonidas. I started tearing through the pages of Wikipedia to find out as much as I could about the event and found out that it was one of the few conflicts that likely changed the world. I wanted to read more on the battle and the other similar conflicts. Hardly a few days ago, while passing through the local high street I saw this book and quickly bought it.

I read through this book and found it held a flood of factual and impressive research based opinions. It is commendable and monumental in that regard (although as expected not quite as big-screen adapted as 300).

The author at the begining shows his opinion of being anti-war in general, and expresses his disdain for violence and loss of life. However, even with this he still manages to praise the prowess and military genius of the leaders. This would make for a good, balanced read.

However, my main criticism of this book is that the author does not do this consistantly and indiscriminately, and it becomes only too obvious when reading his sharper criticisms of religions (yes Islam typically and tediously is the main target of his wrath). This would be fair enough - or should I say bearable, but it becomes transparent when historical inaccuracies and offensive descriptions are happily repeated. Its what should be expected from tabloids not from a book which should have been based on research instead of ideology, (which is ironic as in his introduction he appears to despise imposing ideologies).

I commend the detail and facts presented here, but that can be found in other similarly named books (e.g. 50 conflicts that changed the world, and yes even Wikipedia) which this book arguably matches. It severly is hampered by the stereotypes it repeats.

If only the author could keep seperate his ideological bias from the facts, the book may have proved to be invaluable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sarah K. Dee on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is packed with succinct well researched information. The conflicts are not all obvious ones and the book is more interesting because of this. The author has presented balanced views of difficult, multi-faceted issues with great skill. This is a fascinating read. Don't miss it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By manager on 6 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of my review says it all - don't waste your time or money on this book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Winn on 26 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Any book that claims to be an account of nearly fifty conflicts that were
turning points in history will be vulnerable to criticism that it is
superficial, and that - in someone's opinion - important conflict A was
omitted while, lesser conflict B was included. Unfortunately, the author in
this case seems determined to make these problems as real as possible. For
example, the Zulu Wars - one of many British Imperial campaigns, and one of no
special significance - is ranked alongside the First and Second World Wars.

The descriptions of the conflicts themselves are deeply flawed. The four-year
American Civil War that, according to the author, killed more than 600,000
soldiers, is covered in less than nine pages of not very dense text. The two
short paragraphs that describe the Battle of Shiloh, inform us that "Van Dorn
was supposed to be bringing another 15,000 men from Arkansas, but they could
not wait for him to arrive". Van Dorn wasn't mentioned prior to this point and
isn't mentioned again later. Someone we have never heard of, doesn't
participate in the battle and then isn't mentioned again. Does this matter?
We can't tell. Would these men have affected the outcome of the battle? Again,
we can't tell. The whole book is plagued with these kinds of disconnected and
seemingly pointless observations.

The author's main concern is to push his pacifist conviction that war is very
nasty and best avoided, almost as if he thinks that this is an original
observation. His determination to stick to this line produces bizarre
results.
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