A wide-ranging and powerfully incisive study of the military experience, "Firing Line" attempts to grasp the very nature of war. It draws on written accounts of war over the past two centuries, and on the spoken recollections of veterans from two World Wars, from Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands and the Arab-Israeli conflicts. It builds an astonishing picture of what motivates the soldier and enables him to maintain the struggle in conditions of physical and mental degradation. It reveals the humiliation of basic training, the soldier's attitude to fear, the compelling effect of personal leadership, the drive for sex and loot, and the elixir of comradeship. Here is a totality of what Richard Holmes describes as the most passionate drama of all.