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Heroes and Villains: Inside the Minds of the Greatest Warriors in History [Hardcover]

Frank McLynn
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2007

In the history of warfare, an elite group of men have attained almost legendary status through their courage, ambition and unrivalled military genius. But many of these same men possessed deep personal character flaws. In Heroes & Villains, acclaimed historian Frank McLynn focuses on six of the most powerful and magnetic leaders of all time: Spartacus, Attila the Hun, Richard the Lionheart, Cortés, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Napoleon. How did these mortal men rise to positions of seemingly invincible power? What were the motives, the personal strengths and often weaknesses that drove them to achieve what no one else dared?

In six powerful portraits, McLynn brilliantly evokes the critical moments when each of these warriors proved themselves in battle, changing their own lives, the destiny of their people and, in some cases, the history of the world. We discover what drove Spartacus to take on the might of Rome against seemingly impossible odds, and how the young Napoleon rose to power in dramatic fashion at the Siege of Toulon.

Heroes & Villains is more than a collection of individual biographies. By examining the complex psychologies of these extraordinary men, McLynn builds up a convincing profile of the ultimate warrior. Accompanying a major BBC television series, this brilliant book takes us into the minds of the greatest warriors in history.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Ist edition edition (4 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846072409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846072406
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 687,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The greatest military leaders in history and the psychological qualities that made them the ultimate warriors

About the Author

Frank McLynn is a highly respected historian, who specializes in biographies and military history. He has over 20 books to his name, including critically acclaimed biographies of Napoleon and Richard the Lionheart. Other books include 1066, Stanley and 1759. Frank is a graduate of Wadham College Oxford and London University, where he obtained his doctorate.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but basic 11 Dec 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book, that accompanies the BBC series of the same name, details the lives and fortunes of six famous military leaders from history. The book includes information on Spartacus, Attila the Hun, Richard the Lionheart, Cortes, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Napoleon before going on to a general overview of the psychology of the warrior mind. Each person is covered in a varying degree of detail with the entries for Spartacus and Attila covering their entire lives and military careers where as entries for individuals like Napoleon tend to concentrate on a single battle or campaign with only brief information on their other achievements.

Much of the problem with this book is due to the lack of space, with only between fifty and seventy pages for each of the detailed individuals, this was never going to be a detailed account of their lives. On the other hand, the author is somewhat hamstrung by the lack of concrete information on some of the people detailed, especially Spartacus whose entry does seem somewhat padded.

The author has done some nice research and the information is presented quite well even if he does occasionally use more flowery language than is strictly necessary. In general this book is a nice overview of the six individuals detailed and although this book would be of little use to someone who already knows about the historical figures in the book, it would be a good place to start for people just starting with the history of these people.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Awol Editor 14 Nov 2009
Frank McLynn is a talented writer and historian. I've read three of his books and just ordered a fourth (Richard and John). However, some of the mistakes in his text, and the occasionally badly written sentence, are hard to explain. This book contains more than the usual quota of mistakes and perhaps Mr McLynn was working to a deadline that didn't allow enough time for proper editing. If so, it's a pity because it needlessly detracts from his work. Do publishers still employ editors?
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