or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a £3.37 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) [Paperback]

John J. Mearsheimer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.95
Price: £17.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: £2.61 (13%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 25 Oct.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback £17.34  
Trade In this Item for up to £3.37
Trade in Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £3.37, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

1 Mar 2010 Cornell Studies in Security Affairs
For almost half a century, Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (1895-1970) was the most highly regarded writer on strategy and military matters in the English-speaking world and even today, his ideas are still discussed and debated. Although he helped to formulate Great Britain's military doctrine after the First World War, it was his critique of British strategic policy before and during the early years of the Second World War that earned him a seemingly unassailable reputation as a brilliant strategist.

In this unflinching but balanced book, John J. Mearsheimer reexamines Liddell Hart's career and uncovers evidence that he manipulated the facts to create a false picture of his role in military policy debates in the 1930s. According to Liddell Hart's widely accepted account, his progressive ideas about armored warfare were rejected by the British army and adopted instead by the more far-sighted German generals. The Wehrmacht's application of his theory of blitzkrieg, he claimed, resulted in the defeat of France in 1940, a disaster he foresaw.

Setting the historical record straight, Mearsheimer shatters once and for all the myth of Liddell Hart's prescience in the interwar period. Liddell Hart had, in fact, "been quite wrong on the basic military questions of the 1930s," Mearsheimer finds, "and his writings helped lead the British government into serious error. Wide recognition of Liddell Hart's misjudgments badly damaged his reputation during the war, and Mearsheimer shows how he mounted a successful campaign to restore his image. Although some of Liddell Hart's military theories are still relevant, Mearsheimer warns that they should be applied with caution.

This troubling book offers a striking illustration of how history can be used and abused--how a gifted individual can create their own self-serving version of the past. Based on scrupulously documented evidence, Liddell Hart and the Weight of History is certain to be of great interest to those concerned with military policy and history.


Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Between 20-26 October 2014, spend £10 in a single order on item(s) dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive a £2 promotional code to spend in the Amazon Appstore. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed


Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (1 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801476313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801476310
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,540,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

John J. Mearsheimer is R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and codirector of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. He is author of Conventional Deterrence and The Tragedy of Great Power Politics and coauthor, with Stephen M. Walt, of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
 Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liddell Hart's Falsifications 11 May 2007
Format:Hardcover
Admittedly standing on the shoulders of Brian Bond, John Mearsheimer has written a superb account of the falsifications of Basil Liddell Hart and how he manipulated his own record as an "expert" military commentator to cover up that he was one of those responsible for the debacle in France in 1940. While LH still has his fans and his books are still in print, it is now clear that he was a shameless self-promoter and that, because of his enormous body of written material, he could pick and choose those works which would vindicate his record while ignoring the ones that damned him. All through the 1930s, for instance, he insisted that there was no hope of success for offensive tactics and that Britain did not need - in fact he was opposed to - a large and powerful army. During this period, he was an adviser to the minister of war and the military correspondent for the Times. He would later write that he was the father of the blitzkrieg and a lonely outsider calling for change! All this and more is grist for Mearsheimer's thorough mill. Engagingly written, this book is a must for military historians and those who honor intellectual honesty.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of historical detective work 6 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating and highly readable piece of historical detective work I read many years ago that demolishes the reputation of someone who at one time ranked alongside Fuller and Clausewitz as one of the most far-sighted military thinkers of modern times. Mearsheimer takes Liddell-Hart apart bit by bit showing he was always well behind the curve of contemporary thinkers such as Fuller, the true advocate of armoured warfare, and how in the 1930s Hart completely lost the plot by advocating a vague and ultimately meaningless strategic doctrine called 'The indirect approach' that had a disastrous influence on Britain's military and strategic thinking in the inter-war years.

Mearsheimer doesn't deny Hart's influence, but far from being the far-sighted voice of reason in the wilderness, was a well-placed and very damaging figure in the inter-war political and military establishment, arguing the futility of fighting a European land war and insisting Britain use its naval and air reach to fight at a distance, 'indirectly', a disastrously dated concept that contributed to Britain's psychological and military unpreparedness in 1939.

Unsurprisingly, Hart's reputation went through the floor during the war, but with the war's end he saw an opportunity to rebuild his reputation and this is where the book gets really fascinating.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix from the ashes 14 Nov 2011
By John C
Format:Paperback
I have always been interested in the tank theorists of the 20's & 30's in particular the British theorists of LH, "Q" Martell and General JFC Fuller. It seems only the latter really had any influence on the Germans prior to WW2.

LH wanted to limit any involvement on the Continent post WW1, he criticised the British Generals in that conflict and didn't want to face the Germans in a rematch.

Because of budgetary restrictions the Army was the most neglected of the 3 services being reduced to an Imperial Constabulary to police the empire.

His influence on the governments of the day fostered this. He believed the the tank would be of greater use to the defense than the attack. The German attack on the Western front in May 1940 proved him wrong.

Post war he recovered his postion, largely by helping the German generals publish their memoirs in english and trying to get them to endorse the impact of his thinking on the creation and use of their tank forces.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liddell Hart's Falsifications 28 Feb 2007
By Jonathan Baum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Admittedly standing on the shoulders of Brian Bond, John Mearsheimer has written a superb account of the falsifications of Basil Liddell Hart and how he manipulated his own record as an "expert" military commentator to cover up that he was one of those responsible for the debacle in France in 1940. While LH still has his fans and his books are still in print, it is now clear that he was a shameless self-promoter and that, because of his enormous body of written material, he could pick and choose those works which would vindicate his record while ignoring the ones that damned him. All through the 1930s, for instance, he insisted that there was no hope of success for offensive tactics and that Britain did not need - in fact he was opposed to - a large and powerful army. During this period, he was an adviser to the minister of war and the military correspondent for the Times. He would later write that he was the father of the blitzkrieg and a lonely outsider calling for change! All this and more is grist for Mearsheimer's thorough mill. Engagingly written, this book is a must for military historians and those who honor intellectual honesty.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating piece of historical detective wrok 6 Mar 2011
By Manzikert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating and highly readable piece of historical detective work I read many years ago that demolishes the reputation of someone who at one time ranked alongside Fuller and Clausewitz as one of the most far-sighted military thinkers of modern times. Mearsheimer takes Liddell-Hart apart bit by bit showing he was always well behind the curve of contemporary thinkers such as Fuller, the true advocate of armoured warfare, and how in the 1930s Hart completely lost the plot by advocating a vague and ultimately meaningless strategic doctrine called 'The indirect approach' that had a disastrous influence on Britain's military and strategic thinking in the inter-war years. Mearsheimer doesn't deny Hart's influence, but far from being the far-sighted voice of reason in the wilderness, was a well-placed and very damaging figure in the inter-war political and military establishment, arguing the futility of fighting a European land war and insisting Britain use its naval and air reach to fight at a distance, 'indirectly', a disastrously dated concept that contributed to Britain's psychological and military unpreparedness in 1939. Unsurprisingly, Hart's reputation went through the floor during the war, but with the war's end he saw an opportunity to rebuild his reputation and this is where the book gets really fascinating. Mearsheimer carefully reconstructs Hart's relationships to the defeated Wehrmacht generals, examining how he insidiously exploited their desire to revive their own reputations through their memoirs, ingratiating himself with the likes of Guderian and Manstein and acting almost as their literary agent, whilst insinuating himself into their English memoirs, persuading them to insert recommendations and references to his own works that helped to revive his own reputation - with great success - at least in his lifetime. As I said, the book reads like a detective story and you feel like you've read much more by the end than you have in only 248 pages, and that's a tribute to the author's economy of style. A great read whether you are a military or history buff or just have an interest in the way knowledge, history and memory can be manipulated and rewritten. Should also credit British military historian Kenneth Macksey who was an 'apostle' of Hart and may have been the first to stumble on inconsistencies between the English and German versions of Guderian's memoirs and mentions this in his own biography of Guderian.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Volume 29 Aug 2010
By George Phillies - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mearsheimer's volume on Liddell Hart is an absolute must-read item for anyone interested in the history of WW2, WW1, or understanding what may or may not have happened in those wars. In particular, board and computer game designers need to consider carefully what they are being told about standard secondary and primary historical sources. The notion, thoroughly documented, that the usual presentations on those wars have been distorted for purely personal reasons is highly disturbing.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parts Don't Always Make a Whole 21 Sep 2010
By Retired Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The name of Basil Liddell Hart is still widely known among analysts of military tactics and strategy. The central argument of this book is that Liddell Hart manipulated the historical record after the fact to show himself as the preeminent military analyst of the first half of the 20th Century. Specifically Mearsheimer used painstaking research to compile a record of the writings and statements of Liddell Hart in which his position on important issues either changed or was proven false by subsequent events. For an analyst with the reputation of Liddell Hart such a posthumous compilation ought to be pretty damning to his reputation as a forward thinking advocate of modern war, especially the impact of mechanization the future of warfare.
Yet Mearsheimer in the end misses the real value of the analytic work of Liddell Hart. By concentrating on the individual statements of Liddell Hart, he misses the real and significant contribution that Liddell Hart has made to the fields of tactical and strategic analysis. Liddell Hart like any good analyst was not a rigid thinker, but altered and even discarded views in the face of different information. Also like all analysts good and bad, Liddell Hart allowed various personal agendas to influence his analytic conclusions to the point of producing some very dubious conclusions indeed. Rather than being consistently right in every thing he wrote or said his main contribution was to provide a large body of analysis and critical thinking that serve military analysts to this day. He proved it was possible to objectively analyze tactical and strategic issues and derive logical conclusions about them. This was much more important than being as prescient as Liddell Hart clearly wanted to appear.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback