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Soldier Hardcover – 1 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (1 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405344202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405344203
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 2.9 x 26.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 607,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"There are plenty of illustrated histories of soldiers through the ages, but this one is something very special. It is a truly sumptuous book, a treat for the eye". -- Military Illustrated, Nov 2007 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Reg Grant has written on the American Revolution, World War I and World War II, and is the author of DK's Battle and Flight: 100 years of aviation. He lives in South London.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By N. BARTLETT on 6 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dorling Kindersley is well known for its colourful illustrated books. `Soldier' is a fine example of the genre with superb artwork showing the kit - uniforms and equipment - worn and carried by warriors from Greek hoplites to the SAS, Viking warriors to Viet Cong guerrillas.
Accompanying the major colour spreads are comprehensive essays on the style, customs and combat techniques of almost fifty types of soldier. These essays or articles are themselves illustrated with photographs, paintings, drawings, diagrams and highlighted quotations.
Two images resonate down the ages. First there is the aristocratic elite demonstrated by the Greek champion, the medieval knight, the samurai and the fighter pilot. These face each other in single combat, testing their courage and prowess. Just like young men in tribal societies everywhere and in every age.
Then there are the infantry whether volunteers or conscripts. In some periods, the high-born showed contempt for the fighting qualities of the peasants as simply rabble. Even Wellington described his common soldiers as `scum of the earth'. Yet history showed time and time again that with proper discipline and training, the humble could triumph.
Peasants and yeomen trained and indentured as archers, reduced the massed cavalry to thrashing fallen horses and unhorsed knights at Crecy and Agincourt. Wellington's `scum' when trained and disciplined, formed into British `squares' that held firm against repeated French cavalry charges at Waterloo.
Viet Cong conscripted villagers to become skilful and dedicated fighters, resolute enough to continue despite the fact that they almost always suffered far heavier casualties than their opponents in combat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Helpless TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review comes from a former soldier and military history buff, the son of a soldier,the grandson of a soldier and the great-grandson of a soldier. It is a good book and well worth the cost. Well laid out, good photography and informative. Eventhough it covers a large timescale from the ancient greeks to the present day it does not skimp on depth.
A good read and a good book.
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By Mike Watkinson TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the second of the author's DK overview histories that I've read. The first was Battle which, when I reviewed it, I said was the best of the DK overviews that I'd read thus far. This just about improves on that, but remains imperfect.

As you would expect from DK, Soldier is lavishly illustrated, and the production quality is top notch. However, overviews always suffer from the fact that they are a "skim" of the subject, and this particular book manages to show the other fault. Even if you specialise in one particular aspect of history (and I've no idea whether the author does), it is very difficult to be expert across the vast span of history that a topic like this covers. In short, I spotted a few minor errors in this. I'm not an academic, but I've a decades-long interest in history, particularly in WWI, and the Dark Age / Medieval periods, where I have been a re-enactor involved in "Living History" standard groups. The difference between "ordinary" re-enactment and LH standard, being very brief, is the difference between "there's an example of this, so I'm having it" and "there's no evidence this was widespread; justify why you should be allowed to have it". The knowledge may not be academic, but is, nevertheless, based on very deep & thorough research.

The most obvious example of an error to cite is the author's opening para on the WWI British Infantryman. In that, he says that of about 4 million British soldiers on the Western Front, more than 1.7 million were killed or wounded. In Battle, the author displayed a definite "butchers & bunglers" view of WWI that I do not share, and is generally out of favour these days. This "fact" is a perfect example of why, because it is wholly misleading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. McHugh on 5 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book gives a fascinating insight into the life of the common soldier, throughout the ages. This book explains the training that they underwent, and the weapons and tactics that they used. This information is enhanced by beatiful, clear, colourful photographs and there are even a few pieces written about the ships and vehicles these brave men fought in. The main soldiers of every era, from the Spartans to the SAS is taken into account, with an emphasis on European soldiers, but the Americans, The Arabs, the Africans and the Asians are given a decent mention as well. People of all ages will enjoy this book. Children will enjoy it for the beautiful illustrations and photographs, and mature readers will enjoy it for the well-written, readable text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Rich and Deadly 23 Nov. 2007
By Mazerine - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a three in one review on the truly splendid books, Warrior, Weapon, and Battle. Or more formally: Warrior, A visual History of the Fighting Man. Weapon, A visual History of Arms and Armor. Battle, A visual Journey through 5000 Years of Combat.

They can be reviewed together because of their kinship in sharing the same visual concept and the same supremely expert author, R. G. Grant. No pilgrim, Grant is the author of over 20 books, most on the subject of conflict, implements of war and the fighting man.

All three books are wonderfully delicious for those of us whose DNA inclines us toward the history of arms, armament and the men who have carried them. These books are chock full of photographs, charts, maps and illustrations on every page to beautifully compliment and expand upon a tightly written, no fluff text. And this text is extremely well researched.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that I have not read each of these three books in their entirety. I've had them for only 2 weeks and after scanning them from start to finish, I am now devouring them slowly, page by page, like a monk with a holy book, meting out tasty morsels judiciously. I want this to last a long time.

Although, the books overlap to a degree, they are not repetitious in any negative way as they each have their own exclusive focus.

Warrior takes on the subject of the individual fighting man from 600 BCE to the present, from the Greek Hoplite, the Samurai, Zulu, Mongol bowman, American rifleman to the modern western infantry and special forces...and almost everything in between.

Weapon focuses on just about every kind of implement of a fighting man's arsenal of killing tools from Assyrian spears to the AK 47. In some cases, replicas have been photographed but mostly it's the often crusty, old real thing. The photography is first rate. As in all three books, the text and illustrations are intermingled in such an artful way as to make each page a visual smorgasbord.

Battle covers the first recorded major battle which is between the Canaanites and the Egyptians at Meiddo and takes us through conflicts in every age all the way to modern times. Its focus is on the Generals, the strategies, the troops and their weapons.

Battle was published by DK in 2005, Weapon in `05 and Warrior in `07. Highly recommended, all three.

34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Not What I Had Hoped For..... 24 Nov. 2007
By Teamski - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I found Warrior at the store today and snapped it up. I already have Battle and Weapon, which are both excellent books. However, after a good looking through, Warrior is really lacking compared to it's bretheren.

While the book does a great job at first in introducing the Warriors in question, it really is terrible when it comes to the second half of the the book. It is here (especially WWII and after) that it literally falls apart. The author in his introduction mentions that he wanted to really concentrate on the Warriors themselves, yet he completely ignores this and digresses in the wrong direction. For example, he goes into detail about HMS Victory, the B-17 and T-34 tank and tactics used with those. Eh... Why? Those should be in another book altogether. So he wasted valuable book space on this non-related material and completely forgets to include even the most fundamental soldiers of WWII: Infantry from around the world. Instead, he sticks with Naval, Armored and Air Forces. I don't get it. Sure, he includes the US Paratrooper and SOF forces (who I don't consider Warriors in the sense of the book), but not the likes of the Japanese soldier, who's Warrior mentality is really what the book was all about. You will see what I mean when you page through it. With the exception of the Zulu, the author also skips the the Post Civil War Period altogether up to WWI. I can't believe that this passed scrutiny. I'm really disappointed with this. The book is fundamentally incomplete as printed.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good Book for What it Says 3 Oct. 2008
By Jeremy Lundberg - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Lots of overlap with another DK Publishing book I bought, "Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor." If you are using this book for the details about the lives of soldiers, it is a great overview resource for the enthusiast. However, if you are looking for a visual reference of weapons, armor, and gear--this is largely redundant to the other book I already mentioned, and not quite as in depth on that subject.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Vad Allen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I consider myself a military history fan and could not believe you can buy such a beautiful piece for under $30.00. After (and even better BEFORE) reading history books or watching history movies this book lets you understand HOW exactly all the participants looked, were dressed and WHAT they used as weapons.
The best thing about it is that to see all these authentic items in real life one would have to go around the world and visit thousands of museums, and we all know that it's not possible.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Warrior: A Visual Image of Fighting Man 15 Jan. 2008
By David E. Wright - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Warrior is a wonderful resorce for any history buff. It gives a breif history of different warrior through out history to modern times. Great resource for any reader of historcal fiction such as that of Bernard Cornwell. It puts into pictures the armor and weapons Cornwell puts into words.
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