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The Art of War: Great Commanders of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds 1600 BC - AD 1600 Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (2 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847242596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847242594
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 3.5 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Andrew Roberts has assembled an interesting group of authors and contributes a pertinent introduction; a wealth of apposite illustrations and useful battlefield maps complete an excellent volume - Military Illustrated.

From the Inside Flap

Which was the most brilliant of Hannibal's three crushing defeats of Roman armies? What tactics did Julius Caesar employ to defeat Pompey at Pharsalus? How was Alexander the Great able to command sufficient loyalty from his troops to lead them across half of the Asian landmass in search of new territories to conquer? What qualities made Attila the Hun a strategist of genius? How did Henry V of England achieve victory at Agincourt for such small losses to his own forces, when the mounted French knights suffered casualties in their thousands? The answers to these and a myriad other questions can be found in this lavish chronological survey of the greatest commanders of the ancient and medieval worlds. Compiled by a distinguished team of historians (including Robin Lane Fox, Tom Holland, Adrian Goldsworthy, John Julius Norwich, Jonathan Sumption and Felipe Fernandez-Armesto) working under the general editorship of Andrew Roberts, The Art of War is an authoritative account of the lives and careers of the greatest military commanders of the period 1500 BC - AD 1600, from Alcibiades to Attila, from Hannibal to Henry V, and from Trajan to Tamerlane. Each commander is profiled in a concise and informative 3000-word article which not only brings its subject vividly to life in a lively, fact-driven narrative, but also analyses and assesses his tactical and strategic gifts. These biographies are accompanied by “battle features” or “campaign features” - embellished by full-colour battle plans or campaign maps - focusing on the commanders' greatest battlefield achievements. Accessible and informative as it is rigorous and scholarly, The Art of War: Great Commanders of the Ancient and Medieval World is the perfect introduction to its subject for the general reader, but also a stimulating and thought-provoking survey for those with deeper knowledge of military history. With its companion volume The Art of War: Great Commanders of the Modern World, it forms an indispensable guide to the greatest generals that history has known.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Rankin on 30 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book in every respect. Each commander, King or leader from all the Ages thoughout history is great example of heroism and military cunning. There are many colour pictures that accompany each chapter. Unfamiliar historical terms are explained by each of the contributors making it easy to understand. The limited historical facts that accompany such entries as Joshua or the Pharoahs shows an honest approach, acknowledging that there are some gaps in the historical record and that history is mainly written by the victors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CaSundara on 27 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Firstly, I haven't read the whole book, just flicked through and read paragraphs here and there, but I wanted to add my thumbs-up to the pile because I can see from doing so that it's a treasure-trove of information. I'm not in the habit of reviewing books I haven't read (or those I have, for that matter), but I love books like this and believe it deserves more ratings. I actually bought it for my 15 year-old son because he's fascinated with war and thinks he may want to study military history. I know he'll never get around to reviewing it, so I thought I should.

I was fortunate enough to get our copy at a reduced price (through amazon) and can see we'll be getting more than our money's worth out of it - I have four boys and I'm sure they will all appreciate it, as I'm sure most men would. Even at full price it's well worth the money and a great collectible to refer to time and again, or to offer guests for some interesting bedtime reading. You can just about cover one commander in a sitting and there are many people my son and I hadn't heard of so I'm sure everyone would find something of interest. It's a high quality, large, thick (and very heavy) book, with many wonderful colour illustrations, and the information provided on each commander is concise, yet detailed - many pages, including several illustrations, are dedicated to each. My son has already noticed it's the first in a series and is now pestering me for the following two books, which is a great sign.

Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in history, particularly military, and all parents of teenage boys who want to encourage them to develop a passion for the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Pj Williams VINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
recently bought both volumes. enjoyed them both thoroughly. there articles on each commander are well written and is given the freedom to say what they really think ( some of the articles disagree on some conclusions or attitudes ) which is always good. they are big books but its set out in a way that you can read a piece at a time or a giant chunk. my only concern is that the articles are mainly overviews that delve into only some of the commanders battles, and then its just a page with a single diagram. I was hoping for more. not so much a history of the commander but more of their beliefs on what the art of war was and their use of tactics and grand strategy. I dont regret buying it but I do think, we didn't need short bio`s, but what we did need was more analysis

all in all these books are great openers to strategy, but missed an ever greater chance to really stretch it. love em but could have loved them more
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By P. Dawson on 19 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must, it has a wealth of information , is printed to highest quality, good battle maps ,and lots of battles, look forward to volume 2
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon addict on 11 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic product with interesting narratives on the lives and great moments of great commanders. Not only that, there are loads of different leaders to read about with drawings of tactical positions and photographs

Looks great on the living room table too
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