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The Mask Of Command: A Study of Generalship Paperback – 3 Jun 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (3 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844137384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844137381
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"As well as being a rare military historian who can also write gracefully, John Keegan has a distinguished capacity for peering behind the conventional view of events" (Alistair Horne Sunday Times)

Book Description

'The brilliant, vivid pictures of each subject are interspersed with reflections on the relation between society and the use of force. The framework of four masks gives the author the opportunity to display not only his encyclopaedic knowledge of military history, but also his sparkling literary skill.' Field Marshal Lord Carver, Sunday Telegraph

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kentspur VINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is designed to be a companion to John Keegan's earlier work "The Face of Battle", which focused on the experience of ordinary soldiers in a variety of battles. I think it's probably superior to the earlier work.
Keegan examines the careers of Alexander the Great, Wellington, Ulysses Grant and Hitler, examining their relationship to their troops, attitude to danger etc. This is mostly very interesting (though the Wellington section is weaker than the others). Keegan then links the elements of command to the political leaders of today, who hold far more destructive power than the subjects of the work could have dreamed of, and talks the grave dangers of "heroic" leadership.
This is a very good read and a useful introduction to these four remarkable generals.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
Practically anything by Keegan is worth the money, but this is one of his best - just behind "The Face of Battle" and "A History of Warfare" (both 5 stars), and ahead of "The Price of Admiralty".
If you want an intelligent analysis of leadership, not just hero-worship of "the great man" or an attempt to tear down traditional idols, this is it. Alexander, Wellington, Grant and Hitler are the author's models of heroic, anti-heroic, unheroic and false heroic leadership, and he argues convincingly for war leadership (and all warfare) as a cultural activity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Emperor on 7 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
John Keegan has such a great writing style that all of his books are fascinating even if you don't agree with some of his opinions.
There is plenty of great analysis of specific leaders and leadership in general and he also makes some interesting speculations about the future of military leadership.
I thought that there was maybe a slight bit of hero worship towards Wellington and Grant but that is probably just my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alec on 22 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book as are all books by John Keegan. It gives a lot of insight into the war leaders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mike on 22 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well balanced,anglo-saxon scholarshi at its best..a very wide selection of extremely
different caracters, carefuly analized and disected easy to understand
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