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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting study of the art of generalship, 23 Aug 2000
By 
Kentspur (Er...Kent) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 2 Sep 2003
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Always interesting, 7 Dec 2010
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mask of Command, 22 Mar 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars original,as expected from john keegan, 22 Feb 2013
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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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The Mask of Command
The Mask of Command by Richard Holmes (Hardcover - Nov 1987)
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