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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious - but Successful
Similar to Simon Sebag Montefiore and Max Hastings, Saul David is accomplished at blending together scholarship, narrative and argument. This book is ambitious in its scope, but yet more than any other book on the British Army released over the past few years All The King's Men meets most of its ambitions. Biography, military minutiae, frontline accounts, set piece...
Published on 28 Jan 2012 by Mr. Cormac Quinn

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Misleading Title
Although I would not wish to question the depth of research which went in to this book nor the gripping style in which it is written, I have to confess to a sense of disappointment at the end of reading it. As a biography of some of Britain's most famous army commanders and yet another epic account of the battle of Waterloo, the book delivers on most counts. As an insight...
Published 11 months ago by Arthur Grun


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious - but Successful, 28 Jan 2012
By 
Similar to Simon Sebag Montefiore and Max Hastings, Saul David is accomplished at blending together scholarship, narrative and argument. This book is ambitious in its scope, but yet more than any other book on the British Army released over the past few years All The King's Men meets most of its ambitions. Biography, military minutiae, frontline accounts, set piece battles and the burdens of leadership are all married together with intelligence and style.

If I had to have one small criticism I would say that the chapters on the American War of Independence do not quite stand up to those that come before or after, but that may partly be put down to the nature of the war and our defeat.

I sincerely hope that the author is planning a follow-up to All The King's Men. Professor David has written with authority and affection recently about General Slim, in his short but superb book Great Military Commanders. I would be interested in his views about how the British Army performed in WWI and WWII. All the King's Men gloriously recounts how we passed muster in numerous conflicts which came before.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rank and File, 21 Mar 2012
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Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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As a reader, whilst I'm fairly up on the General's points of view on various wars, it's how the rank and file troops were armed and equipped that always kept me interested. This book by Saul David takes the reader by the hand and gives you the information on how the soldier changed from the Restoration (the 1660's) through to Waterloo (1815) via the various equipment changes and also the training alongside how they interacted on the field.

War is an ever changing beast yet this title by Saul really does bring it all to life, allowing the reader to follow the information in an easy to understand method as well as making it easy to recall. All in a cracking title and one that I'll be referring to time and again. Great stuff.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent, Well-Informed Read, 28 Jan 2012
This book is informed, argumentative and elegant. Saul David, who has written definitive books about the Indian Mutiny and the Zulu War, has now turned his attention to the 18th century (and up to and including the battle of Waterloo). The book is worthwhile for its portraits of Marlborough and Wolfe alone - but All The King's Men also encompasses the virtues (and vices) of ordinary Redcoats and includes some wonderful set-piece accounts of great battles, such as Blenheim and Quebec.
All The King's Men is far from a hagiography though - and the British Army is rightly criticised for its performance in the American War of Independence (albeit this is partially through the fault of its commanders at the time). There are wonderful nuggets of trivia and the author quotes well (from officers and ordinary soldiers alike) and even though I have read widely on Wellington and Waterloo for instance, Saul David has been able to mine new information from regimental archives.
All The King's Men is also the perfect complement to the author's recent short book on generals and generalship, Great Military Commanders, in which Professor David argues who is Britain's Greatest General - Marlborough, Wellington or Slim. I will not spoil it for readers who may wish to know the author's answer to that question but what I will say is that, from reading All The King's Men, we can be justly proud of having a great British army throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
Required reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Misleading Title, 16 Oct 2013
This review is from: All The King's Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo (Kindle Edition)
Although I would not wish to question the depth of research which went in to this book nor the gripping style in which it is written, I have to confess to a sense of disappointment at the end of reading it. As a biography of some of Britain's most famous army commanders and yet another epic account of the battle of Waterloo, the book delivers on most counts. As an insight in to the "redcoat" and his travails and triumphs it falls well short of, for instance, works such as Richard Holmes' "Redcoat". Of course the literacy standard of the average soldier during this period was such that well documented accounts of their military lives are few and far between. All the more reason therefore to more wisely choose the book's title and content. At no point could I conjure up the excitement, fear and camaraderie of the battlefield from a "redcoat's" perspective...and I write as a former soldier. It is however a well researched book, equally well written and it does rattle along at a good pace. Unfortunately it is the rattling of the officers' bridlery and swords rather than that of a musket volley or bayonets being fixed which ultimately resonates. Musket and Bayonet should have been at the heart of the book but somehow subsided to the periphery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 13 Sep 2013
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Book was for my husband to take on holiday so for 14 days all I kept hearing everyday was "this is a great book" and he couldn't put it down! He reads a lot of history events and this has been one he has really enjoyed so would recommend this to anyone interested in historical military actions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable history of The Redcoats, 1 Sep 2013
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The best descriptive account that I have read of the reality of close combat war. A very illuminating account of Wellington's childhood, background and sometime faltering military career. Quite the best account of The Battle of Waterloo that I have found.
Better more comprehensive maps would enhance this work. Fold out maps would be brilliant but perhaps not possible in paperback binding.
I would recommend this work to anyone who has an interest in Military History in the 17th to 19th Centuries
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: All The King's Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo (Kindle Edition)
Enjoy Saul Davids Histoticial deatails. A good read simply argued and well worth your time reading it. Might learn something.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable!, 13 July 2013
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This review is from: All The King's Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo (Kindle Edition)
As a pacifist I find it rate I enjoy any description of war, but this book is a masterpiece, combining actual soldiers descriptions of the battles, with cool prose describing what happened. I had never appreciated how poor a general Washington was, or how hard soldiering was for the ordinary soldier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars super book, 7 Jun 2013
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a cracking book that is a must read for anyone interested in British history. Saul David provides countless historical facts that go into great detail about this era of our history. HIGHLY RATED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read well documented, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: All The King's Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo (Kindle Edition)
well detailed, having read several books on various wars and battles this is a great book to get your teeth into.
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