1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A well balanced biography
, 29 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The CHIEF: Douglas Haig and the British Army (Kindle Edition)
It's as difficult for a reader to approach a biography of Douglas Haig in an even handed manner, as it is for the biographer themselves. So in a spirit of full disclosure, I come from a left-wing family, in which my paternal Grandfather had fought in the Great War and survived. So I can tick all those boxes that revisionist historians hate - Oh What a Lovely War!, the War Poets and Blackadder. But I've also read a good number of revisionist books on the war, and can appreciate the scholarship that has greatly broadened our understanding of the conflict.
I procrastinated for a long time before buying this book, even having enjoyed Gary Sheffield's 'Forgotten Victory.' After all it is clear that he is not an unbiased biographer, having edited Haig's diaries, and clearly admiring much about the man. The book is however even-handed, and it is possible to finish it with a dimmer view of the subject than the authors.
Is it well written? Possibly not in a classically scholarly way, but it cracks along at a good pace and is eminently readable. Perhaps it is slightly superficial in some areas - Haig replacing French flashes by with little discussion, but is a very good introduction to the subject, and thankfully focuses mainly on the war itself.
In summary, a good introduction to Douglas Haig, with a balanced approach to its subject.
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