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Customer Review

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap at twice the price, 26 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Waterloo Companion: The Complete Guide to History's Most Famous Land Battle (Hardcover)
Like me, you may well shop on Amazon on a budget, adding your target books to favourites and waiting for a copy with a torn cover to come up for 50p. In other words, you want value. If that's the case you would hardly look at this book - £30 new and around £25 Used and New. My friend, if you are interested in Waterloo BLOW THE BUDGET ON THIS BOOK. Use the `Search Inside' facility on the Amazon website - it gives you a good idea of the clarity of the writing, the superb quality of the maps and the use of boxes in the text (almost extended footnotes) to record topics that would slow the narrative but provide good background detail.
There is a lot of information here on the armies, their organisation (which didn't interest me very much) and their battle tactics (which is superb). In fact, the actual coverage of the 18th June itself probably only takes up about half the book, but given that the whole thing is over 400 pages, who cares!
The sections on the battle are illustrated with lots of great pictures of the battlefield today, taken on foot and giving you a feel for gradients, lines-of-sight, etc. Of course, the ground around the crossroads has altered a lot but combined with the superb detailed maps you can take this into account. The text is clear and considering the number of Waterloo books there are, the thinking is quite original. The sections addressing controversies (the "what ifs?" is fascinating because the author so clearly `knows his stuff'.
I paid £45 for this book when it came out, have read it several times cover to cover, and use it for reference. I love David Haworth's book on Waterloo and Barberro tells a more conventional chronological account but if the house was on fire and I could only rescue one Waterloo book, this would be it.
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