The Generalship of Alexander the Great (Da Capo Paperback) Paperback – 30 Sep 1989
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"Of all general fuller's brilliant books, this is his masterpiece." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Major General J.F.C. Fuller (1878-1966) was one of the most important and original military thinkers of this century. He served as lieutenant in the Boer War, organized the first British tank corps in World War I, and developed the strategy and tactics of tank warfare which were later put to such effective use by the Nazis for their World War II blitzkriegs. His many books include A Military History of the Western World (3 volumes), The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant, Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier, and Tyrant, and The Generalship of Alexander the Great, all of which are available from Da Capo Press/Perseus Book Group. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Quibbles aside, this is a very useful book that looks at Alexander the general, the strategist, the politician and the genius. There is a good overview of his campaigns and the battles are then examined in detail and his methods analysed. I also liked the attention given to his father, Philip, as it was he who formed Alexanders invincible army.
The book still exhibits multiple qualities. These include:
- the acknowlegment of Alexander's debt towards his father Philip, stating that "Alexander's greatest asset was the army he inherited from his father and that without it, and in spite of his genius, his conquests would be inconceivable". One piece is perhaps missing here: Alexander's military talent was perhaps as much acquired as it was a result from his "genius"
- a related strong point of this book is the attention given to context, with the first four chapters of the book devoted to describing the Greek cities and Philip's wars, the Macedonian army, the youth of Alexander, the geography and the Persian Empire,
- it is only then that Fuller comes up with his "strategical narrative" - a history of Alexander's campaigns, before going into more detail and examining Alexander's main battles, his sieges, his "small wars", his statemanship and his generalship.
As an indirect praise and testimony to the quality of this book, you should also be aware that a number of more recent authors have largely been inspired by this structure and the contents of this book, a typical example being English with his three volumes on Alexander (his army, his sieges and his field campaigns).
In some respects, however, this book is somewhat dated.Read more ›
Nothing has matched it since, so buy this if you want to understand Alexander's victories and advanatages. Also very good for background on the military and cultural development of ancient greece in relation to its neighbours.
My only criticism is that Fuller is unable to understand certain aspects of Alexander's personality due to his rejection of the idea that Alexander had gay relationships with Hephaestion and Bagoas.
Otherwise, an unparalleled piece of work.
Alas, Fuller was a Moselyite. Yet, Winston's CIGS Viscount Alexander deemed him too patriotic to be a risk.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
useful book, a classic study of Alexander's strategy and tactics.Published 17 months ago by MarkusO
very long winded at times. a good read and shows how alexander was out there on his own in military tactics of his timePublished on 3 Sept. 2013 by robert michael lowe