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|Print List Price:||£14.99|
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The Good Soldier: The Biography of Douglas Haig Kindle Edition
|Length: 528 pages||Word Wise: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
There is no doubt that Haig believed in what he was doing and fighting for and Mead captures the man's persona through a combination of diligent research (the material on the First World War must be truly gargantuan) and a style of writing that is at once effortless, engaging and easy to follow. Despite the difficulties in describing complex battlefield manoeuvres (and the pros and cons of certain types of explosive shell that at times left me a tad confused) Mead still manages to sustain a forward momentum in his narrative that is constantly captivating and demands that you read on.
The two brilliant central chapters of the book, on the Somme and Passchendaele, bring the horror of war into sharp relief and help place Haig's sometimes impossible position as C-in-C in a new light. His dealings with the ever difficult French and the pesky Lloyd George make you wonder how we ever got through it all as eventual victors.Read more ›
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So in a way I started reading as a duty rather than a pleasure, feeling that I ought to understand the man and his times better. Military stuff hasn't in the past been my favourite reading matter, and Haig was above all a soldier, hence the title with its complex associations.
But this is a pleasure to read, because it is brilliantly well-written - lucid, not show-offy - and as far as I can judge, balanced and accurate, as well as challenging to modern preconceptions. Mead writes about Haig as a man, trained in the Victorian era, confronting the new kind of warfare that was a shock to every general; he shows how his stolid personality interacted with others, such as, crucially for the conduct of the war and for Haig's post-war reputation, his antagonist Lloyd George.
He does not gloss over Haig's responsibility for some of the costly mistakes that led to the disastrous losses on the Somme and at Passchendaele, but he shows how difficult it would have been for others who were around at the time to do better. And the quirks of Haig's home life, with his sister Henrietta taking him to seances, and never quite getting over his marriage to his much younger wife, are sometimes funny - though Mead, to his credit, never overdoes this aspect or goes for the easy sneer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is claimed that when Zhou En Lai was asked about the effects of the French revolution he replied, cryptically, "It is too soon to tell". Read morePublished 19 months ago by John Blanchfield
Absolutely outstanding. Haig was not without his faults but at last an honest appraisal of a Commander who led the British Army to a great victory.Published 20 months ago by Tim Corbett
Book arrived in good time and is as described. Very happy with my purchase and the vendor.Published on 20 July 2014 by Dave Atherton
A good balanced common sense biography of haig. no, he was no donkey - but no military genius either, just probably the right man for the job at the time..Published on 19 July 2014 by big bri
I enjoyed this.
I found it balanced and easy to read. It is also well referenced and the breadth and depth of the author's research is impressive. Read more
What I really liked about this excellent biography is its sheer readability - no mean feat when writing about such a stodgy figure as Hague. Read morePublished on 16 Mar. 2011 by Cincinnatus
Gary Mead's biography of Douglas Haig provides a balanced and detailed picture of this controversial first world war General. Read morePublished on 23 Sept. 2009 by S. A. Botham
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