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Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives Hardcover – 26 May 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Publishing; First Edition edition (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848091524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848091528
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A compelling study of two of the Second World War's best known commanders. Peter Caddick-Adams writes with authority and a deep knowledge of both his subjects and the two world wars in which they fought. He has produced an utterly absorbing and hugely entertaining book that will provide a new benchmark on how we view these two divisive generals." (James Holland)

"Peter Caddick Adam's comparison of two entwined careers is full of penetrating new insights, illuminated by a clear understanding of the world wars. This impressive book will undoubtedly prove one of the best military histories of the year" (Richard Holmes)

"Distinguished military historian Caddick-Adams has achieved a first by entwining biographies of two WW2 adversaries, field marshals Montgomery and Rommel ... Caddick-Adams makes good use of personal memoirs to make his book an exciting character-driven read and it an excellent example of how the personal experience of war can create great and yet humane generals. First class history" (Military Illustrated)

"Caddick-Adams is a pre-eminent military historian ... an extremely readable book that gives a balanced and honest view of the two men. Well worth a read - probably one to put on your summer holiday reading list or your Christmas present list." (AARSE – British Army Forum)

"Intriguing study of General Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel ... discursive ... highly rewarding book." (Spectator)

Book Description

The first comparative biography of two of the most charismatic, and strategically important, military leaders of the Second World War.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very good book well written and easy to follow. The learning ground for these two commandeers was the horrors of the First World War . Some fascinating accounts of the battles of this war and the accounts of the slaughter and carnage make grim and sad reading.
The war in North Africa provided a good boost to the public at home and is well covered in the book.
Only part through the book up to the D day landings and I am hoping it gives some insight into Rommel's fall from grace being involved in the plot against Hitler.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative! Contained a lot of information that I did not know.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am deeply interested in the 2nd World War and I did not think this book too bad. Yes, it's difficult to compare Monty, who finished the war as a viscount, with Rommel who finished the war effectively murdered. And I think that the main idea behind this comparison is the war in North Africa which the allies won due to superior supply chains. Thereafter, I don't see much in common between the two and, in fact, I don't really see that much in North Africa other than they were opponents.

This said, there are a number of facts to be uncovered in the book which I had not previously known and are interestiing. My sympathies are with Rommel who was the better general and the more "correct" individual. Both my grandfather, my great-grandfather and my wife's grandfather served as senior officers under Montgomery and describe him in the rudest terms. He was certainly a self-publicist which detracted from the main task of winning the war.

However, back to the book. You will probably read it until the end and for that reason we can't knock it too much. You will gain some insight from it unless you are an expert in the field. Not a bad try but not a great comparison to begin with.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best I can say about this book is that it is original in concept, exhaustively researched, and detached in its treatment of its enigmatic subjects. But I found the book hard work, and do not recommend it.

The book is simply too detailed in parts, too anecdotal, too personalized, and goes off on far too many tangents. The author wears his military credentials on his sleeve, for example when listing the decorations of every soldier, or when unnecessarily making comparisons with the British Army of today. The effect is wearying, and distracts the reader. The book is far longer than it needs to be, and could have been better edited. Points of detail are repeated.

The author also skirts rather gingerly around Monty's private and family life, when some proper assessment would surely have been helpful in better understanding the man behind the public persona.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is excellent, I enjoyed reading about the incidental facts that go along with the fast paced and fact filled pages (example; the year of Monty's birth saw the birth of a famous detective who lived in 221b baker street) It all fits beautifully believe me. The lives of the two generals are paralleled and interweaved in this book really well and it surprised me how close they were.

I have read Monty's and Rommel's Bio (individual volumes) previously, and this single volume pulls them easily and confidently together to make a most fascinating and brilliant read. Its well worth the money and a really good read, a good addition to anybody's library.
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Format: Hardcover
This bringing together of two biographies in a single comparative format is the literary equivalent of a supermarket multi-buy deal, the 'Buy One Get One Free'. Unlike many of its retail equivalents, however, this book is exceptionally good value, not least in the extraordinary depth of detail, context and analysis applied by the author to his two subjects. Caddick-Adams brings together two of the generals most well known to front line British soldiers fighting in Europe and the Mediterranean in the Second World War. Indeed, Rommel was more famous than any of his British counterparts, to the fighting troops at least, until the arrival of Monty in command of the 8th Army in Egypt in August 1942. One of the soldiers I have interviewed about the Desert War, Private Alex Franks, remarked unashamedly that he would have preferred to have been commanded by Rommel than any of the British generals under which he had the misfortune to be led in 1940 and 1941. The rampant mythologizing of the Desert Fox among British troops was a real concern to the British authorities in North Africa in 1941 and 1942, demonstrated in part by the famous memorandum by Claude Auchinleck in 1942 which ended with the remark that 'I am not afraid of Rommel.' Deeply amused, Rommel keep a translated copy of the order in his papers. It was no secret that many British soldiers were like the young Alex Franks because, until November 1942 at least, Rommel had won most of his battles whilst their own leaders (with the exception perhaps of Richard O'Connor) had demonstrated no great success at all.Read more ›
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