on 10 April 2014
This book, now re-printed as a paperback, was originally published in 1985 but age has not wearied nor the years condemned; it's still as essential now as it was by then. Anything written by Ian Beckett is worthy of a second glance and there are two articles here from him: The Nation in Arms and The Territorial Force. Keith Simpson, Keith Jeffery, Jay Winter, Peter Simkins, Clive Hughes, and Edward M Spiers are the other contributors and there is a foreword by the late Sir John Keegan. In short, this book is a heavyweight, a Barclays Premier League title contender. If it was a supermarket it would be Waitrose with Heston Blumenthal at his best. This is a book that needs to be kept within arms' reach and in my household it is: just next to various copies of The Army Annual. My only regret is that the book is a paperback because my copy is going to get very dog-eared, very quickly.