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Customer Review

Warners semi-biographical portrait of Haig, whilst claimed as impartial, comes out slightly in favour of the man who has divided a nation like no other. When we think of Haig, our perception is one of a "donkey" (as proscribed by Alan Clark) or perhaps more widely as "a man who doesn't change his mind" (Edmund Blackadder)! Whilst most readers will be aware of the battles of the Somme, Ypres, and others from WWI, this book also gives an enlightening insight into Haig's earlier service in the Sudan (home of the fearsome Dervishes) and South Africa. Central to the development of the biography is the rise of Haig through the Army, and the factors influencing his promotion. Telling indeed is the revelation that Haig was roundly beaten in manoeuvres just before the outbreak of WWI. How then did he get the top job later? All is revealed in a very astute review of the BEF command structure and it's political masters. If I had one minor gripe (and it is my reason for giving the book four stars only), it was the glossing over of Haig's non-miltary life. There was certainly reference to his wife, Dorothy, but his life after the Great War was wrapped up somewhat expeditiously - this left a feeling of incompleteness, but could ultimately justify the author's notion of non-bias. For enthusiasts of WWI history, this book represents partial balance to the demonisation of a man few really new. Recommended.
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3.8 out of 5 stars