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Fifteen Decisive Battles Of The World: From Marathon To Waterloo Paperback – March 22, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306805596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805592
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,613,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy(1812–1878) was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and worked as a lawyer and judge until 1840, when he became a professor of history at the University of London. In 1860 he became Chief Justice of Ceylon. After his return to England in 1870, he wrote and published several books, though none received the acclaim of Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World.

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Customer Reviews

Well written and an enjoyable read.
Amazon Customer
To long and boring, does not explain the battles in a sense to keep it interesting.
dutch
Gives good outline of what happened and the background in each historic battle.
Wiliam Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Fenn on July 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
No less an authority than John Keegan has given this book his blessing, so don't be mislead by negative reviews. This book is a classic in the field of military history. No history is unbiased. History is an art not a science. And it is a great art. It can move and inspire as well as instruct us about human nature. Historical writers who can weave myth and symbolism in to their writing carry forward important ideas and concepts for the collective. This is precisely what Creasy has done in his book, organizing his material around the idea that war is productive of something. He influenced every writer of military history who followed. That in itself is enough to promote the book. "15 Decisive Battles" is an excellent introduction to general military history, a perspective often missing in college history courses. I read it many years ago and have since read many different treatments of these basic 15 battles. Ultimately one picks one's preferred viewpoint. Creasy is a generalist but for that very reason, this a good book to start with. Incidentally, I challenge the reviewer who questions the description of the Battle of Teutoburger Wald. I have read the Latin version in Latin and the German version in German and they are absolutely consistent with this British version. I was quite amazed, so try it and see for yourself. I love this book and I really want to recommend it to you. I give it 5 stars and no, I am not queasy on Creasy.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Meow Tomcat on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 was still a living memory when this book was written. It was a bestseller in Victorian England in 1851, rivaling Darwin's Origin of The Species. It was reprinted 38 times before the turn of the 20th century that obviously appealed to British sensibilities. The background and context of the battle, the personalities involved, the grisly action, the aftermath and historical importance are superbly written. If writing about combat while respecting history can be said to be literature, this book is it.

This book started a trend in making war books about battles popular. The selection of battles has stood the test of time. Every library of military history should have this classic. It might even be purchased for the beautiful Victorian English.

The 15 battles are:
(1) Battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.
(2) Defeat of Athenians at Syracuse, 413 B.C.
(3) Battle of Arbela, 331 B.C.
(4) Battle of the Metaurus, 207 B.C.
(5) Victory of Arminius over the Roman legions under Varus, A.D. 9
(6) Battle of Chalons, A.D. 451
(7) Battle of Tours, A.D. 732
(8) Battle of Hastings, A.D. 1066
(9) Joan of Arc's victory over the English at Orleans, A.D. 1429
(10) Defeat of the Spanish Armada, A.D. 1588
(11) Battle of Blenheim, A.D. 1704
(12) Battle of Pultowa, A.D. 1709
(13) Victory of the Americans over Burgoyne at Saratoga, A.D. 1777
(14) Battle of Valmy, A.D. 1792
(15) Battle of Waterloo, A.D. 1815
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Buckley on June 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you enjoy reading history this one is a must. Written long ago, it necessarily omits more recent military candidates, but it vividly captures 15 moments when history stood at a cusp (perhaps Marathon and Waterloo in particular).
The free version contains no maps, which are really necessary, so you might consider paying a little extra to get them.
I first read this book decades ago, and it's still a classic of style and erudition.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Wes Ulm on March 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
It's difficult to rate this book, since it depends on one's purposes in reading it. As history, Sir Creasy's book is of uneven quality, with many essays decently crafted and a few basically tripe; but as historiography, it's a rare and fascinating window into the Victorian mindset and worldview. Creasy published his book during the apogee of the British Empire, in the 1850s, when the country's rule over distant lands was both incredibly expansive after nearly a century of settling and warring, and seemingly secure 35 years after Napoleon's ignominious defeat in the fields of Waterloo. He is at his best especially in describing the ancient battles for which it is easier to maintain a scholarly distance; the battles of Marathon and Arbela, for example, are both well-researched and, overall, admirably portrayed. He is a first-rate wordsmith with an extraordinary command of the art of prose, with an evocative ability to build an image of a battle and its belligerents-- it's the kind of heroic fluff that we so often find suffusing the collective memory that Victorian authors put down on paper, only better in its stylistic and rhetorical aspects. One of the book's most useful characteristics, indeed, is the degree and manner in which it utilizes primary sources; it's a bibliographical treasure in this regard. But Creasy makes not even a furtive attempt to hide his biases and inclinations, especially in regard to events perceived to be antecedent to the British Empire that he so lauds at every turn. To be fair, he's not a blind nationalist. He does, for example, provide one of the most measured and detailed evocations of the extraordinary changes wrought by Peter the Great and the resultant rise of Russia in his description of the Battle of Poltava.Read more ›
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