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Battle: A Visual Journey Through 5,000 Years of Combat Paperback – August 17, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The visuals are a combination of maps, timelines, weapons, uniforms, and portraits of military leaders. The text is mostly sketches of significant battles. Battles is a term loosely used in this book. Some of the sketches are actually of campaigns or entire wars. The organization is broadly chronological, with brief material on how warfare changed from era to another, and the battles grouped together by geographical areas. A latter section also covers some terrorist actions.
Grant starts with the war between the Sumerian city states of Lagash and Umma in about 2450 BC and ends not too far away in space -- the ongoing war in Iraq.
The book has the expected shortcomings. There is a very brief section on what we know about Pre-Columbian warfare in the Americans. There is no mention of sub-Saharan wars not involving Europeans.
There are some surprising typographical errors in dates and map scales but not enough to avoid the book.
Together with George C. Kohn's Dictionary of Wars, this book would serve as a good, quick reference on world military history or a memory refresher. Or you can simply use it to whet your appetite for more reading on subjects generally not taught in Western schools like the wars on the Indian sub-continent or between Korea and Japan.
They can be reviewed together because of their kinship in sharing the same visual concept and the same supremely expert author, R. G. Grant. No pilgrim, Grant is the author of over 20 books, most on the subject of conflict, implements of war and the fighting man.
All three books are wonderfully delicious for those of us whose DNA inclines us toward the history of arms, armament and the men who have carried them. These books are chock full of photographs, charts, maps and illustrations on every page to beautifully compliment and expand upon a tightly written, no fluff text. And this text is extremely well researched.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that I have not read each of these three books in their entirety. I've had them for only 2 weeks and after scanning them from start to finish, I am now devouring them slowly, page by page, like a monk with a holy book, meting out tasty morsels judiciously. I want this to last a long time.
Although, the books overlap to a degree, they are not repetitious in any negative way as they each have their own exclusive focus.
Warrior takes on the subject of the individual fighting man from 600 BCE to the present, from the Greek Hoplite, the Samurai, Zulu, Mongol bowman, American rifleman to the modern western infantry and special forces...and almost everything in between.
Weapon focuses on just about every kind of implement of a fighting man's arsenal of killing tools from Assyrian spears to the AK 47.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic resource (and just plain fun, too). I bought it for my goddaughter, who is really into military history. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stephanie L. Thompson
The was a fantastic book that I have kept in my personal library for several years now. Visually stunning, "Battle" provides a great overview of battle, weapons, and the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by David Roach
My twenty one year old son got this as a birthday gift in the third grade. His friend really knew his interests since he read it cover to cover and still enjoys looking at it... Read morePublished 6 months ago by musiclover2000
Amazing book. This and it's compantions. Photos are exceptional.Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer