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For God and Glory: Lord Nelson and His Way of War Hardcover – May, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A fascinating work of strategic philosophy. ... The result is surprisingly persuasive.  [Its analyses] are thought-provoking and, in places, offer fresh ways of understanding what happened."
-  Colin White, The Mariner's Mirror: The Journal of the Society for Nautical Research, November 2003.

"This effort by Hayward merits serious attention. ... It provides many fresh insights into the workings of Nelson's mind. ... There is no question Hayward has done his work and supports it by solid research. He poses important questions and proffers plausible answers."
 --  Paul Webb, Int. Journal of Maritime History, Vol. XV No. 2.

For God and Glory "bears testimony to the ongoing allure of the world's most popular amphibious rascal. ... It is highly original ... and views the admiral's war fighting from a vantage point not accessible to many of Nelson's leading biographers."
 -- Sea Classics, Vol. 36, No. 9 (September 3003)

"For God and Glory ... makes a very useful and distinctive contribution. ... of great interest to students of modern warfare ... [Hayward] has created a thought-provoking work that will certainly help to sharpen and to refine the on-going discussion about Nelson."
-- The Journal of Military History, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Jan 2004), pp. 252-253

"...a good read." -- Northern Mariner, July 2003

"...a professional, painstakingly researched, and solidly written study of a watershed period in European history." -- The Press (New Zealand), 2 August 2003

"Gives the reader a deeper understanding of Nelson's brilliance." -- The New York Militray Affairs Symposium Review, Autumn 2003

About the Author

Professor Joel Hayward is a New Zealand-born scholar, author and poet who holds two academic leadership positions within Khalifa University. He is both the Director of the Institute of International and Civil Security and the Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is a defence and security studies scholar who joined Khalifa University as a full Professor of International and Civil Security in 2012, after having enjoyed a fellowship at the Cambridge Muslim College. His career highlights include having been the Dean of the Royal Air Force College for five years, a Director of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies for four years, and the Head of King's College London's Air Power Studies Division for six years.

Professor Hayward is the author or editor of nine books as well as many book chapters and journal articles, some of which have appeared in German, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Serbian translations. He is currently writing a new book for Kube Publishers to be titled Prophet and Warrior: The Conduct and Justice of Muhammad's Military Campaigns.

Unusually for a social scientist, he is also very active in the literary arts. He has had much poetry and fiction published, including a book of short stories and two collections of poetry. They have garnered strong reviews. His poems have appeared in many literary and community journals and magazines. His second major poetry collection, Splitting the Moon: A Collection of Islamic Poetry, has just been published by Kube Publishers.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591143519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591143512
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I loved this book, even though nearly everything in it was new to me and I had to read it slowly to take it all in. Its about time a military expert explained to those of us who devour books on Nelson just how good, and why, Nelson was. Even today's military officers will find great relevance in the way Nelson approached war, says the author, and I agree. I'm buying this book for my nephew, a destroyer officer, because I think he'll get enormous value from Hayward's treatment of Nelson's leadership and command practices. If my nephew realises what Nelson did, that it's better to focus on those below you than those above you, he'll be a successful officer and make his subordinates work willingly for him.
Hayward's coverage of Nelson's abilities is balanced. While Hayward can't hide the fact that he admires him, and doesn't try to hide it, he points out carefully and in a fair way how weak Nelson was in some areas and why these weaknesses caused errors and disasters.
Hayward's approach is to write inter-related chapters that are essentially essays. He doesn't narrate in a chronological fashion like nearly every other writer on Nelson does. He critiques and analyses things, with an expertise in military matters that we haven't seen in Nelson books in recent years.
I applaud this book, which is attractive and has great maps, beautifull illustrations and a handy index.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm toting this dream of a book around my colleagues at the US Army War College in the hope that they will, like me, use this as a class text.
If books, like bourbon whiskey, were rated according to strength, "For God and Glory: Lord Nelson and his Way of War" would weigh in above 100 proof. It is not a huge book, like the competent new bio. by Edgar Vincent, but it's concentrated and potent. I do not mean that it is arcane or overly meticulous. On the contrary, Joel Hayward writes with striking clarity.
"For God and Glory" is better written and more ambitious than other recent works inspired by Nelson's great victories. It is an originally conceived and richly rewarding work, filled with profundity and felicitous expression, with many flourishes of prose that flow like poetry.
The chapter on leadership, command and management will be scanned or photocopied by students at every military, air and naval academy and used in essays and dissertations for years to come.
And no self-respecting enthusiast of Lord Nelson will be able to escape having to engage the theses put forward in Hayward's compelling and authoritative book. Agree or disagree with his evidence and arguments, but don't ignore them. They blaze a trail.
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Format: Hardcover
For many people, the words 'Nelson' and 'victory' have become synonymous. Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in 1805 allowed the Royal Navy to control the sea for the next century. London's most famous square -- Trafalgar Square with Nelson's Column -- was laid out in 1829 to 1841 to commemorate Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Dominating the square, atop a column that is 185 feet high is a 17 foot high statue of Nelson.
Countless books approach Nelson with religious fervor. This book allows us to consider Nelson in a far more useful and practical framework. In reality, this great, yet diminutive naval warrior stood less than 5 feet 6 inches tall. Joel Hayward gives us deep insights and lessons about any great leader's many strengths, weaknesses, defeats, stalemates, flaws, and victories. Hayward concludes that Nelson also had an abundance of two qualities worth emulation by every serving member of today's armed forces: initiative and moral courage. 'Moral courage -- the willingness to stand up for what you know to be right despite hierarchical or peer conformist pressures -- is also a most desirable trait.... The very traits that make initiative and moral courage possible and instinctive are seldom tolerated and often crushed in today's defense forces. More so now than even, for example, during World War II, when a few talented but unconventional officers still held command, defense forces have imposed a behavioral and character uniformity upon commanders that leaves little room for unusual or larger-than-life personalities....Our armed forces might do well to tolerate and even cultivate a little diversity and difference, throughout all levels, and to reduce their emphasis on regularity and conformity.
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Format: Hardcover
The reviewer below says he doesn't want to be an iconoclast, but then says nothing much except that he doesn't agree with the author's interpretations or like the modern phrases and terms the author uses. I disagree with him, and note that all other reviewers do too. This is a rather unique book in that it actually has interpretations, not just the same old narrative. And it tries to explain Nelson in ways that modern warriors, who aren't used to old and archaic naval terminology, will understand. I found this book's arguments very strong, and although I cannot say I agree with everything, I found nothing advanced that was not based on very careful research. I think this is a must-have book on a naval genius.
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