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The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the Light Brigade Paperback – Bargain Price, July 1, 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
The heart of this book concerns the relationship between society at large and the military. Military leaders feared nothing so much as public scrutiny, for widespread discontent could lead to political interference and, indeed, political control of the army. Whether in dealing with the incorrigible personalities of Lords Lucan and Cardigan or in covering up the series of blunders that resulted in the sacrificial ride of the Light Brigade, the military leadership acted with the overriding principle of preserving the Army from governmental control.
The embarrassments of the Crimean campaign proved uncontainable.Read more ›
The price of this notion, is, of course, massive death, but because the massive death does not happen to the nobility, nobody important really minds. This is one reason the Charge of the Light Brigade, with which _the Reason Why_ primarily deals, was so different, and worthy of eulogizing in prose and song (Alfred, Lord Tennyson, by the way, appears absolutely nowhere in this text)--those dying, those paying the price for the Army's obsession with aristocracy, were aristocrats themselves.
Woodham-Smith manages to trace the careers of two utterly unsympathetic characters--Cardigan and Lucan--in a fascinating manner. This is no small feat, considering the reader will probably want, by the end of _the Reason Why_ to reach back in time and shake both of them, and maybe smack them around a bit.
Again, Cecil Woodham-Smith proves herself a master of the historian's craft, and produces a well-researched, thorough and driving account of what is probably the stupidest incident in modern military history.
The Crimean War changed so much about how war is waged--the treatment of prisoners and wounded being tops on the list of reforms brought about in the wake of the debacle. _The Reason Why_ is an excellent account, and should be required reading for anybody with even a remote interest in military history, or European history in general.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superbly written in true literary style.
Intelligent, informative, acute attention to detail. Read more
Cecil Woodham-Smith, The Reason Why (London: Constable, 1953). The curious life and times of Lords Lucan, Cardigan and Raglan show the charge of the Light Brigade in startling... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christian Potholm
Still to read this one as I have read other accounts from other sources. Another piece of history acquired for my library on the Crimean War, as my great great grandfather, Edward... Read morePublished 3 months ago by A. Fleming
A great book that details the "Why's" of the charge of the Light Brigade. A very instructive study in command.Published 4 months ago by Robertson
Despite a few recurring grammatical gaffes, this is a stunningly fascinating read. It’s an unrelenting indictment of England’s 19th century military system, in which wealthy,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stu Selkin
Well written and very interesting. He brings the Charge of the Light Brigade to life.Published 14 months ago by rather be reading