Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2009
Big fan of Hanson's writings, but if you read just one of his books, it shouldn't be this one. Despite its intriguing title, this was Hanson's second book (1989), and it shows: it's dense and scholarly, apparently having been written before Hanson mastered the art of writing compelling and illuminating books for a mass audience. The fact that this was issued by the University of California press should tip you off to the nature of the writing herein.

I would instead recommend these later books by the same author, which are much more readable, and cover much of the same material:
The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny  and  Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power
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