I downrated this from a 4 or better because of the inclusion of David Petraeus as one of the "Savior Generals". This book is about 5 generals whose actions not only resulted in victory, but also had a decisive effect on history. Themistocles was almost certainly the most important because his victory against the Persians at Salamis saved western civilization. He did more than just command the fleet: he basically forced the Greeks to fight there. Themistocles saved civilization with one major battle, but Belisarius fought and won battles against larger forces for years. He wiped out the Vandals as a force forever. He reconquered much of North Africa and Italy for the Byzantine Empire at a time when the empire was in danger of falling and thus helped preserve if for nearly a thousand years. In 1864, there was a strong chance the Confederacy might win the American Civli War. The losses were heavy and Grant seemed stalled around Richmond. Lincoln was very likely to lose the 1864 election. Sherman's march through Georgia and the capture of Atlanta gave the Union a stunning victory and solid evidence the Confederacy was going to be defeated and guaranteed Lincoln's reelection. I didn't know about Matthew Ridgeway's work in Korea. When he arrived in Korea the entire UN force was on the run from the Chinese and North Koreans: There were no plans for counterattacks or any other efforts to save the war. Ridgeway turned the war around and recovered South Korea. It was a long time before South Korea became the prosperous democratic society it is now, but without Ridgeway all of Korea would be the living hell that North Korea is now. This is why I dislike including David Petraeus in this book. He clearly turned the military situation around in Iraq, but we don't have any evidence that this is a permanent improvement in Iraq. We don't know the future of Iraq at all. Hanson writes well and is well informed. He explains the actions of his generals and gives short biographies of them.