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Customer Review

on September 21, 2007
I have read many recent historical works of John Keegan including has book on WWI and the Price of Admiralty. I enjoyed them both. So, I was very disappointed when I tried to get into the Face of Battle. The language was so stilted, the use of commas and long run-on sentences going in differnet directions was so painful that I almost stopped reading it. The book has an excellent premise: how to describe three important battles in three very differnt centuries from the perspective of the soldiers actually doing the fighting rather than the 10,000 foot view employed by contemporary military historians who were not participants in the battle. Unfortunately, Keegen spends the first third of the book explaining what a good military historian (like himself) can or should do, focusing on the unique quality of British military historians (they are less biased because the wars were mainly fought on someone else's soil. The book improves as he gets into the battles of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme, but a good editor could have made this a much better read. I realize this book was written in 1978, so perhaps it was, at the time it was written, in line with Keegan's academic proclivities. Not a book I would recommend to anyone other than an academic.
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