Book Review: Great Military Leaders and their Campaigns


by Jeremy Black, editor

New York/London: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Pp. 304. Illus., maps, append., biblio., index. $65.00. ISBN:0500251452

This oversized, lavishly illustrated volume takes a focused look at 59 of the most notable commanders in history, with side-bars adding several score more. 

Needless to note, it's easy to argue about the men chosen; why does Hannibal rate a chapter but Scipio only a side bar?  Why Garnet Woseley rather than Thutmose, the Black Prince, the Great Captain, the Duke of Alba, etc?, and why only three sailors, Nelson, Togo , and Nimitz?  On the other hand, several commanders are included who are generally neglected in such works, notably Chandragupta, Akbar, Suleyman, and even Menelik. 

The treatment for those who are given full coverage is very good.  Each commander gets a concise biography, with a focus on his more notable achievements, wrapped around an outline treatment of contemporary military practice and some comment on the consequences of his career. 

A good gift for anyone interested in military history or for the novice.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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