Publication Date: 28/10/2021 ISBN: 9780008454227 Category:

Soldiers

Max Hastings

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 28/10/2021 ISBN: 9780008454227 Category:
Hardback

£25.00

Quantity:

Description

‘A gripping new collection from Max Hastings that puts you at the heart of the battle … Compelling’ Daily Mail
‘An unmissable read’ Sunday Times
Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales by many writers, about men and women who have borne arms, reflecting bestselling historian Max Hastings’s lifetime of studying war. It rings the changes through the centuries, between the heroic, tragic and comic; the famous and the humble. The nearly 350 stories illustrate vividly what it is like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome’s captain of the gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon’s marshals, Ulysses S. Grant, George S. Patton and the modern SAS. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female ‘abosi’ fighters of Dahomey and heroic ambulance drivers of World War I, together with the new-age women soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The stories reflect a change of mood towards warfare through the ages: though nations and movements continue to inflict terrible violence upon each other, most of humankind has retreated from the old notion of war as a sport or pastime, to acknowledge it as the supreme tragedy.

This is a book to inspire in turn fascination, excitement, horror, amazement, occasionally laughter. Max Hastings mingles respect for the courage of those who fight with compassion for those who become their victims, above all civilians, and especially in the twenty-first century, which some are already calling ‘the Post-Heroic Age’.

Publisher Review

Praise for Chastise (2019) 'A virtuoso performance from a veteran military historian. It is a white-knuckle narrative that brings clarity and insight to a much-loved tale, as well as offering a vital corrective to the drum-thumping conclusions of earlier books.' Sunday Times 'Hastings recounts the actual raids with dramatic intensity ... He brings us into those Lancasters, flying perilously low, straight into flak ... Superb.' Times 'Thoughtful and gripping ... This is a fine book combining great storytelling with a deep appreciation of the melancholy and waste that march in step with glory.' Patrick Bishop, Telegraph 'What is at stake in this revision of the old glorious narrative is something important. The debate over whether this particular raid mattered is, in miniature, the wider historiographical debate over the morals and efficacy of the whole bombing war ... A powerful parable which might instruct us in our own confused times.' Spectator 'Hastings, who is a master of his craft, unfolds the story skilfully ... It doesn't matter how many times you have seen the film, or heard the story, this book is gripping from start to finish' Keith Lowe, Literary Review 'A riveting account that also shines a light on the fact that more than 1,400 civilians died in the floods that followed ... It's a monumental read' Sun 'A fine book about that moonlit Dambusters' raid of 76 years ago, a worthy tribute to the men of 617 Squadron - and their hapless victims' Sunday Express 'A remarkable book ... Combining formidable narrative power with equally potent explanatory insight, it situates the Dambusters Raid in the broader strategic context of World War II' Washington Post

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