Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography

Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography

by Trevor N. Dupuy, David L. Bongard, Curt Johnson

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An invaluable, fact-filled resource. Describes and assesses the 3000 most important military figures in world history, from the earliest times to the present.


An invaluable, fact-filled resource. Describes and assesses the 3000 most important military figures in world history, from the earliest times to the present.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This work incorporates profiles of aproximately 3000 of the world's principal military leaders from antiquity to the present. The entries, arranged alphabetically, include the subject's birth and death dates, the governments she or he served, and a list of the principal wars and battles in which she or he participated. Most references also include a narrative from 200-1000 words of the subject's life, a brief analysis of achievements and capacities; and a brief bibliography. While choices for both inclusion and omission may be challenged (why, for example, admit Shanks Evans to the collection and not Jubal Early?), the overall accuracy and perception of the biographical sketches earn this work a place in all collections on military history.-- D.E. Showalter, U.S. Air Force Acad., Colorado Springs
Provides profiles of some 3,000 major military leaders and thinkers, from Julius Caesar and before, to Norman Schwarzkopf. Arranged alphabetically, the biographical entries range from 200 to 1,000 words, and each includes, first, a brief overview of the subject, his birth and death dates, and the major wars, battles, or campaigns in which he participated. This is followed, in most entries, by a main narrative of his life, an evaluation of the subject's character, abilities, and contributions, and finally a brief bibliography of books about him. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Zom Zoms
This book is intended to be a companion to Dupuy's "Encyclopedia of Military History" (Harper, 1986), which will be issued in 1993 in a fourth edition as "The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History". Together with 32 contributors, the editors have developed a biographical dictionary of approximately 3,000 entries that ranges in time from Alexander the Great to Norman Schwarzkopf. It complements Spiller's three-volume "Dictionary of American Military Biography" (Greenwood, 1984) and offers more entries than another one-volume dictionary, "Who's Who in Military History from 1453 to the Present Day" (Morrow, 1976) by Keegan and Wheatcroft. Spiller provides much better coverage for American military leaders but is not as current as Dupuy. Keegan and Wheatcroft has excellent illustrations and provides more interesting coverage of the greatest military leaders Entries in the new work consist of a subject's name followed by alternative spellings (an important aid to identifying military leaders associated with Asia and the Middle East), biographical information, and a summary of military contributions. The entries serve to give the facts, and generally no attempt is made to make them interesting reading. However, the longer entries end with paragraphs evaluating the subject's character, abilities, and contributions. Douglas MacArthur's summary paragraph states in part, "MacArthur was egotistical and always controversial, so much so that his arrogance somewhat overshadows his military brilliance; nevertheless he was one of the greatest generals of World War II and of history." Some entries are as brief as two sentences; others such as "Napoleon" are two pages Most entries are signed and give bibliographic citations to important published sources, usually autobiographies and secondary sources (including the "Dictionary of American Biography" and the "Dictionary of National Biography"). The absence of any subject indexing detracts from the reference value of the work. Indexing that would identify leaders with geographic areas and conflicts would be helpful. Facts are important, however, and this work is a necessary purchase for libraries having the companion volume on military history cited above.

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Book Sales, Incorporated
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7.76(w) x 9.57(h) x 2.88(d)

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