The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: From Marathan to Waterloo

Overview

This book is a classic in the field of military history. Historical writers who can weave myth and symbolism in to their writing carry forward important ideas and concepts for the collective. This is precisely what Creasy has done in his book, organizing his material around the idea that war is productive of something. He influenced every writer of military history who followed. That in itself is enough to promote the book. "15 Decisive Battles" is an excellent introduction to general military history, a ...
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Overview

This book is a classic in the field of military history. Historical writers who can weave myth and symbolism in to their writing carry forward important ideas and concepts for the collective. This is precisely what Creasy has done in his book, organizing his material around the idea that war is productive of something. He influenced every writer of military history who followed. That in itself is enough to promote the book. "15 Decisive Battles" is an excellent introduction to general military history, a perspective often missing in college history courses. Creasy is a generalist but for that very reason, this a good book to start with. Written long ago, his book necessarily omits more recent military candidates, yet vividly captures 15 moments when history stood at a cusp (perhaps Marathon and Waterloo in particular).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781481902250
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 1/3/2013
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 1,169,454
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy (1812-1878) was an English historian born in Bexley, England. He was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge and called to the Bar in 1837. In 1840, he began teaching history at the University of London. He was knighted in 1860 and assumed the position of Chief Justice of Ceylon. His best known contribution to literature is his Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World (1851). Academically, Creasy's work is of a high standard, featuring original texts among his writings. For example, the quoted comment 'without horse' is followed by a Greek text to that effect in the Marathon Battle account. This feature, along with his detailed explanations of sources, and often of their sources, makes his work of enduring value.
Creasy's most famous work, the Fifteen Battles, reveals much about 19th century European sentiment, being laced with explicit references to the deplorable barbarism and immorality of non-Europeans. Indeed, the reason Creasy gives for the significance of many of the fifteen battles, is the very fact that they denied Middle Eastern / Far Eastern people groups access to European soil. Examples include the defeat of the Persians at Marathon, Persian defeat at Arbela, the defeat of Hasdrubal at Metaurus, Attila the Hun's defeat at Chalons, Charles Martel's defeat of the Moors at Tours. Other battles are seen as "decisive" because they shaped the development of Britain, which was the world's leading power at the time of writing: the Norman Conquest at the Battle of Hastings, the defeat of the Spanish Armada and of the French at Blenheim and Waterloo, although also the weakening of the British Empire by the independence of the USA - in 1851 nothing like the global power she would later become - won at Saratoga. Coming as he does, just before Darwin, Creasy's world-view is notably one of 'enlightenment', and he sees Europe as the keeper of civilization. His thinking is eurocentric, and he describes Christianity as a gift to Europe, which it alone could deserve. He shares with most Post-Waterloo, 19th century writers the illusion that world peace has been achieved by enlightened Man.
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