The Crimean War, which began in 1853 and ended just five years before the American Civil War, is remembered today as the setting for Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and perhaps for the heroism of Florence Nightingale. Edgerton (anthropology & psychiatry, UCLA; Warriors of the Rising Sun, LJ 8/97) has chosen this conflict for an examination of the human experience of war. People of five different nationalities--Russian, Turkish, French, British, and Sardinian (Northern Italian)--participated in this conflict, and Edgerton examines the record of their experience to see if cultural conditioning influenced their perceptions of the war. In this richly anecdotal account, Edgerton presents an appalling picture of wretched generalship, criminal bureaucracies, and inadequate medical care. He concludes that the horrors of this war transcended any national cultural conditioning. This vivid account should be of interest to the general reader as well as to students and is recommended for public and academic libraries.--Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L., MN
Not a narrative of the 1853 war, but an exploration of the best and worst features it brought out in people and its impact on the future of warfare. Edgerton (anthropology and psychiatry, U. of California- Los Angeles) investigates what drove people to such futility as the Charge of the Light Brigade, such heroics as Florence Nightingale's work, and such incompetence as was shown by military leaders. Calling it the most tragically botched military campaign in modern European history, he points out its foreshadowing of the US Civil War and World War I. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
A messy book about a messy war.