Most studies of generalship have focused on individual character and behaviour. While these are not neglected in this remarkable book, its central argument is that, like warfare itself, generalship is a cultural enterprise, providing a key to understanding a particular era or place, as much as it is an exercise in power or military skill.
Through portraits of four generals – archetypal hero Alexander the Great, anti-hero Wellington, the unheroic Ulysses S. Grant and the false heroic of Hitler – John Keegan propounds the view of heroism in warfare as inextricably linked with the political imperative of the age and place. He demonstrates how the role of the general alters with the ethos of the society that creates him and concludes that there is no place for heroism in a nuclear world.
The Mask of Command is a companion to John Keegan’s classic study of the individual soldier, The Face of Battle: together they form a masterpiece of military and human history.
|Publisher:||Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.12(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.94(d)|
About the Author
John Keegan is Defence Editor of the Daily Telegraph and Britain’s foremost military historian. For many years he was the Senior Lecturer in Military History at Sandhurst, and he has been a Fellow of Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received the OBE in the Gulf War honours list, and was knighted in the Millennium honours list in 1999.