cover image Soldiers


John Keegan, Richard Holmes, John Kegan. Viking Books, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-80969-1

Conceived as a companion to the BBC television series of the same name, Soldiers stands on its own as an illuminating and thought-provoking study of war as soldiers have experienced it through history. The authors organize their subject into the various combat arms and allied categories: infantryman, artillerist, cavalryman, tanker, airman, guerrilla, surgeon, logistician, commander. The great technological, tactical and strategic innovations are explained, with emphasis on the men who conceived and saw to their employment. One of the strengths of this overview is the superb choice of examples. The book includes chapters on fighting spirit, the influence of religion on war and the effect of war on civilian populations. Keegan and Holmes wrote The Face of War and Acts of War, respectively. Illustrations. 35,000 first printing; History Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate. (March 26)