It’s an ambitious title, but military historian John Keegan is up to the task. In A History of Warfare, Keegan analyzes the role of warfare in society, and the progression of war through four “ages” which he characterizes as “stone, flesh, iron and fire.” Most interesting is that Keegan refutes von Clausewitz’s contention in “On War” that war is simply an extension of national policy. While this is not a book about any particular war or battle, the thoughtful wargamer will find this interesting for the ideas and questions it poses.
Historian Barbara Tuchman won her second Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for Stillwell and The American Experience In China My copy is a first edition hardback, but this great book fortunately is still available in paperback. Using “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell as the catalyst, Tuchman examines thirty years of US policy in China: from the end fo the Manchu Dynasty to Mao Tse-Tung. The book offers insight to a number of military operations, from the Chinese Warlords of the 1920s to the Pacific War of the 1940s. If the movie “The Sand Pebbles” has ever caught your imagination, this book is sure to do the same.
“Pulp” adventure is one of the biggest current themes in miniature wargaming. Here’s a site with a selection of classic pulp stories for you to read online.
In Battles of the Revolutionary War, author W.J. Wood contends that — contrary to popular belief — the war was won by American skill on the battlefield. To prove this contention, he examines in ten chapters, ten major battles of the war: Bunker Hill, Quebec, Trenton and Princeton, Brandywine, Oriskany, Saratoga, King’s Mountain, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and the Chesapeake Capes. Each chapter features a detailed narrative of the battle, some useful maps and battle plans, and an analysis of the action. There also are some good organizational charts, and intellience reports. It was well worth the price.
This is an exciting book that I literally could not put down. Oxford educated historian Tom Holland brings the whirlwind last years of the Roman republic to life — turning what normally is a dry recitation of names and places into a compelling drama. The machinations of Pompey, Cicero, Sulla, and, of course Caesar, are as complex and devious as anything imaginable. What stuck me most, however, was the many ways in which the last years of the Republic reflect our own modern society.Best wargaming bit: There are a few absolutely thrilling chapters that describe the rampaging Roman street gangs who, in support of one politician or another engaged in open warfare in Rome. It would make an outstanding game — especially when a politician opens his stable of gladiators, only to be countered by another’s private guard of legionnaires.