Karl Marx got it right

14 October 2009
The American Civil War John Keegan

Hutchinson, pp.394, 25

Whether the refusal to allow the Confederate states the right to self-determination, flying as it did in the face of the Declaration of Independence, was the first overt act of… Read more

A starring role for the Tsar

14 October 2009
Russia Against Napoleon Dominic Lieven

Allen Lane, pp.617, 30

In reviewing Robert Harvey’s The War of Wars: The Epic Struggle Between Britain and France, 1793-1815 in these pages three years ago, I asked the question, ‘Who, in the end,… Read more

Darkness at dawn

20 May 2009
D-Day: The Battle for Normandy Anthony Beevor

Viking, pp.590, 25

The Forgotten Voices of D-Day Roderick Bailey, in association with the Imperial War Museum

Ebury, pp.401, 19.99

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, by Anthony Beevor The Forgotten Voices of D-Day, by Roderick Bailey, in association with the Imperial War Museum Sixty-five years ago the largest seaborne assault… Read more


The man for the hour

25 March 2009
The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq, 2006-2008 Thomas E. Ricks

Allen Lane, pp.394, 25

At the turn of 2007, the United States was facing defeat in Baghdad. Shia and Sunni were on killing sprees, the supply line from Kuwait was under constant attack, and… Read more


Order out of chaos

18 March 2009
The English Civil Wars, 1640-1660 Blair Worden

Weidenfeld, pp.192, 12.99

What got into them? For two decades in the middle of the 17th century, English- men transformed their world, overthrowing and eventually executing their king, abolishing bishops and the House… Read more

Behind the fighting lines

28 January 2009
Memories of an SOE Historian M. R. D. Foot

Pen & Sword, pp.208, 19.99

M. R. D. Foot confesses that he has always endeavoured to follow Whistler’s counsel, ‘Not a day without a line’. His written output is impressive and his judgments severe on… Read more

The secrets of Room 40

12 December 2008
‘Blinker’ Hall, Spymaster David Ramsay

Spellmount, pp.320, 25

‘Blinker’ Hall, Spymaster, by David Ramsay The first world war admiral, ‘Blinker’ Hall — so-called for the obvious reason — is less widely known than Jellicoe, Beatty & Co., but… Read more

Memoirs of the Great War

10 December 2008
Survivors of a Kind Brian Bond

Continuum, pp.216, 25.00

Survivors of a Kind, by Brian Bond In Survivors of a Kind, Brian Bond, one of our most distinguished modern military historians, has written an absorbing and affectionate study of… Read more

Not just Hitler

26 November 2008
The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945 Richard L. Evans

Allen Lane, pp.926, 30

The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945, by Richard L. Evans Any historian attempting a survey of Nazi Germany during the second world war confronts formidable challenges. First, the available literature… Read more

The spice of danger

26 November 2008
From the Front Line: Family Letters & Diaries, 1900 to the Falklands & Afghanistan Hew Pike

Pen & Sword, pp.237, 19.99

From the Front Line: Family Letters & Diaries, 1900 to the Falklands & Afghanistan, by Hew Pike ‘Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier,’ reckoned… Read more