Day By Day

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Keegan's Civil War

John Keegan, perhaps the foremost military historian of our times, has finally tackled the subject of the American Civil War and the result appears to be interesting. Here's a nice review of the book by Yale's David W. Blight. He emphasizes Keegan's appreciation of the geographical context of the war [vast spaces larger than Napoleon's empire and comparable to the extent of Genghis Kahn's conquests, the lack of strategic cities, the importance of the West. especially the Vicksburg campaign], and the sheer brutality of the tactics [this was a "body count" war that in many ways anticipated the early years of World War One]. It sounds interesting and will definitely go on my reading list for next year. You can order it here.