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Great Military Lives

By: Times (501.1/36006)
Publisher: Collins ISBN: 9780007276707

For more than 150 years The Times in its obituary columns has published authoritative, perceptive accounts of the lives of exceptional individuals who have define and shaped the world in which they lived. Great Military Lives is a fascinating showcase of a unique school of biographical writing which combines the insight and discernment of the historian with the immediacy of a daily newspaper and the journalist's love of the human detail that can bring a story alive.

The obituaries collected in this volume are of outstanding military commanders of the 19th and 20th centuries. These were remarkable men. Sometimes complex and difficult, often intellectually brilliant and physically brave, always with the confidence and clarity of mind to take the difficult decisions which might carry a vital battle or turn a campaign. Above all, they were great leaders of men, ready to bear the lonely responsibility of high command, ever aware that they had the lives of thousands - even the fate of nations - in their hands.

The obituaries are reproduced here as they were printed at the time, with the contemporary assessment followed in each case by a current perspective by a military obituaries writer for The Times, who with Ian Brunskill, the paper's obituaries editor, has selected the subjects for inclusion.

In depicting an age of almost ceaseless conflict, it bears witness to an enduring ideal of selfless service - on land, at sea and in the air - to which those fortunate enough to enjoy peace will always owe so much.

December 2008

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