Acts of War: The Behavior of Men in Battle

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9780029150207: Acts of War: The Behavior of Men in Battle

This ambitious, wide-ranging, exhaustively researched book is a compelling attempt to grasp the very nature of war. It takes us through the soldier's experience in its entirety - from the humiliation of basic training and the intense comradeship of army life, to the terror, isolation and exhaustion of battle. What does it feel like to be in the firing line? How does killing change a man? And what do the extreme conditions of war reveal about a man's basic instincts, his courage or his fear, his urge for self-preservation or self-sacrifice? Covering several centuries of warfare, and including the personal recollections of veterans from two World Wars, from Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands and the Arab-Israeli conflicts, Richard Holmes gives us a powerful picture of what motivates the soldier and enables him to maintain the struggle in conditions of extreme degradation and danger.

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About the Author:

Richard Holmes is the author of numerous books including The Firing Line, Soldiers and Riding The Retreat, published both in the UK and in North America. He is the author and presenter of the BBC War Walks series and their accompanying books. Another recent television series for the BBC and the History Channel is The Western Front, also accompanied by a bestselling book. Richard Holmes is Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Royal College of Military Science, Shrivenham and Britain's senior serving reserve officer.

From Library Journal:

In this useful and gripping study, an English military biographer examines the forces which operate upon fighting men in and out of battle. Holmes presents numerous well-organized anecdotes that range from Waterloo to the Falklands, often deliberately blurring the distinction between wars in order to show their common factors. Although the book is drawn exlusively from secondary sources, it contains a wealth of insights useful to professional students. His observations on the role of females in combat zones are timely, if unsurprising to most veterans. As a work of lay psychology, the book surpasses John Ellis's The Sharp End ( LJ 2/15/81). Recommended to most public libraries. History Book Club main selection. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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