Extended Audio Sample

Download A History of Warfare Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A History of Warfare Audiobook, by John Keegan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,263 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Keegan Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455171040
Regular Price: $31.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

In this encyclopedically learned and immensely gripping book, one of our foremost military historians demolishes the famous dictum that war is the continuation of policy by other means. Beginning with the premise that all civilizations owe their origins to warmaking, Keegan probes the meanings, motivations, and methods underlying war in different societies over the course of more than two thousand years. Following the progress of human aggression in its full historical sweep—from the strangely ritualistic combat of Stone Age peoples to the warfare of mass destruction in the present age—his illuminating and lively narrative gives us all the world’s great warrior cultures, including the Zulus, the samurai, and the horse peoples of the steppe, as well as the famed warmakers of the West. He shows why honor has always been accorded to the soldierly virtues, whatever the cultural context, and how war has maintained its singular hold on the imagination, reaching into “the most secret places of the human heart, where self dissolves rational purpose, where pride reigns, where emotion is paramount, where instinct is king.” Keegan’s analysis of centuries of conflict unveils the deepest motives behind humanity’s penchant for mass bloodshed.

A History of Warfare is a masterpiece of military scholarship, irresistible in its style and terrifying in its implications.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_001108

Quotes & Awards

  • “A work of massive sweep…in which the resources of anthropology, ethnology, psychology, and history are drawn on in comprehensive but succinct synthesis to create what is perhaps the most remarkable study of warfare that has yet been written.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A masterpiece…This is one of those rare books which could still be required reading in its field a hundred years from now.”

    New Yorker

  • “In his sweeping new study, Keegan…offers a refreshingly original and challenging perspective…A masterwork.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Frederick Davidson’s reading is clear, well paced, and keeps the listener’s attention.”

    Library Journal

  • “War’s complementary attractiveness and repulsiveness summon legions of religious, rational, and anthropological justifications, and historian Keegan here audaciously attempts to unify them. He can fairly be named the foremost contemporary writer on the subject, and his sharp ideas and easeful prose have prepared a wide audience for this, certainly his magnum opus.”

    Booklist

     

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ofer | 2/19/2014

    " Too much emphasis on debunking Clausewitz's On War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip Ellington | 2/19/2014

    " For anyone who loves history this is a thrilling book and a brilliant essay on the moulding impact of warfare on the development of civilisation. It's also a passionate argument for the obsolescence of war as a political strategy. And, its not too long! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adamonip | 2/17/2014

    " Like the book over all, but his out right hatred for Clausewitz is a detractor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ab | 2/10/2014

    " Excellent book explaining the evolution of warfare. A virtual "Bible" for explaining how war evolved and why it is waged. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Barrett | 2/9/2014

    " (didn't finish) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ofer | 2/4/2014

    " Too much emphasis on debunking Clausewitz's On War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 1/31/2014

    " Perfect. Informative and incredibly interesting. What starts as a history of war becomes a history of human civilisation. I cannot recommend this book enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc Cooper | 1/25/2014

    " Very engaging book. Military history meets cultural anthropology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cade | 1/9/2014

    " An interesting account of warfare. The roles it has historically played. How various cultures deal with and wage war. And mostly the build up to World War I and how the world changed with the mechanized military. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Irene | 1/9/2014

    " Smart man, but had it totally wrong about women who fight. Read my thesis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fredrick Danysh | 12/30/2013

    " Keegan traces the developement of tactics and equipment used in warfare throughout history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben B | 12/26/2013

    " Only Keegan could draw comparisons and contrasts among 5,000 years of combat. Like The Face of Battle, this book looks at warfare from the soldier's point of view, affording the reader a taste of the experience of battle down through the ages. Great history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephan Petersen | 12/20/2013

    " The reason I studied history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devon Capshaw | 12/19/2013

    " Probably the best ever compilations and analysis of evolution of military tactics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 12/19/2013

    " Along with 'The Great Wave' and 'Guns, Germs and Steel' and the various works of Joseph Campbell, this book taught me about the world as it used to be and as it came to us today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reed | 12/10/2013

    " The consummate work on warfare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Derocher | 12/8/2013

    " One of the best reads pertaining to this subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 João Cruz | 11/21/2013

    " Uma obra fundamental. E basta. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 10/21/2013

    " Perfect. Informative and incredibly interesting. What starts as a history of war becomes a history of human civilisation. I cannot recommend this book enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis Manalo | 10/20/2013

    " A very interesting read, but criticized by many other war scholars, this book is meant as a polemic againt Clauswitz. If you don't know who Clauswitz is, you should before you have any opinions about war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce | 9/25/2013

    " Covers it all from primitive cultures to the Nuclear Age. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reed | 7/14/2013

    " The consummate work on warfare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 6/16/2013

    " A broad history of warfare that is accessible to the non-historian. <3 John Keegan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angel | 5/9/2013

    " I found this book very fascinating. I found the ideas intriguing, but found I needed to read closely to grasp them fully. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steven Salaita | 4/27/2013

    " Horridly boring and doubly disappointing given how interesting the title sounds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 4/14/2013

    " The best book on warfare I have ever read. The sweep and power are extraordinary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jouni Virtaharju | 4/9/2013

    " A concise summary of military history through the ages supporting a cultural understanding of the role of warfare in society. A good introduction to the topic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cannonhistory Potter | 3/25/2013

    " Great book that makes you think why we fight and why we have fought. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 João Cruz | 2/23/2013

    " Uma obra fundamental. E basta. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip Ellington | 2/8/2013

    " For anyone who loves history this is a thrilling book and a brilliant essay on the moulding impact of warfare on the development of civilisation. It's also a passionate argument for the obsolescence of war as a political strategy. And, its not too long! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 1/13/2013

    " An in-depth and interesting history of the development of warfare. Examines the premise of warfare as an extension of politics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adamonip | 1/7/2013

    " Like the book over all, but his out right hatred for Clausewitz is a detractor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 12/29/2012

    " This was my first Keegan book--he's an amazing writer. He gives a sweeping and entertaining history of mankind and the evolving nature or war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 11/28/2012

    " A broad history of warfare that is accessible to the non-historian. <3 John Keegan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 8/29/2012

    " The best book on warfare I have ever read. The sweep and power are extraordinary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben B | 8/11/2012

    " Only Keegan could draw comparisons and contrasts among 5,000 years of combat. Like The Face of Battle, this book looks at warfare from the soldier's point of view, affording the reader a taste of the experience of battle down through the ages. Great history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc Cooper | 6/9/2012

    " Very engaging book. Military history meets cultural anthropology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devon Capshaw | 4/14/2012

    " Probably the best ever compilations and analysis of evolution of military tactics. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steven Salaita | 1/20/2012

    " Horridly boring and doubly disappointing given how interesting the title sounds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 1/3/2012

    " This was my first Keegan book--he's an amazing writer. He gives a sweeping and entertaining history of mankind and the evolving nature or war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Derocher | 4/25/2011

    " One of the best reads pertaining to this subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 2/9/2011

    " Only Keegan could draw comparisons and contrasts among 5,000 years of combat. Like The Face of Battle, this book looks at warfare from the soldier's point of view, affording the reader a taste of the experience of battle down through the ages. Great history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 1/26/2011

    " Very engaging book. Military history meets cultural anthropology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reed | 2/26/2010

    " The consummate work on warfare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jordan | 2/23/2010

    " A broad history of warfare that is accessible to the non-historian. <3 John Keegan. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steven | 10/6/2009

    " Horridly boring and doubly disappointing given how interesting the title sounds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cade | 9/5/2009

    " An interesting account of warfare. The roles it has historically played. How various cultures deal with and wage war. And mostly the build up to World War I and how the world changed with the mechanized military. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devon | 3/22/2009

    " Probably the best ever compilations and analysis of evolution of military tactics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ab | 7/25/2008

    " Excellent book explaining the evolution of warfare. A virtual "Bible" for explaining how war evolved and why it is waged. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author John Keegan

John Keegan is the defense editor of the Daily Telegraph (London) and Britain’s foremost military historian. He is the author of many bestselling books, including The First World War, Intelligence in War, and The Battle for History. He lives in Wiltshire, England.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.