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Download The Face of Battle Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Face of Battle, by John Keegan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,428 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Keegan Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this major and wholly original contribution to military history, John Keegan reverses the usual convention of writing about war in terms of generals and nations in conflict, which tends to leave the common soldier as cipher. Instead, he focuses on what a set battle is like for the man in the thick of it—his fears, his wounds and their treatment, the mechanics of being taken prisoner, the nature of leadership at the most junior level, the role of compulsion in getting men to stand their ground, the intrusions of cruelty and compassion, the din and blood.

Set battles, with their unities of time and place, may be a thing of the past, but this anatomy of what they were like for the men who fought them is an unforgettable mirror held up to human nature.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The most brilliant evocation of military experience in our time.”

    C. P. Snow, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A totally original and brilliant book.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “In this book, which is so creative, so original, one learns as much about the nature of man as of battle.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This without any doubt is one of the half-dozen best books on warfare to appear in the English language since the end of the Second World War.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “This is no ordinary book of military history. In fact, it’s considered a classic…[Simon Vance’s] reading matches the grace, intelligence, and pathos of Keegan’s prose…A flawless reading.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kent | 2/13/2014

    " The best history on what it was like to be a soldier at Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme. Keegan never lets you down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nick | 2/6/2014

    " John Keegan approaches battle analysis from a different angle: how a battle would have been experienced by various participants. More than any other book this will give you an idea of what it was like to be a participant in historic battles like Waterloo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michael Donovan | 1/30/2014

    " Tactics. Tactics. Tactics. Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bryan | 1/28/2014

    " Fascinating look at what the experience of battle would have been like in a specific area over a long period of time (north west of Europe in 1415, 1815, and 1916). It's light on tactics but very vivid in evoking what a soldier's experience of the battle might have been like. It's quite selective about what it covers (e.g., the first day of the Somme is the longest section of the book, but the rest of the battle hardly gets a page), but still an interesting read. "

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