John Keegan asks us to consider questions that are seldom asked: What makes a great military leader? Why is it that men, indeed sometimes entire nations, follow a single leader, often to victory, but with equal dedication also to defeat?
Dozens of names come to mind...Napoleon, Lee, Charlemagne, Hannibal, Castro, Hussein. From a wide array, Keegan chooses four commanders who profoundly influenced the course of history: Alexander the Great, the Duke of Wellington, Ulysses S. Grant and Adolph Hitler. All powerful leaders, each cast in a different mold, each with diverse results.
"THE MASK OF COMMAND is as good as military history can get." (B-O-M-C News)
Each section can indeed be read simply ''for the story.'' For a start, Mr. Keegan knows how to bring fighting alive on the page. . . He also has a sure eye for the incident or quotation that conveys a man's style. . . . Unlike the common run of military history, ''The Mask of Command'' is marked by great intellectual liveliness. -- New York Times