Victor David Hanson, author of the highly regarded classic The Western Way of War, presents an audacious and controversial theory of what contributes to the success of military campaigns.
Examining in riveting detail the campaigns of three brilliant generals who led largely untrained forces to victory over tyrannical enemies, Hanson shows how the moral confidence with which these generals imbued their troops may have been as significant as any military strategy they utilized. Theban general Epaminondas marched an army of farmers two hundred miles to defeat their Spartan overlords and forever change the complexion of Ancient Greece. William Tecumseh Sherman led his motley army across the South, ravaging the landscape and demoralizing the citizens in the defense of right. And George S. Patton commanded the recently formed Third Army against the German forces in the West, nearly completing the task before his superiors called a halt. Intelligent and dramatic, The Soul of Battle is narrative history at it’s best and a work of great moral conviction.
Rich and fascinating detail...More an essay on the ethical nature of democracies at war than a purely military history of three epic marches for freedom, for it claims that on rare occasions throughout the ages there can be a soul, not merely a spirit, in the way men battle.
&151; New York Times Book Review