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MHQ Reviews: Notable Books, Summer 2013

Originally published by MHQ magazine. Published Online: May 07, 2013 
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Masters of the Battlefield
Great Commanders From the Classical Age to the Napoleonic Era
by Paul K. Davis
(Oxford, $34.95)
The author of 100 Decisive Battles turns his attention to tactical geniuses, with profiles of Caesar, Genghis Khan, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and more.

The Plantagenets
The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England
by Dan Jones
(Viking, $36)
A bestseller in Britain, this is the story of the royal line that ruled by the sword for more than two centuries during the Middle Ages and became the heroes—and villains—of such famous battles as Bannockburn, Sluys, Crécy, and Poitiers.

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Bunker Hill
A City, a Siege, a Revolution
by Nathaniel Philbrick
(Viking, $32.95)
The award-winning writer (Mayflower, In the Heart of the Sea, The Last Stand) traces what happened in the months leading up to the battle to persuade Boston's citizens to stand so bravely against the British.

Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy
A Civil War Odyssey
by Peter Carlson
(Public Affairs, $26.99)
The amazing tale of Northern newspaper reporters captured at Vicksburg who escaped a notorious Confederate prison and spent a month on the run behind enemy lines.

The Savior Generals
How Five Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost—From Ancient Greece to Iraq
by Victor Davis Hanson
(Bloomsbury, $28)
The columnist and military historian presents Themistocles, Flavius Belisarius, William T. Sherman, Matthew Ridgway, and David Petraeus as examples of how one man can make the difference between victory and defeat.

Through the Perilous Fight
Six Weeks That Saved the Nation
by Steve Vogel
(Random House, $30)
Vogel, author of The Pentagon: A History, recounts the most desperate hours of the War of 1812—the burning of Washington and the battle of Baltimore.

The Last Battle
When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe
by Stephen Harding
(Da Capo, $26.99)
Harding, senior editor of Military History, turns a footnote into major drama with the story of how American tankers and German prison guards fought a Nazi unit to save French VIPs from execution.

Nelson
The Sword of Albion
by John Sugden
(Henry Holt, $45)
The second volume of Sugden's sweeping biography of famed British admiral Horatio Nelson picks up in the late 18th century and covers the years of his greatest achievements, including the triumph at Trafalgar.

A Disease in the Public Mind
A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War
by Thomas Fleming
(Da Capo, $26.99)
The longtime MHQ contributor argues that the divisions that tore the nation apart in 1861 took hold in fanaticism and bitterness born more than a half century before.

The Civil War in 50 Objects
by Harold Holzer and the New-York Historical Society
(Viking, $36)
In this essay collection, the renowned historian writes eloquently about a Confederate soldier's letters home, John Brown's pike, Abraham Lincoln's 1864 campaign flag, and other treasures from the society's collection.

Moment of Battle
The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World
by James Lacey and Williamson Murray
(Bantam, $30)
The two scholars and MHQ contributors write about the conflicts that shaped history and reverberate today—from Marathon to Vicksburg to the American attack on Baghdad in 2003.

 

Fiction

Hell or Richmond
by Ralph Peters
(Forge, $25.99)
Following up Cain at Gettysburg, Peters takes readers into the trenches and war-council sessions at the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Spotsylvania.

The Reprisal
A Novel, by Laudomia Bonanni
(University of Chicago, $22)
This Italian classic (translated to English for the first time) taps true stories from Abruzzo during World War II to spin a story about a pregnant woman tragically trapped between guerrilla partisans and fascist supporters.

 

Coming Soon

The Deserters
A Hidden History of World War II
by Charles Glass
(Penguin)

After Thermopylae
The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars
by Paul Cartledge
(Oxford)

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