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Fight or Flight

by Geoffrey Regan, Avon Books, New York, 1996, $12.50.

In Fight or Flight, Geoffrey Regan examines the thin line that has always separated bravery and cowardice in combat. From the Siege of Jerusalem in 1099 to the Hürtgen Forest in 1944, it is a history of behavior in combat that is distinguished by its range, understanding and sure analysis.

The Duke of Wellington once observed, “All soldiers run away; it is the good ones who come back.” Those soldiers are more fearful of letting their comrades down than of facing the enemy, Regan writes. One does not have to live with death, but one does–presumably–have to live with dishonor.

Michael D. Hull