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HISTORY RELEVANT FOR TODAY
by FIRSTBATTLER on November 6, 2012Recently, I had the opportunity to re-read (for the fourth time) Thomas Pakenham's magisterial history on the subject of, and titled, "The Boer War." This is an outstanding work at many levels: (i) great writing and use of primary sources including interviews of seventy (70) surviving Boer War veterans alive at the time of drafting; (ii) an excellent example of history as entertaining storytelling in the tradition of Thomas Carlyle; and (iii) gleaning insights from history as it relates to wars being fought more recently, indeed, even today.
I have recommended this work to students of Western military history (and used it myself as a source for research papers while as an undergraduate and graduate student), afficionados of British history and those studying insurgencies. It is a serious work for the military historian of the 1890-1914 period revealing the larger trends of war emerging in that era and providing parallels in the recent wars that the Superpowers have conducted in southwest Asia since 1979 (which incidentally is its year of publication). This book is also just plain fun to read and also recommended to the history enthusiast at large describing the oversized personalities of British and Boer political and military leaders, strategy and tactics and the life of the common soldier of both sides as well as the participation in this war of such future great leaders such as Mohandas Gandhi and Winston Churchill.
Read, learn and enjoy !
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