The Second World War by John Keegan

War is terrible to experience, but fascinating to read about. I have read this book before, but it was worth rereading. Keegan’s approach to the study of war is coldly technical and rather short on human feeling, but his tactical and strategic analysis is admirably thorough. For a snobby Brit, he is a great admirer of America’s military prowess and America’s performance in the war, and his portrait of Roosevelt is the most flattering of any of the wartime statesmen he profiles in this book. Nevertheless, the book has its defects: the human dimension of war is overlooked in favor of the technical, and Keegan has precious little to say about the Holocaust. But this book was intended from the outset to be a primarily military history, and as such it is worthy of study, even (and perhaps especially) for the cadets at West Point.

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