Reviews of History Books

Reviews and analysis of books related to history from all periods, particularly military history. If you are a publisher and you have a book you would like me to review, you can contact me at scottmanning13 at gmail dot com.

Book Review: Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg

by Scott Manning January 6, 2014
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Clausewitz tells us “war is nothing but a duel on a larger scale. Countless duels go to make up war.” We can go one-step further in that countless duels make up a battle, especially larger battles. Historians such as Eric J. Wittenberg understand this and with a seemingly over-analyzed battle such as Gettysburg, he continues […]

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Book Review: The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam

by Scott Manning May 11, 2013
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Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. In The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam, Jonathan Riley-Smith has provided a succinct, powerful work that helps us understand the historical memory of the Crusades in both the Western and Islamic worlds. Given the sensitivities over the Crusading era with both Christians and […]

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Book Review: Turning Pro

by Scott Manning November 7, 2012
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Author Steven Pressfield published a short, powerful book earlier this year, Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work. The blurb caught my attention, as he sought to explain how he moved from being an amateur to being a professional. Addressing anyone with artistic aspirations, Pressfield emphasizes there is a stark difference […]

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Book Review: New Jersey Butterfly Boys in the Civil War

by Scott Manning March 7, 2012
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In New Jersey Butterfly Boys, Peter T. Lubrecht tells the story of the Third New Jersey Cavalry, a regiment that saw action during the latter half of the Civil War. The unit is an intriguing one that featured an ethnic mix of predominately German and Irish immigrants, as well as soldiers from more than a […]

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Video Review: The Complete Gettysburg Guide for the iPad Kindle

by Scott Manning July 16, 2011
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The Complete Gettysburg Guide for the iPad Kindle is slick and well worth the $13.77 price tag. It is in full color and easily navigable like other books. In addition, you can zoom in on the maps. To demonstrate some of the functionality, here is a video demonstration of the book. I have used the […]

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Keegan on McPherson; McPherson on Keegan

by Scott Manning March 30, 2011
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British military historian John Keegan and Civil War historian James McPherson are two very prolific writers who may not be tied at the hip, but certainly overlap in some arenas. Back in 1995, Keegan, like others, heaped praise upon McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom: Not until 1988 did an American historian, James McPherson, succeed in […]

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Book Review: These Honored Dead: How The Story Of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory

by Scott Manning February 25, 2011
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Desjardin, Thomas A. These Honored Dead: How The Story Of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory. New York: Da Capo Press, 2003. 288 pages. Thomas A. Desjardin’s These Honored Dead is a decent introduction to some of the popular myths that have spawned and lingered from Gettysburg since the battle occurred. The popularized version of Gettysburg from […]

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The Battle of Agincourt: Sources and Interpretations

by Scott Manning September 10, 2010

On 25 October 1415, Henry V (1387-1422) and his army of heavy infantry and longbowmen fought a larger French army of cavalry, crossbowmen, and heavy infantry. The result was a decisive English victory at the Battle of Agincourt that historian John Keegan identified as “one of the most instantly and vividly visualized of all epic […]

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Book Review: In Words and Deeds

by Scott Manning May 2, 2010

Reprinted by permission of On Point: The Journal of Army History, Vol. 15 No. 3, Winter 2010, Army Historical Foundation (www.armyhistory.org). Richard F. Miller. In Words and Deeds: Battle Speeches in History Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2008. 424 pages. Richard F. Miller’s In Words and Deeds: Battle Speeches in History is a […]

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Book Review: The Father of Us All

by Scott Manning April 26, 2010
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Hanson, Victor Davis. The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010. 272 pages. From the mind of Victor Davis Hanson comes The Father of Us All, which gets its name from the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus (c. 535-475 BC), who said that war is “the father, the king […]

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