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As a backdrop to this review I have read/listened to a number of books associated with each of the battles/wars described in this book bar the Korean War. Also I have read "The Art of War".
Given the above I was very much looking forward to listening to this book and gleaning some insights as to "what might have been". However, I felt disappointed as it is just too superficial and simplistic.
The book does not fully explore the reaction(s) to changes that could have been adopted by following the teachings of Sun Tzu. Battles can be like a game of chess, where once your opponent makes a move you need to consider and react to this whilst developing your own strategy to win. This kind of analysis is not sufficiently included for me. Instead it looks at some specific decisions, critiques it, uses the Sun Tzu philosophy, and describes what should have happened. As if that is the end of the story.
For every action there is a reaction.
Bevin Alexander concentrates on eight battles where better strategies or reactions by the men guiding their armies could have changed history. Warning for those of you have idolized Robert E Lee, he doesn't fare very well in this work; nor does George Washington for that matter. Using the works of Sun Tzu the author points out mistakes made by military leaders that cost battles, and or wars.
It's an interesting take on historical events; particularly the battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the American Civil War. I visited the sight and took the tour of the battlefield, and what Lee tried to accomplish there always confused me.
There are times when the audio version bogs down in detail that probably worked better in print. Still for those of you fascinated by military history this is a definite add to your collection.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I've been an Audible member for many years, but this is the first review I've taken the time to write. This book explores how the principles of Sun Tzu were or were not followed in ten battles or campaigns in the last 200 years. It is fairly easy to follow, even without the maps in front of you which is not true for many narrated military histories
The narration is excellent, I highly recommend the narrator.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful