John Keegan


Born
in Clapham, London, The United Kingdom
May 15, 1934

Died
August 02, 2012

Genre


Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan, OBE, FRSL was a British military historian, lecturer and journalist. He published many works on the nature of combat between the 14th and 21st centuries concerning land, air, maritime and intelligence warfare as well as the psychology of battle.

Average rating: 4.01 · 46,231 ratings · 2,382 reviews · 106 distinct worksSimilar authors
The First World War

4.03 avg rating — 12,204 ratings — published 1999 — 40 editions
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The Face of Battle: A Study...

4.18 avg rating — 6,497 ratings — published 1976 — 52 editions
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The Second World War

4.10 avg rating — 4,422 ratings — published 1989 — 25 editions
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A History of Warfare

4.01 avg rating — 3,233 ratings — published 1993 — 55 editions
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Six Armies in Normandy: Fro...

4.06 avg rating — 2,882 ratings — published 1982 — 24 editions
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The Mask of Command

4.12 avg rating — 2,501 ratings — published 1987 — 20 editions
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Intelligence in War: Knowle...

3.66 avg rating — 1,532 ratings — published 2003 — 30 editions
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The American Civil War: A M...

3.76 avg rating — 1,443 ratings — published 2009 — 29 editions
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The Price of Admiralty: The...

4.07 avg rating — 903 ratings — published 1989 — 3 editions
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Winston Churchill

3.84 avg rating — 985 ratings — published 2002 — 19 editions
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More books by John Keegan…
The First World War The Second World War
(2 books)
by
4.05 avg rating — 16,626 ratings

“For our purpose, however, what the soldiers did or did not read is irrelevant. For, if soldiers did not learn to fight their battles from reading books, neither is it likely that military historians learned to write their books from watching battles. Battles are extremely confusing; and confronted with the need to make sense of something he does not understand, even the cleverest, indeed preeminently the cleverest man, realizing his need for a language and metaphor he does not possess, will turn to look at what someone else has already made of a similar set of events as a guide for his own pen.”
John Keegan

“In 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, Grant, aged thirty-nine, with four children at home and scarcely a penny in the bank, had made no mark on the world and looked unlikely to do so, for all the boom conditions of mid-century America. His Plymouth Rock ancestry, his specialist education, his military rank, which together must have ensured him a sheltered corner in the life of the Old World, counted for nothing in the New. He lacked the essential quality to be what Jacques Barzun has called a “booster,” one of those bustling, bonhomous, penny-counting, chance-grabbing optimists who, whether in the frenetic commercial activity of the Atlantic coast, in the emergent industries of New England and Pennsylvania or on the westward-moving frontier, were to make America’s fortune. Grant, in his introspective and undemonstrative style, was a gentleman, and was crippled by the quality.”
John Keegan, The Mask of Command

“It is one of the many graveyards which are the Great War's chief heritage. The chronicle of its battles provides the dreariest literature in military history; no brave trumpets sound in memory for the drab millions who plodded to death on the featureless plains of Picardy and Poland; no litanies are sung for the leaders who coaxed them to slaughter.”
John Keegan