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Robert L. O'Connell, one of the most admired names in military history, tells the whole story of Cannae for the first time, giving a stirring account of this apocalyptic battle of the Second Punic War, and its causes and consequences.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER For millennia, Carthage’s triumph over Rome at Cannae in 216 B.C. has inspired reverence and awe. No general since has matched Hannibal’s most unexpected, innovative, and brutal military victory. Now Robert L. O’Connell, one of the most admired names in military history, tells the whole story of Cannae for the first time, giving us a stirring account of this apocalyptic battle, its causes and consequences. O’Connell brilliantly conveys how Rome amassed a giant army to punish Carthage’s masterful commander, how Hannibal outwitted enemies that outnumbered him, and how this disastrous pivot point in Rome’s history ultimately led to the republic’s resurgence and the creation of its empire. Piecing together decayed shreds of ancient reportage, the author paints powerful portraits of the leading players, from Hannibal—resolutely sane and uncannily strategic—to Scipio Africanus, the self-promoting Roman military tribune. Finally, O’Connell reveals how Cannae’s legend has inspired and haunted military leaders ever since, and the lessons it teaches for our own wars.
From an acclaimed military historian, a bold reappraisal of young George Washington, an ambitious if reckless soldier destined to become the legendary general who took on the British and, through his leadership, defined the American character How did George Washington become an American icon? Robert L. O’Connell, the New York Times bestselling author of Fierce Patriot and The Ghosts of Cannae, introduces us to Washington before he was Washington: a young soldier champing at the bit for a commission in the British army, frustrated by his position as a minor Virginia aristocrat. Fueled by ego, Washington led a disastrous expedition in the Seven Years’ War, but then the commander grew up. We witness George Washington take up politics and join Virginia’s colonial governing body, the House of Burgesses, where he became ever more attuned to the injustices of life under the British Empire and the paranoid, revolutionary atmosphere of the colonies. When war seemed inevitable, he was the right man—the only man—to lead the nascent American army. We would not be here without George Washington, and O’Connell proves that Washington the general was at least as significant to the founding of the United States as Washington the president. He emerges here as cunning and manipulative, a subtle puppeteer among intimates, and a master cajoler—but all in the cause of rectitude and moderation. Washington became the embodiment of the Revolution itself. He draped himself over the revolutionary process and tamped down its fires. As O’Connell writes, the war was decisive because Washington managed to stop a cycle of violence with the force of personality and personal restraint. In his trademark conversational, witty style, Robert L. O’Connell has written a compelling reexamination of General Washington and his revolutionary world. He cuts through the enigma surrounding Washington to show how the general made all the difference and became a new archetype of revolutionary leader in the process. Revolutionary is a masterful character study of America’s founding conflict filled with lessons about conspiracy, resistance, and leadership that resonate today. Advance praise for Revolutionary “Given the amount of ink spilled over the years, it is not easy to offer a fresh look at George Washington’s leadership role during the war for American independence. But Robert L. O’Connell has done it in Revolutionary. The title announces the insight, which is the otherwise uncontrollable political and military energies released by the war that Washington was able to orchestrate.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of American Dialogues: The Founders and Us
Analyzes the leadership and strategies of three forefront military leaders from the ancient world, offers insight into the purposes behind their conflicts, and shows what today's leaders can glean from their successes and failures.
The third book in Professor Christian Potholm’s war trilogy (which includes Winning at War and War Wisdom), Understanding War provides a most workable bibliography dealing with the vast literature on war and warfare. As such, it provides insights into over 3000 works on this overwhelmingly extensive material. Understanding War is thus the most comprehensive annotated bibliography available today. Moreover, by dividing war material into eighteen overarching themes of analysis and fifty seminal topics, and focusing on these, Understanding War enables the reader to access and understand the broadest possible array of materials across both time and space, beginning with the earliest forms of warfare and concluding with the contemporary situation. Stimulating and thought-provoking, this volume is essential for an understanding of the breadth and depth of the vast scholarship dealing with war and warfare through human history and across cultures.
Nathan Rosenstein charts Rome's incredible journey and command of the Mediterranean over the course of the third and second centuries BC.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER William Tecumseh Sherman was more than just one of our greatest generals. Fierce Patriot is a bold, revisionist portrait of how this iconic and enigmatic figure exerted an outsize impact on the American landscape—and the American character. America’s first “celebrity” general, William Tecumseh Sherman was a man of many faces. Some were exalted in the public eye, others known only to his intimates. In this bold, revisionist portrait, Robert L. O’Connell captures the man in full for the first time. From his early exploits in Florida, through his brilliant but tempestuous generalship during the Civil War, to his postwar career as a key player in the building of the transcontinental railroad, Sherman was, as O’Connell puts it, the “human embodiment of Manifest Destiny.” Here is Sherman the military strategist, a master of logistics with an uncanny grasp of terrain and brilliant sense of timing. Then there is “Uncle Billy,” Sherman’s public persona, a charismatic hero to his troops and quotable catnip to the newspaper writers of his day. Here, too, is the private Sherman, whose appetite for women, parties, and the high life of the New York theater complicated his already turbulent marriage. Warrior, family man, American icon, William Tecumseh Sherman has finally found a biographer worthy of his protean gifts. A masterful character study whose myriad insights are leavened with its author’s trademark wit, Fierce Patriot will stand as the essential book on Sherman for decades to come. Praise for Fierce Patriot “A superb examination of the many facets of the iconic Union general.”—General David Petraeus “Sherman’s standing in American history is formidable. . . . It is hard to imagine any other biography capturing it all in such a concise and enlightening fashion.”—National Review “A sharply drawn and propulsive march through the tortured psyche of the man.”—The Wall Street Journal “[O’Connell’s] narrative of the March to the Sea is perhaps the best I have ever read.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post “A surprising, clever, wise, and powerful book.”—Evan Thomas, author of Ike’s Bluff From the Hardcover edition.