Max Hastings is a specializing in military history. His most recent books include Bomber Command, Battle for the Falklands, and Overlord.
Works of this kind draw their credibility from their editor. Hastings is familiar with the literature, sensitive to English prose, and aware of a good story. His use of narrative quality as the basic criterion for inclusion results in a pastiche of original accounts and secondary material from familiar sourcesthe Bible, Voltaire, Gibbon, and, occasionally, Hastings. The ancient and medieval anecdotes are a bit shopworn. The modern ones are so ethnocentric that Oxford might have published a book of British military anecdotes. Within these limits however, Hastings succeeds in illustrating the soldier's experience in both universal and specific aspects. Dennis E. Showalter, History Dept., Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs