John Keegan - Author

About the Author

John Keegan is the Defence Editor of the Daily Telegraph and Britain's foremost military historian. The Reith Lecturer in 1998, he is the author of many bestselling books including The Face of Battle, Six Armies in Normandy, Battle at Sea, The Second World War, A History of Warfare (awarded the Duff Cooper Prize), Warpaths, The Battle for History, Intelligence in War and, most recently, The Iraq War. For many years John Keegan was the Senior Lecturer in Military History at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and he has been a Fellow of Princeton University and Delmas Distinguished Professor of History at Vassar. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received the OBE in the Gulf War honours list, and was knighted in the Millennium honours list in 1999. John Keegan died in August 2012.

Featured books by John Keegan

The First World War Illustrated

The First World War Illustrated

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2014

The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unparalleled ferocity far beyond its European epicentre, it broke the century of relative peace and prosperity which we associate with the Victorian era. It unleashed both the demons of the twenieth century - pestilence, military destruction and mass death - and the ideas which continue to shape our world today - modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, and radical ideas about economics and society. An event of this scale and complexity needs a great historian to portray it, and in his new book, John Keegan fulfils a life-long ambition to write the definitive book on the war. It was of course foremost a fascinating new interpretations of the military events. But the war also acted as a formidable engine for social change throughout the world, and this too is brilliantly conveyed in Keegan's fascinating and magisterial work.

Other books by John Keegan

Warpaths Travels of a Military Historian in North America

Warpaths Travels of a Military Historian in North America

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/01/2017

Military history and geography explain each other in North America as nowhere else in the world. Award-winning historian John Keegan explores their relationship and examines the battles fought over three centuries between Frenchman and Indian, Royalist and colonist, Union and Confederacy, offering compelling profiles of both the land and military leaders, alongside historical events. Combining rigorous research and insightful analysis with personal experiences and reflections, all in lean and lively prose, Warpaths is a rich and engaging work of military literature.

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Author: John Keegan, Andrew Wheatcroft Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2016

The Routledge Who's Who in Military History looks at those men and women who have shaped the course of war. It concentrates on all those periods about which the reader is likely to want information - the eighteenth-century wars in Europe, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the major conflicts of the nineteenth-century. There is full coverage of the First and Second World Wars, and the many post-war struggles up to and including the Gulf War. It provides: * detailed biographies of the most interesting and important figures in military history from about 1450 to the present day * a series of maps showing the main theatres of war * a glossary of common words and phrases * an accessible and user-friendly A-Z layout The Routledge Who's Who in Military History will be a unique and invaluable source of information for the student and general reader alike.

Legends and Poems Now First Collected

Legends and Poems Now First Collected

Author: John Keegan Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2015

How War Begins

How War Begins

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 28/07/2014

From the dean of modern military historians, John Keegan: a key selection from his masterpiece, The First World War. The road to World War I, from the death of the archduke to the first salvos of battle, an incredibly thorough and straightforward account of how a supposedly rational liberal Europe became engulfed by war.Everyone remembers the powder keg, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife by Serbian national Gavrilo Princip; but what about the fact that a full month elapsed between Princip's deed and the actual beginning of war? Or that the German Kaiser spent much of that time on his imperial yacht Hohenzollern, on his annual cruise in the Norwegian fjords? John Keegan explains in careful and fascinating detail how exactly the war began, taking the reader through this fateful and exciting month of diplomatic back and forth, last-minute near-saves, and ultimate failure. An eBook short.

The Face Of Battle A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme

The Face Of Battle A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/03/2014

The Face of Battle is military history from the battlefield: an imperishable account of the direct experience of individuals at 'the point of maximum danger'. It examines the physical conditions of fighting, the particular emotions and behaviour generated by battle, as well as the motives that impel soldiers to stand and fight rather than run away. In this stunningly vivid reassessment of three battles, John Keegan conveys their reality for the participants, whether facing the arrow cloud of Agincourt, the levelled muskets of Waterloo or the steel rain of the Somme.

The First World War Illustrated

The First World War Illustrated

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2014

The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unparalleled ferocity far beyond its European epicentre, it broke the century of relative peace and prosperity which we associate with the Victorian era. It unleashed both the demons of the twenieth century - pestilence, military destruction and mass death - and the ideas which continue to shape our world today - modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, and radical ideas about economics and society. An event of this scale and complexity needs a great historian to portray it, and in his new book, John Keegan fulfils a life-long ambition to write the definitive book on the war. It was of course foremost a fascinating new interpretations of the military events. But the war also acted as a formidable engine for social change throughout the world, and this too is brilliantly conveyed in Keegan's fascinating and magisterial work.

Face of Battle

Face of Battle

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 30/11/2011

In this major and wholly original contribution to military history, John Keegan reverses the usual convention of writing about war in terms of generals and nations in conflict, which tends to leave the common soldier as cipher. Instead, he focuses on what a set battle is like for the man in the thick of it-his fears, his wounds and their treatment, the mechanics of being taken prisoner, the nature of leadership at the most junior level, the role of compulsion in getting men to stand their ground, the intrusions of cruelty and compassion, the din and blood. Set battles, with their unities of time and place, may be a thing of the past, but this anatomy of what they were like for the men who fought them is an unforgettable mirror held up to human nature.

The American Civil War

The American Civil War

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/2010

The American Civil War was one of the longest and bloodiest of modern wars. It is also one of the most mysterious. It has captured the imagination of writers, artists and film-makers for decades but the reality of it confuses and divides historians even today. In this magisterial history of the first modern war, the distinguished military historian John Keegan unpicks the geography, leadership and strategic logic of the war and takes us to the heart of the conflict. His captivating work promises to be the definitive history of the American Civil War.

American Civil War

American Civil War

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 20/10/2009

For the past half century, John Keegan, the greatest military historian of our time, has been returning to the scenes of Americas most bloody and wrenching war to ponder its lingering conundrums: the continuation of fighting for four years between such vastly mismatched sides; the dogged persistence of ill-trained, ill-equipped, and often malnourished combatants; the effective absence of decisive battles among some two to three hundred known to us by name. Now Keegan examines these and other puzzles with a peerless understanding of warfare, uncovering dimensions of the conflict that have eluded earlier historiography.While offering original and perceptive insights into psychology, ideology, demographics, and economics, Keegan reveals the wars hidden shapea consequence of leadership, the evolution of strategic logic, and, above all, geography, the Rosetta Stone of his legendary decipherments of all great battles. The American topography, Keegan argues, presented a battle space of complexity and challenges virtually unmatched before or since. Out of a succession of mythic but chaotic engagements, he weaves an irresistible narrative illuminated with comparisons to the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and other conflicts. The American Civil War is sure to be hailed as a definitive account of its eternally fascinating subject.From the Hardcover edition.

Intelligence in War

Intelligence in War

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 24/10/2006

In fiction, the spy is a glamorous figure whose secrets make or break peace, but, historically, has intelligence really been a vital step to military victories? In this breakthrough study, the preeminent war historian John Keegan goes to the heart of a series of important conflicts to develop a powerful argument about military intelligence. In his characteristically wry and perceptive prose, Keegan offers us nothing short of a new history of war through the prism of intelligence. He brings to life the split-second decisions that went into waging war before the benefit of aerial surveillance and electronic communications. The English admiral Horatio Nelson was hot on the heels of Napoleons fleet in the Mediterranean and never knew it, while Stonewall Jackson was able to compensate for the Confederacys disadvantage in firearms and manpower with detailed maps of the Appalachians. In the past century, espionage and decryption have changed the face of battle: the Japanese surprise attack at the Battle of the Midway was thwarted by an early warning. Timely information, however, is only the beginning of the surprising and disturbing aspects of decisions that are made in war, where brute force is often more critical.Intelligence in War is a thought-provoking work that ranks among John Keegans finest achievements.From the Hardcover edition.

Iraq War

Iraq War

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 26/06/2005

From the bestselling author of The First World War and Intelligence in War comes the most up-to-date and informed study yet of the Iraq War. John Keegan, whom the New York Review of Books calls "e;the best historian of our day,"e; now brings his extraordinary expertise to bear on perhaps the most controversial war of our time. In exclusive interviews with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks, John Keegan has gathered information about the war that adds immeasurably to our grasp of its causes, complications, costs, and consequences. The Iraq War is authoritative, timely, and vitally important to our understanding of a conflict whose ramifications are as yet unknown.

Six Armies in Normandy

Six Armies in Normandy

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 22/06/2005

In burnished, driving prose, John Keegan chronicles the 1944 invasion of Normandy, from D-day to the liberation of Paris. At the same time, he furthers his exploration of the "e;role which warfare and its institutions play in social life"e; by showing how each of the six armies, while resembling one another in purpose and authority, is a mirror of its own nation's values. Each army is shown at successive stages of the invasion in a battle sequence testing them to the utmost: the Americans in their terrifying night drop on the eve of landings, the Canadians at the Omaha beachhead, the English savagely fighting their way inland, the Germans in their surprisingly strong resistance, the Poles in exile desperately blocking the German escape route, and the French at last liberating their City of Light. This extraordinary book is a shining addition to the dramatic literature of men at war.

History of Warfare

History of Warfare

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 22/06/2005

In this encyclopedically learned and immensely gripping book, one of our foremost military historians demolishes the famous dictum that war is the continuation of policy by other means. Beginning with the premise that all civilizations owe their origins to warmaking, Keegan probes the meanings, motivations, and methods underlying war in different societies over the course of more than two thousand years. Following the progress of human aggression in its full historical sweep-from the strangely ritualistic combat of Stone Age peoples to the warfare of mass destruction in the present age-his illuminating and lively narrative gives us all the world's great warrior cultures, including the Zulus, the samurai, and the horse peoples of the steppe, as well as the famed warmakers of the West. He shows why honor has always been accorded to the soldierly virtues, whatever the cultural context, and how war has maintained its singular hold on the imagination, reaching into "e;the most secret places of the human heart, where self dissolves rational purpose, where pride reigns, where emotion is paramount, where instinct is king."e; Keegan's analysis of centuries of conflict unveils the deepest motives behind humanity's penchant for mass bloodshed. A History of Warfare is a masterpiece of military scholarship, irresistible in its style and terrifying in its implications.

Churchill's Generals

Churchill's Generals

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2005

John Keegan has assembled a cast of seventeen generals whose reputations were made (and some of them broken) by Churchill and the Second World War. Churchill's reputation as prime minister during the Second World War fluctuated according to the successes and failures of his generals. Most of them were household names, and often heroes, during the war years. All of them were prey to the intolerance, interference, irascibility - and the inspiration - of the man who wanted to be both the general in the field and the presiding strategic genius. He sacked his warlords ruthlessly, yet in the end he came to be served by perhaps the greatest generals this country has ever produced. Includes chapters on Wavell, Ironside, Ritchie, Auchinleck, Montgomery, Alexander, Percival, Wingate, Slim and Carton de Wiart. Note: The Publisher regrets that the biographical note for Gary Sheffield is incorrect in the book. Please refer to the Orion website (www.orionbooks.co.uk) for the correct version.

The Iraq War

The Iraq War

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2005

The Iraq War remains highly controversial, but in all the uncertainty about weapons of mass destruction, the use and misuse of intelligence, it remains an awesome military and political event and a formidable exercise in American power aided by the British army. Throughout the war and beyond it, John Keegan's analysis proved more accurate than any other commentator's, and now he brings his unrivalled knowledge of military history to bear on the war, its conduct and consequences. Written with special access to new sources of information, this book is the most authoritative and challenging account of a war which could both set the pattern for military conflicts in the 21st century and significantly affect the world political order.

Growing Up in the City A Boy's Tale

Growing Up in the City A Boy's Tale

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/12/2004

A History Of Warfare

A History Of Warfare

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/10/2004

The definitive history of warfare told by Britain's foremost military historian. John Keegan's masterpiece is a work of breath-taking scope that not only chronicles the history of warfare, but unearths lessons on the nature of humanity. Stretching across centuries and continents, from the Empire of Babylon to the Somme, A History of Warfare studies civilisations, psychology, archaeology, genetics, history and strategy with an expert's eye. John Keegan's unmissable and epic journey through military history has been widely acclaimed and remains vital reading today.

Intelligence In War

Intelligence In War

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/10/2004

From the earliest times, commanders have sought knowledge of the enemy, his strengths and weaknesses, his dispositions and intentions. But how much effect, in the 'real time' of a battle or a campaign, can this knowledge have? In this magisterial new study, the author of A History of Warfare goes to the heart of a series of important conflicts to develop a powerful argument about intelligence in war. Keegan's narrative sweep is enthralling, whether portraying the dilemmas of Nelson seeking Napoleon's fleet, Stonewall Jackson in the American Civil War, Bletchley as it seeks to crack Ultra during the Battle of the Atlantic, the realities of the secret war in the Falklands or the numerous intelligence issues in the contemporary fight against terrorism.

Warpaths Travels of a Military Historian in North America

Warpaths Travels of a Military Historian in North America

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/10/2004

Military history and geography explain each other in North America as nowhere else in the world. Award-winning historian John Keegan explores their relationship and examines the battles fought over three centuries between Frenchman and Indian, Royalist and colonist, Union and Confederacy, offering compelling profiles of both the land and military leaders, alongside historical events. Combining rigorous research and insightful analysis with personal experiences and reflections, all in lean and lively prose, Warpaths is a rich and engaging work of military literature.

Six Armies In Normandy From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris June 6th-August 25th,1944

Six Armies In Normandy From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris June 6th-August 25th,1944

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2004

The Allied assault on Normandy beaches was an almost flawless success, but it was to take three months of bitter fighting before the German defence of Normandy finally collapsed and Paris was liberated. In this masterly and highly individual account of that struggle, the reader is subjected to the gruelling ordeals confronted by the combatants - each encounter related from the point of view of a different nationality. While transcending conventional military history, it provides an intensely vivid picture of one of the Second World War's most crucial campaigns.

Battle At Sea From Man-of-War to Submarine

Battle At Sea From Man-of-War to Submarine

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2004

In Battle at Sea, Sir John Keegan applies to maritime warfare the technique that he put to such brilliant effect in his classic of war on land, The Face of Battle. He concentrates on four key conflicts: Trafalgar, Jutland, Midway and the Battle of the Atlantic. He takes us into the very heart of the fighting while providing a remarkable panoramic view of naval warfare through the centuries.

The Mask of Command A Study of Generalship

The Mask of Command A Study of Generalship

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2004

The Mask of Command is about generals: who they are, what they do and how they affect the world we live in. Through portraits of four generals - archetypal hero Alexander the Great, anti-hero Wellington, the unheroic Ulysses S. Grant and the false heroic of Hitler - John Keegan propounds the view of heroism in warfare as inextricable linked with the political imperative of the age and place. He demonstrates how the role of the general alters with the ethos of the society that creates him and concludes that there is no place for heroism in a nuclear world. The Mask of Command is a companion volume to John Keegan's classic study of the individual soldier, The Face of Battle: together they form a masterpiece of military and human history.

Churchill a life

Churchill a life

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2003

The greatest politician and statesmen of the twentieth century by Britain's leading military historian. Was Churchill as a great a wartime leader as he has hitherto been made out? John Keegan discusses the view of the soldiers such as Alanbrooke, his wartime Chief of Staff, and considers Churchill the politician who surprisingly got it wrong so often, not least in the 1945 election. Keegan also writes vividly about Churchill's upbringing and his ambitious streak, which emerged early on and led him into the army and the Boer War.

Who's Who in World War II

Who's Who in World War II

Author: John Keegan Format: eBook Release Date: 01/09/2003

The The First World War First World War New Illustrated Edition

The The First World War First World War New Illustrated Edition

Author: John Keegan Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2001

Magisterial in its scope, beautifully written and literally unputdownable. I cannot recommend Keegan's book too highly. (Julian Critchley, Scotsman). Nobody describes a battle as Keegan does, vividly relating the unfolding events to the contours of the field of combat. This book is a kind of war memorial. As first-hand memory fades, The First World War honours the dead as only true history can. (Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times). John Keegan's The First World War can take its place alongside the other defining works he has written. The best and most approachable introduction to the war. (David Horspool, Guardian). Beautifully written and full of telling detail. The best overall account for the general reader that has appeared since that of Cyril Falls nearly forty years ago. (Michael Howard, Times Literary Supplement).

Who's Who in World War II

Who's Who in World War II

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/09/2001

First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Author: John Keegan, Andrew Wheatcroft Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/09/2001

The Routledge Who's Who in Military History looks at those men and women who have shaped the course of war. It concentrates on all those periods about which the reader is likely to want information - the eighteenth-century wars in Europe, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the major conflicts of the nineteenth-century. There is full coverage of the First and Second World Wars, and the many post-war struggles up to and including the Gulf War. It provides: * detailed biographies of the most interesting and important figures in military history from about 1450 to the present day * a series of maps showing the main theatres of war * a glossary of common words and phrases * an accessible and user-friendly A-Z layout The Routledge Who's Who in Military History will be a unique and invaluable source of information for the student and general reader alike.

War And Our World The Reith Lectures 1998

War And Our World The Reith Lectures 1998

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/1999

War has afflicted the life of mankind in this century as it has done in no other. The First World War killed ten million people, the Second fifty million, and wars since 1945 have killed millions more. Nuclear weapons, a product of the Second World War, have the potentiality not only to destroy lives on a scale greater than any yet explained or even imagined but to obliterate organised society itself. Because the story of war is intertwined with that of mankind from the earliest recorded times, no short book can encompass its whole history. John Keegan therefore concentrates in significant themes: the impact of war on our century and the forms it has taken; the origin of war in human nature and history; the adoption and use of war by states as an instrument of policy; the experience of war by individuals and human groups and its effect on their existence; and, finally, the future of war, particularly the question whether there can now be an end to it.

The Second World War

The Second World War

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/1997

In this comprehensive history, John Keegan explores both the technical and the human impact of the greatest war of all time. He focuses on five crucial battles and offers new insights into the distinctive methods and motivations of modern warfare. In knowledgable, perceptive analysis of the airborne battle of Crete, the carrier battle of Midway, the tank battle of Falaise, the city battle of Berlin, and the amphibious battle of Okinawa, Keegan illuminates the strategic dilemmas faced by the leaders and the consequences of their decisions on the fighting men and the course of the war as a whole.

The Battle For History Refighting World War Two

The Battle For History Refighting World War Two

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/1997

Although 50 years have passed since the end of World War II, there has as yet been no definitive history of that conflict. Existing histories have raised as many questions as they answer: Did Roosevelt have foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbour? Could the Allies have invaded France before 1944? Might bombing the Auschwitz railway have impeded the course of the Holocaust? John Keegan here assesses the literature that has emerged from World War II - and the controversies it has generated - in a book that combines stunning erudition with crisp prose and highly personal discernment.

Warpaths Travels of a Military Historian in North America

Warpaths Travels of a Military Historian in North America

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/10/1996

Geography and military history have come to explain each other in North America as they do nowhere else in the world. From the arrival of the Europenans in the 16th century to the final defeat of the native Americans in the 19th, climate and competition for resources explain why men fortified where they did, campaigned as they did and were drawn to the battlefields where the control of the continent was decided. Warpaths begins with the establishment of New France on the St Lawrence River and the French conflicts with the Indians and British - culminating with the English defeat at Yorktown. There follows Civil War between North and South, as well as the Indian wars. The book ends with the final twist in the story of European warfare in North America, as American and Canadian forces arrive to save Britain and liberate France in the Second World War.

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Author: John Keegan, Andrew Wheatcroft Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/03/1996

Who's Who in Military History looks at those people who have shaped the course of war. Broad in geographical and chronological scope, it concentrates on all the major periods and conflicts in history, from 1453 up to and including the Persian Gulf War. It provides: * detailed biographies of the most interesting and important figures in military history * a series of maps showing the main theatres of war * a glossary of common words and phrases * a unique and valuable source of information for both the student and the general reader.

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Who's Who in Military History From 1453 to the Present Day

Author: John Keegan, Andrew Wheatcroft Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/1996

Who's Who in Military History looks at those people who have shaped the course of war. Broad in geographical and chronological scope, it concentrates on all the major periods and conflicts in history, from 1453 up to and including the Persian Gulf War. It provides: * detailed biographies of the most interesting and important figures in military history * a series of maps showing the main theatres of war * a glossary of common words and phrases * a unique and valuable source of information for both the student and the general reader.

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