The Corner

Happy Memorial Day

Check out NRO’s symposium on great war books. Here’s VDH:

John Keegan’s The Face of Battle — which uses Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme to explain how history perceives battle — remains my favorite military history. It is beautifully written, and it ushered in an entirely new perspective on how to marry the experience of combat with the narrative tradition of military history. Keegan has a unique knack for juxtaposing disconcerting descriptions of gore next to more abstract discussions of historiography. And the result is that he finds the rare middle ground between stuffy academic prose and sensationalist’s blood and guts. When it came out over 30 years ago, The Face of Battle was recognized as a classic, and its reputation has only grown. Its prose reminds me of the great narrative historians like Edward Gibbon and W. H. Prescott; he tells a story like Alistair Horne and Cornelius Ryan, and his historical insight is on par with Michael Howard or Russell Weigley. A book for the ages.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

Most Popular

National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
Elections

The Democrats Made Two Joe Biden Miscalculations

I think it's safe to say that there are many, many progressive Democrats who are more than a little surprised -- and a lot chagrined -- at Joe Biden's polling dominance. Look at FiveThirtyEight's polling roundup. Aside from a few high and low outliers, he leads the race by a solid 20 points (at least). Even ... Read More