‘Masters of War: History’s Great Strategic Thinkers’ by Andrew R Wilson

Overall Rating: Recommended with Reservations  (How I Rate Books)

Personal Rating: Excellent perspective of military scholarship. Super cool to read/watch!




Nonfiction, Great Courses, Military History

Similar books:

Previous books by the author/in the series I’ve reviewed:

  • None, by this author, but lots by the Great Courses

Spoilers below. You’ve been warned!

This is a lecture series about the great military strategists and scholars in world history, and studying their legacy through the lens of the books they left behind and how those books impacted future generations of generals.

The author studied great military scholars including everyone from Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Jomini and Clauzewitz from the Napoleonic era, Mao, Mahan and Corbett. The professor then took the theories and innovations created by these historical figures and used them to analyze major historical events throughout history.

The teacher also studied terrorism (due to the modern nature of the military being deployed to fight terrorists moreso than enemy armies), and in that research explained examples of Michael Collins of the Irish Republican Army, the Algerian freedom movement, Mao again, as well as studying Al Queda and the Tamil Tigers. He also went into counterinsurgency methods, and how those methods can be counterproductive.

Besides just the content, the professor had a very clear style which made it easy to comprehend a lot of information very quickly. My complements to the professor- this is one of the best Great Courses I’ve listened to and I’ve listened to fifty or so. This lecture is so content-packed I’m going to re-listen to it just to pick up things I missed the first time around. Very compelling stuff if you’re a nerd like me. My one wish was that he he discussed stuff from WW1 (because that’s what I’m most curious about), but you can’t have everything!

If you’re in even the least bit curious about the topic, give this a look. This certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you are curious then this is a very good lecture about an important topic.

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