The Face of Battle: Sir John Keegan and the Individual in Compliance


On August 2, Sir John Keegan died. He was one of the most influential military historians I have ever read or had the chance to hear speak in person. Keegan was knighted for massive output. In his August 3, 2012 obituary in the New York Times (NYT), David Binder noted that “Sir John’s body of work ranged across the centuries and continents and, as a whole, traced the evolution of warfare and its destructive technology while acknowledging its constraints: the terrors of combat and the psychological toll that soldiers have endured.” For Tip O’Neill, all politics was local, for Sir John Keegan, all military history was individual.

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