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A review by Carroll Quigley in Military Affairs, Winter 196x,

of an eight volume collection:

Military Classics,

Harrisburg: Stackpole Company, 196x

 

Military Classics; eight volumes, boxed, 

   including Sir Edward Creasy's Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World

   S. G. Brady: Caesar's Gallic Campaign; Vegetius: Military Institutions of the Romans

   Frederick the Great: Instructions to His Generals; Karl von Clausewitz: Principles of War

   J. D. Hittle: Jomini and His Summary of the Art of War; Ardant du Picq: Battle Studies

   and Alfred H. Burne: The Art of War on Land

   (Stackpole Company (formerly Military Service Publishing Company), 

   Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. $19.95 the set.)

 

   This boxed set of eight volumes presents a very mixed bag.  It is a re-issue of works published by the same house between 1942 and 1947. These were of varying merit when published.  As a boxed set they seem to be aimed at an ambiguous market and would be acceptable as a group only to a relative novice in military studies, one who wished to begin the collection of a personal library on this subject. The Creasy is a famous old book, which is of only historical interest, since its descriptions of famous battles, written in 1851, are now long since superseded by more recent works based on modern research.  The Vegetius, Frederick the Great, Clausewitz, and du Picq are still valuable, since they are serviceable translations in useful form, especially the Clausewitz, which has Hans Gatzke's informative introduction.

 

   The Burne book is an original work, now twenty years old, but of considerable interest and very clearly written. General Hittle's version of Jomini, although condensed, is also useful and has an excellent introduction of 37 pages. The Brady version of Caesar is of little use, since it is an incomplete and often distorted paraphrase, whose omissions are not indicated; the reader who wishes to get acquainted with this old war horse would do much better with John Warrington's translation, which is available in paperback (E. P. Dutton, 1958). 

 

CARROLL QUIGLEY

Georgetown University 

 

Scan of original review

 

 

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