Item description for Decisive Battles of the World by Edward S. Creasy...
This famous classic, first published in 1851 under the title "Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World from Marathon to Waterloo," spans 2,,300 years of human history. It is scholarly and authoritative, as well as fair. Creasy's deductions as to the effects of the battles on history are profound. This is a revised 1899 edition by Speed, who added chapters on Gettysburg, Sedan, Santiago and Manila.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.82" Width: 5.91" Height: 1.26" Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Publisher Simon Publications
ISBN 1931541817 ISBN13 9781931541817
Availability 78 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 24, 2017 10:09.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Decisive Battles of the World?
19th Century Historiography Nov 6, 2002
There are two ways to view historiography. The first is relatively straightforward (how does the author research and relate the facts) and the second is more contextual (how does the author's style, voice, etc., relate to the works of his/her contemporaries and how has this book influenced the study and writing of history.) Edward Creasy's book is less valuable in the former view of historiography and more valuable in the latter.
Creasy presents few if any new facts or analysis of the battles and leaders discussed in Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, which is disappointing. More attention is devoted to some battles at the expense of others. The Greek victory at Salamis, first first chapter, is engaging but the following chapter, on the Athenian defeat in Sicily is sparse and detached. Flaws in Creasy the historian appear in his description of the victory of Arminius over the Roman legions in Germany in AD 9. Creasy connects the Germanic tribes' defeat of the Romans to the nature of the Germanic nation as a whole, then linking it to that of the English. At that point, Creasy emerges from a facade of objective analysis as a historian, and the book never truly recovers. Creasy never outrightly claims that decisive battles are consistently won by superior societies or races, but this is implied throughout. I do not mind that viewpoint as I do the poor historiography that emerges in the book. That is its major detraction.
That said, however, Fifteen Decisive Battles is an intruiging study in that 1) it is considered a landmark work in history - although now students of history are usually told to avoid it, 2) Creasy introduced the concept of the decisive battle into the Western study of military history, 3) Creasy's assumptions/notions have remained influence despite lack of real, hard evidence to the modern day, to include "Carnage and Culture," etc. Given this context, I found the book a little more palatable, at least I felt that when reading it, I had to look at the context in which it was written and its influence since its first publication.
I rated this book as a three, because although the prose is often engaging, the historiography is lacking yet the book's impact is such that a serious student of history should read it and judge it on its own merits