Masters of War: History's Greatest Strategic Thinkers

12 CDs. 12 hrs. Recorded Bks. Sept. 2015. ISBN 9781490659503. $100.75. digital download. HIST
In this "Great Courses" collection of lectures, Wilson (strategy and policy, U.S. Naval War Coll., Newport, RI) presents his overview of the great military strategists of history. There is much emphasis on Sun-Tzu, and while those who have read B.H. Liddell Hart's classic Strategy may be disappointed by the absence of those strategists whom Wilson has omitted, overall this is a very nice introduction to the topic that a layperson can easily grasp. The lectures cover topics such as why FDR went against the advice of Chief of Staff George Marshall and embarked on a campaign in north Africa in the summer of 1942; the U.S. Pacific strategy, from War Plan Dog to Guadalcanal to the island-hopping campaign; and the just-war theory, from Thucydides's Melian Dialogue to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wilson reads his own work as a very confident lecturer. His diction is clear, with a few very minor stumbles in delivery, which only demonstrate that this is a lecture and not necessarily a performance.
VERDICT Libraries of all stripes should consider.

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