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Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda | [John Keegan]

Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda

In fiction, the spy is a glamorous figure whose secrets make or break peace, but, historically, has intelligence really been a vital step to military victories? In this breakthrough study, the preeminent war historian John Keegan goes to the heart of a series of important conflicts to develop a powerful argument about military intelligence. In his characteristically wry and perceptive prose, Keegan offers us nothing short of a new history of war through the prism of intelligence.
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Publisher's Summary

In fiction, the spy is a glamorous figure whose secrets make or break peace, but, historically, has intelligence really been a vital step to military victories? In this breakthrough study, the preeminent war historian John Keegan goes to the heart of a series of important conflicts to develop a powerful argument about military intelligence. In his characteristically wry and perceptive prose, Keegan offers us nothing short of a new history of war through the prism of intelligence.

Keegan brings to life the split-second decisions that went into waging war before the benefit of aerial surveillance and electronic communications. The English admiral Horatio Nelson was hot on the heels of Napoleon's fleet in the Mediterranean and never knew it, while Stonewall Jackson was able to compensate for the Confederacy's disadvantage in firearms and manpower with detailed maps of the Appalachians. In the past century, espionage and decryption have changed the face of battle. Timely information, however, is only the beginning of the surprising and disturbing aspects of decisions that are made in war, where brute force is often more critical.

Intelligence in War is a thought-provoking work that ranks among John Keegan's finest achievements.

©2003 John Keegan; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, A Division Of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The author is the most popular, and perhaps the best, contemporary writer of military history." (Booklist)
"His case histories offer enough revelations and drama to satisfy any espionage buff....Keegan is always a pleasure to read for his wit, insight, and style." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jay Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 12-30-03
    Jay Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 12-30-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Keegan"

    This book contains a great deal of data that allows the reader to get into the head of the commander and understand the intelligence problem from that unique perspective. Keegan uses his vast knowledge of military history and military command to put into perspective what intelligence can and cannot do. This is not a spy novel but a serious and effective discussion of a very topical problem.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pierre New Minas, NS, Canada 09-23-04
    Pierre New Minas, NS, Canada 09-23-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great stuff"

    Very entertaining and informative, especially if you're a history buff. Puts a different spin on famous historical events.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Norwalk, CA, United States 05-11-11
    Matthew Norwalk, CA, United States 05-11-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great insight on the value of intelligence..."

    Very interesting historical perspective.

    I happened to be listening to this book when UBL had been killed. It was quite interesting to see how things went down and how the intelligence was gathered, passed, read and acted upon. This book goes along books as The Art of War and The Prince.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Sioux Falls, SD, United States 12-16-03
    David Sioux Falls, SD, United States 12-16-03 Member Since 2013
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    "So So"

    This was interesting subject matter my problem was I would have liked it not to cover so much British and WWII subject matter. It would have been better for me if it would have covered more of the earlier and latter time periods of its title.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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