Intelligence in War

  • by John Keegan
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble
  • 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Jay

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.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2003
  • Publisher: Random House Audio