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WAR Through the Ages

by Lynn Montross

This book is unique--the stirring story of war in all its phases from 490 b.c. to our own day. Since its first appearance in 1944 it has become a classic, a storehouse of military lore for the specialist and layman alike. Mr. Montross is superbly readable because in telling his story he never loses sight of the fact that wars are waged by men. He is concerned first of all with people, with those who fought and the great conquerors who led them.

If the experiences of the centuries teaches any enduring lesson about war, it is that the heart of man has never been changed by any weapon his mind has conceived.

Even if we allow that war is a disease of the body politic, as it has sometimes been defined, men of good will cannot hope to escape the ravages by ignoring the symptoms.

In his research notes, Montross refered to earlier work by Gibbon, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Remember, this work was completed in 1787; yet, reads as though it were a modern day commentary. Gibbon attributes the fall of the Roman Empire to these factors:

"The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society."

"Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace."

"The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal."

"The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people."

"The decay of religion -- faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people."

Thirty years before the date historians agree ended the worlds most powerful society, soundness of the government and defense of the cities were both threatened by the failure of inductees to report for military duty and the uncontrolled rise in violent crime. And finally, the emperor himself, felt it necessary to condone homosexuality in the armies. The reasoning, as explained to the Roman senate, was that soldiers of that persuasion would be more likely to stand stronger with one another in the face of battle.

From 1950 until his death in 1961, Lynn Montross was a historical writer for the U. S. Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. He was the author of numerous books and many articles on military and historical subjects, including The Reluctant Rebels, Rag, Tag and Bobtail, Cavalry of the Sky, and United States Marines: a pictorial history.

Born in Battle Creek, Nebraska, Mr. Montross studied at the University of Nebraska before serving for three years in an AEF infantry regiment during World War I. Later he joined the staff of the Chicago Daily News, then for many years did free-lance writing, fiction and nonficition, while gathering material for his monumental War Through the Ages.

Harper & Row, Publishers 1960

(Note: The 1968 hardcover price of this publication was $12.95 - it has soared since! Try your local library first. Otherwise, either Amazon or Barnes & Nobel can locate - believe Amazon is the cheaper.)

War Through the Ages (Hardcover)

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