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John Keegan

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2012 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
John Keegan, a British military historian whose critically acclaimed books spanned ancient and modern warfare and included the bestselling "The Face of Battle," has died. He was 78. Keegan died Thursday at his home in Kilmington, England, according to the London Daily Telegraph, where he had been military affairs editor. No cause of death was reported. A former senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Keegan left teaching after a quarter of a century to join the Telegraph in 1986.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2012 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
John Keegan, a British military historian whose critically acclaimed books spanned ancient and modern warfare and included the bestselling "The Face of Battle," has died. He was 78. Keegan died Thursday at his home in Kilmington, England, according to the London Daily Telegraph, where he had been military affairs editor. No cause of death was reported. A former senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Keegan left teaching after a quarter of a century to join the Telegraph in 1986.
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BOOKS
December 19, 1993 | William Broyles Jr., William Broyles Jr. is a Vietnam veteran and the author of "Brothers in Arms: A Journey From War to Peace ."
Earlier this year the commandant of the Marine Corps suggested that young Marine recruits not be allowed to marry. He was buried under a barrage of ridicule. It was the latest and most outrageous example of clueless military culture, as if Tailhook and the military's opposition to gays and women had not done enough to damage its public reputation.
BOOKS
June 13, 2004 | Walter Laqueur, Walter Laqueur is a distinguished scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the author of many books, including "No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century," and the editor of "Voices of Terror: Manifestos, Writings and Manuals of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Other Terrorists From Around the World and Throughout the Ages."
No war in history has been covered as rapidly and in as much detail as the war in Iraq. The many new books have made a notable contribution to the dissemination of knowledge not only about Washington political decision-making but also about subjects such as geopolitics, terrorism, theology (Islam) and even political philosophy (Leo Strauss and the Straussians). But a price was paid, of which repetition and overlapping are probably the least important features.
BOOKS
December 24, 1989 | Don Cook, Cook is an author and former Paris Bureau Chief for The Times
Half a century ago in 1940, the full fury of World War II was about to engulf Europe, and after that, virtually the entire world. Hitler's war--for that is what it was, at least in its European beginnings--was the last great armed conflict to be launched by a major nation in pursuit of the infamous doctrine laid down by Karl von Clausewitz in 1833: "War is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations,...
MAGAZINE
May 12, 1991
Bravo to John Keegan for his mas-terful piece of Pentagon propaganda ("The Lessons of the Gulf War," April 7). Keegan and the generals, of course, will continue to gloat over their "great" victory over a small, impoverished and technologically backward Third World country, a country that, even Keegan admits, had neither the understanding nor the capacity to fight modern-day battles. So here's one more fact that Keegan should include in his postwar assessment: The many thousands of dead, disabled and homeless Iraqi civilians will forever stand as stark testimony to the shameful human cost of America's "triumph."
NEWS
March 5, 1990 | GARRY ABRAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The nerve-cracking bang of a backfire snaps the post-rush-hour calm of downtown Los Angeles. Walking back to his hotel, John Keegan flinches. It is a sensible reaction in a town where gunplay is not unknown, even beneath gleaming high-rises where packing iron is not the style among the pinstripe set. And, given his background, Keegan's reaction seems to make particular sense.
BOOKS
March 7, 2004 | Edward N. Luttwak, Edward N. Luttwak is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and the author of "Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace."
This may be John Keegan's weakest book among the 17 he has published, but even Keegan's least successful is worth reading. His subject is exactly as advertised -- intelligence in war, although the author gives us mostly war stories with bits of "intelligence" thrown in. That is not accidental: Keegan insists that intelligence is not that important in war -- it is the hard fighting that matters, not knowledge about prior warnings of attack, detailed target information or anything else.
BOOKS
December 27, 1987 | Paul Bohannan, Bohannan is editor of "Law and Warfare" (University of Texas Press) and is working on a one-volume world history in anthropological perspective
The late great Scottish sculptor Michael Ayrton, in an ephemeral novel called "The Maze Maker," divided men into two sorts on the basis of the way they approach their work: those who struggle to master materials become artists or craftsmen (like Daedalus, the artisan who made wings to escape the maze of the Minotaur), while those others who manipulate people try to become heroes. The craftsman's risk is that543713651enough for the job. The hero's risk is that he will perish on an ego trip.
BOOKS
March 7, 2004 | Edward N. Luttwak, Edward N. Luttwak is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and the author of "Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace."
This may be John Keegan's weakest book among the 17 he has published, but even Keegan's least successful is worth reading. His subject is exactly as advertised -- intelligence in war, although the author gives us mostly war stories with bits of "intelligence" thrown in. That is not accidental: Keegan insists that intelligence is not that important in war -- it is the hard fighting that matters, not knowledge about prior warnings of attack, detailed target information or anything else.
BOOKS
October 13, 2002 | Geoffrey Best, Geoffrey Best is the author of numerous books, including "Churchill: A Study in Greatness," "Mid-Victorian Britain" and "Humanity in Warfare."
Two more good books about Winston Churchill, and no doubt there are many more to come. The man himself was extraordinary, and no other statesman of the 20th century performed in so many of its dramas. Sir Martin Gilbert, a veritable Hercules of our profession, has been at it since 1968 and, after 23 volumes of biography and documents, he still hasn't finished. Less monumental biographies are available in all sizes.
BOOKS
June 6, 1999 | BARBARA EHRENREICH, Barbara Ehrenreich is the author, most recently, of "Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War" (Metropolitan Books)
This is an apt moment to contemplate the vast and ultimately pointless slaughter that was World War I. Then, too, a bit of nastiness perpetrated by Serbian ultranationalists--a minor bit, by present-day standards--involving the murder of just two people, who happened to be the Hapsburg crown prince and his wife, provoked a mighty urge to punish. Nations all over the world suddenly realigned themselves into two opposing camps.
BOOKS
December 19, 1993 | William Broyles Jr., William Broyles Jr. is a Vietnam veteran and the author of "Brothers in Arms: A Journey From War to Peace ."
Earlier this year the commandant of the Marine Corps suggested that young Marine recruits not be allowed to marry. He was buried under a barrage of ridicule. It was the latest and most outrageous example of clueless military culture, as if Tailhook and the military's opposition to gays and women had not done enough to damage its public reputation.
MAGAZINE
May 12, 1991
Bravo to John Keegan for his mas-terful piece of Pentagon propaganda ("The Lessons of the Gulf War," April 7). Keegan and the generals, of course, will continue to gloat over their "great" victory over a small, impoverished and technologically backward Third World country, a country that, even Keegan admits, had neither the understanding nor the capacity to fight modern-day battles. So here's one more fact that Keegan should include in his postwar assessment: The many thousands of dead, disabled and homeless Iraqi civilians will forever stand as stark testimony to the shameful human cost of America's "triumph."
BOOKS
October 13, 2002 | Geoffrey Best, Geoffrey Best is the author of numerous books, including "Churchill: A Study in Greatness," "Mid-Victorian Britain" and "Humanity in Warfare."
Two more good books about Winston Churchill, and no doubt there are many more to come. The man himself was extraordinary, and no other statesman of the 20th century performed in so many of its dramas. Sir Martin Gilbert, a veritable Hercules of our profession, has been at it since 1968 and, after 23 volumes of biography and documents, he still hasn't finished. Less monumental biographies are available in all sizes.
BOOKS
June 13, 2004 | Walter Laqueur, Walter Laqueur is a distinguished scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the author of many books, including "No End to War: Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century," and the editor of "Voices of Terror: Manifestos, Writings and Manuals of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Other Terrorists From Around the World and Throughout the Ages."
No war in history has been covered as rapidly and in as much detail as the war in Iraq. The many new books have made a notable contribution to the dissemination of knowledge not only about Washington political decision-making but also about subjects such as geopolitics, terrorism, theology (Islam) and even political philosophy (Leo Strauss and the Straussians). But a price was paid, of which repetition and overlapping are probably the least important features.
NEWS
March 5, 1990 | GARRY ABRAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The nerve-cracking bang of a backfire snaps the post-rush-hour calm of downtown Los Angeles. Walking back to his hotel, John Keegan flinches. It is a sensible reaction in a town where gunplay is not unknown, even beneath gleaming high-rises where packing iron is not the style among the pinstripe set. And, given his background, Keegan's reaction seems to make particular sense.
BOOKS
December 24, 1989 | Don Cook, Cook is an author and former Paris Bureau Chief for The Times
Half a century ago in 1940, the full fury of World War II was about to engulf Europe, and after that, virtually the entire world. Hitler's war--for that is what it was, at least in its European beginnings--was the last great armed conflict to be launched by a major nation in pursuit of the infamous doctrine laid down by Karl von Clausewitz in 1833: "War is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations,...
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