A highly readable overview of the evolution of land warfare, The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle by Michael Stephenson covers some of the same ground as John Keegan’s The Face of Battle by focusing on war from the foot soldier’s perspective.
Stephenson’s scope is much broader, though, as he begins in the Stone Age, makes some predicable stops along the way — dawn of gunpowder, American Civil War, World Wars I and II — and finishes up in Iraq just a few years ago.
Of course any one of the author’s chapters can and have been explored in much greater detail in separate volumes, but this book serves as a fine primer on major milestones and events. Those looking to further explore specific topics can browse the bibliography.
It must be noted that this book does not address naval or air combat — just land warfare. There is also a focus on statistics that I found interesting. All in all it was an enjoyable read. 4 Stars.
As longtime readers of this blog know, I don’t spend as much time on reviews for traditionally published works.