The General by C. S. ForesterThe General by C. S. Forester

The General

byC. S. Forester

Paperback | April 21, 2015

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The book John Kelly reads every time he gets a promotion to remind him of 'the perils of hubris, the pitfalls of patriotism and duty unaccompanied by critical thinking'The most vivid, moving - and devastating - word-portrait of a World War One British commander ever written, here re-introduced by Max Hastings.C.S. Forester's 1936 masterpiece follows Lt General Herbert Curzon, who fumbled a fortuitous early step on the path to glory in the Boer War. 1914 finds him an honourable, decent, brave and wholly unimaginative colonel. Survival through the early slaughters in which so many fellow-officers perished then brings him rapid promotion. By 1916, he is a general in command of 100,000 British soldiers, whom he leads through the horrors of the Somme and Passchendaele, a position for which he is entirely unsuited and intellectually unprepared.Wonderfully human with Forester's droll relish for human folly on full display, this is the story of a man of his time who is anything but wicked, yet presides over appalling sacrifice and tragedy. In his awkwardness and his marriage to a Duke's unlovely, unhappy daughter, Curzon embodies Forester's full powers as a storyteller. His half-hero is patriotic, diligent, even courageous, driven by his sense of duty and refusal to yield to difficulties. But also powerfully damned is the same spirit which caused a hundred real-life British generals to serve as high priests at the bloodiest human sacrifice in the nation's history. A masterful and insightful study about the perils of hubris and unquestioning duty in leadership, The General is a fable for our times.
C. S. Forester was born in Cairo in 1899. After studying medicine, he rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. On the outbreak of World War Two he worked for the British Ministry of Information in America writing propaganda. His most notable works were the twelve Horatio Hornblower books, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napo...
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Title:The GeneralFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pagesPublished:April 21, 2015Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:000758007X

ISBN - 13:9780007580071

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

'A superb novel. It blends Forester's preference for military subjects and solid unreflective characters, his irony, his grasp of history and his gift for lean, hypnotic narrative' New York Times'Confirms Forester's rightful place as one of the finest novelists of his generation' Max Hastings'The most penetrating and subtle study of a Regular army officer that I have ever read' Observer'A portrait for all time of an individual in his period' H.G. Wells