The Complete Roman Army

February 19th, 2009 at 11:21 pm David Frum | No Comments |

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Oh my gosh, what a cool book is The Complete Roman Army by Adrian Goldsworthy! Minutely detailed, lavishly illustrated, the only thing that disappointed me was the sad awareness of how much pleasure this book would have given my 14-year-old self had it been available then! The drawings of the evolution of the Roman infantry helmet would alone have justified the expenditure of a week’s pocket money. 

This is not a narrative, but rather a section by section beautifully produced study of such topics as fortifications, pay scales, tactics, artillery, and the evolution of the Roman military system from republican militia to imperial professional force to late imperial field and frontier troops. Whatever is the opposite of chick lit, this outstanding work of analytic history is it. 

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Johnnnymac66

    I’ve lived all of my 51 years in Chicago. I learned world politics by reading Gigi Geyer, Evans & Novak, George Will, and many, many others. I learned Chicago politics by reading Mike Royko, Studs Terkel, and many others.
    For me, the tipping point with Evans came when he “outted” Valerie Plame, a crime I believe was treasonous. I wrote him and told him exactly that, and was not surprised when I received no response.
    From that point on, I’d glance at his columns, but never again believed anything in them.
    When Hunter Thompson would inject himself into the stories he was writing, it was funny. Outting an undercover CIA operative because of a personal grudge wasn’t at all funny.
    I still believe Robert Evans committed treason against the United States.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    Novak comes off as a sort of American, Jewish-cum-Catholic verson of Evelyn Waugh: nasty, vindictive and palpably self loathing. But he wasn’t unpatriotic. Moreover, he was correct about the War on Terror and Iraq. Compare his foreign policy views to David Frum’s, and then tell me: who comes out looking better on the geopolitics of the past decade?

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    Oh, and by the way Frum, you’d fail your mother-in-law’s course, too: it’s ABC 20/20, not “NBC 20/20.”

  • lolapowers

    Mr Frum, I so wholeheartedly agree with you, Novak was indeed a dark soul !

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