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The General: The Classic WWI Tale of Leadership

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      The General: The Classic WWI Tale of Leadership
Max Hastings

C. S. Forester

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.

The General

C. S. Forester

With an introduction by Max Hastings

Copyright (#ulink_0bd0caa5-a3e8-54d3-a038-8f1b02793805)

William Collins

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.com (http://www.harpercollins.com)

First published in Great Britain by William Collins in 2014

Copyright © C. S. Forester 1936

Introduction © Max Hastings 2014

C. S. Forester asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

‘The General’ and ‘Base Details’ copyright Siegfried Sassoon, reproduced by kind permission of the Estate of George Sassoon.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this ebook on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins ebooks

HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication

Source ISBN: 9780007580057

Ebook Edition © 2014 ISBN: 9780007580064

Version: 2017-09-08

Table of Contents

Cover (#u55c7dc8d-e0a1-5828-a880-bf356860d14c)

Title Page (#uc230475b-b5df-55d7-b198-81a0a4737495)

Copyright (#ud1f9b6c7-30e0-5fd0-822b-ddb6b90dbcec)

Introduction (#uf31960d4-63d6-5cf0-9215-179605584b4a)

Chapter One (#ud4508c63-cecb-5d31-9a17-e3e9164149f8)

Chapter Two (#u59d352ab-9b69-53ec-b768-9300ca95631d)

Chapter Three (#uf2f729ad-d1f0-5bc9-b7fa-8fd88948e8a3)

Chapter Four (#u0a19f2a6-4af9-5b49-9612-43258af6f905)

Chapter Five (#uce92ee12-f3be-5d81-b554-b285cae039a6)

Chapter Six (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Seven (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Eight (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Nine (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Ten (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Eleven (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twelve (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Thirteen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Fourteen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Fifteen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Sixteen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Seventeen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Eighteen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Nineteen (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-One (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Two (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-Four (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

By the Same Author (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

INTRODUCTION (#ulink_0104e198-5292-5464-91ff-20493fbed943)

No warrior tribe in history has received such mockery and contempt from posterity as have been heaped upon Britain’s commanders of the First World War. They are deemed to have presided over unparalleled carnage with a callousness matched only by their incompetence. They are perceived as the high priests who dispatched a generation to death, their dreadful achievement memorialised for eternity by such bards as Siegfried Sassoon:

‘Good morning; good morning!’ the General said

When we met him last week on our way to the line.
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