Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2015
Well-researched and skillfully delivered, A History of Warfare follows humanity's warmaking tendencies from the tribal times up to the nuclear-weapons realities of the Cold War. Keegan picks representative civilizations in each era and shows how their culture/environment shaped their concept of war and the way it was carried out (eg. the mobile cavalry of ancient steppe-nomads or the tight formations and the pitched battle to death of the classical Greeks).
The approach has the downside of not offering a truly comprehensive history - for example, of all the post-ancient African civilizations, the book covers the Zulus of Shaka only. However, it succeeds in demonstrating well the author's thesis that war is the natural extension of human culture. I wish however that Keegan had focused more on developing this thesis rather than on frequently attacking von Clausewitz (~war as the extension of politics), which got a bit tiring toward the end.