BOOK REVIEWS/COMPTES RENDUS Robert B. Edgerton. Death or Glory: The Legacy of the Crimean War. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999. ix, 288 pp. $30.00. Death or Glory might profitably be subtitled, "Military Futility and Meaningless Death." Rarely will a reader encounter in two-hundred and fifty-odd pages of text more numerous or graphical descriptions of the consequences of modern combat. To readers familiar with the Flashman novels, Robert Edgerton's non-fiction outdistances in breadth, depth, and realism anything lurking in George MacDonald Fraser's imagi- nation. This book is the starting point for anyone who needs to understand how sol- diers and civilians suffered in the thick of nineteenth-century warfare. In a chapter on the war's origins Edgerton sketches a clear enough chronology of the war to illuminate the thematic balance of the book. Chapters follow on death and more death: by disease (representing a significant majority of the fatalities), exposure, dismemberment, injury, thirst, starvation, punishment, and suicide - and, of course, combat. Although arranged in chapters with subtitles such as "Women and Children," "The Turks at War," and "Butchered Leadership," Edgerton's study has one clear cen- tral thesis: that distinctions such as uniform, language, or position were insignificant in the
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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