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Manliness has always been linked to physical prowess and to war; indeed the warrior has been the archetypal man across countless cultures throughout time. In this magisterial excursion through literature, history, warfare, and sociology, one of our most prominent scholars tracks the complex relationship between the changing methods and goals of warfare and shifting models of manhood. This journey takes us from the citizen soldiers of ancient Greece to the medieval knights to the misogynistic terrorists of Al Qaeda.
As he chronicles these transformations, Leo Braudy weighs the significance of everything from weapon technology to the hairstyles favored during different eras. He offers fresh insights on codes of war and codes of racial purity, and on cultural and historical figures from Socrates to Don Quixote to Napoleon to Custer to Rambo. Epic in scope and free of academic jargon, From Chivalry to Terrorism is a masterwork of scholarship that is both accessible and breathtakingly ambitious.
“History in the grand manner, pulled off with brilliance, wonderful imagination and considerable erudition. . . . Fascinating.” —The Washington Post Book World
“History at its most powerful. It is impossible to do justice to the range of fascinating material in this book.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“The reader is left marveling. . . . An expansive, ambitious project.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A terrific topic . . . The book displays Braudy’s loving immersion in his subject, fine grasp of historical complexity, and aversion for glib or dogmatic judgments.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A vivid, hugely ambitious book . . . Likely to be widely read.” —The New York Review of Books