Soldiers

Soldiers
Richard Holmes
Reviewed by Jackie King
Granta
Thu, 01/09/2011
9780007225699
£25.00

Completed shortly before his death earlier this year, Soldiers is the last book from Richard Holmes, the military historian and TV presenter. In a similar vein to previous titles such as Redcoat and Tommy, Soldiers offers a detailed insight into the life of the British military, both regular and reservist, from the first standing army (set up by Charles II) to the present day. As you would expect from such a distinguished scholar, the book has been meticulously researched. At times this shows a little too much, with a plethora of examples of life in all ranks, both on- and off-duty. However, the book’s interest lies in the way it shows how the lives of British soldiers, then and now, differed – and how they didn’t.

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