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Summary

Wars have played a crucial role in defining the United States and its place in the world. No one is better equipped to analyze this subject in depth than retired US Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark - decorated combat veteran, author, Rhodes Scholar, and former NATO Supreme Commander. In this course, Gen. Clark explores the full scope of America's armed conflicts, from the French and Indian War in the mid-18th century to the Global War on Terrorism in the 21st. These 24 absorbing half-hour lectures chart the remarkable growth of the United States from a colonial backwater into the most powerful nation on Earth, thanks in large part to its talent for rising to the occasion when called to war.

Drawing on his decades of study and military experience, Gen. Clark sheds light on the tactics and strategy behind such famous battles as Yorktown, New Orleans, Gettysburg, D-Day, Inchon, and Operation Desert Storm, among many others. He also recounts his own experiences in combat during the Vietnam War, which he barely survived. This presentation is the closest most listeners will get to studying war the way military officers do - with every battle serving as a textbook for possible paths to victory.

Among the many examples, you learn that the ideal time to attack is when an opposing force is separated, distracted, and disorganized due to crossing an obstacle such as a river, as happened to British Gen. Edward Braddock's troops while fording the Monongahela River during the French and Indian War. You also learn that the fall of Fort Donelson during the Civil War was due to incoherent strategy by the Confederates, combined with brilliant tactics by Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who went on to win the war for the North. In one of the last lectures, Gen. Clark gives insight into his own strategy for halting Serbian ethnic cleansing during Operation Allied Force in 1999, when he was the general in charge.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 The Teaching Company, LLC; 2018 The Great Courses

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<br />Pragmatic review of warfare. No brag no bluster,

Pragmatic review of warfare. No brag no bluster, a well presented history of the authors experience.

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  • BF Palo Alto
  • 23-02-18

Thoughtful, engaging, reflective

As a modern American, military history was largely ignored in the many courses I took as a history major. General Clark fills the gap -- and I don't mean the Fulda Gap! This is a non-ideological, intelligent review of the military history of the United States. G-d bless our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mchael Pepin
  • 23-02-18

before reviewing; listen to the last chapter

For those whom find war and/or the military in general negatively, I (a veteran of war) would suggest reading/listening to the last chapter first... I think you will be hard pressed any combat vet that would disagree...

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sabs ben
  • 27-06-18

Simply Outstanding

This course has it all. It’s engaging informative and thought provoking. I will be recommending it to everyone I can.

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  • ereader
  • 20-06-18

Ending not so great.

Really enjoyed the first 23 chapters as they were on actual history. Chapter 24 was more editorial.

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  • J. Houghton
  • 11-06-18

A chronology of battles, not what I was expecting

For some reason, I thought Gen. Clark would be holding forth on the nature of our military, how it operated and on what techniques and philosophies -- and how they changed over the decades and centuries. IOW, something more of the intellectual side of war and the military. Instead, it's just another book about this battle and that battle and who took what hill or crossed what river. There are dozens and dozens of books out there that will lead a reader (or listener) by the hand through these details. Anyway, it's not Gen. Clark's fault -- the book he set out to write is not the one JH wanted to hear. His writing is clear, his reading is perfectly fine.

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  • Larry
  • 07-04-18

Good book. missed a lot of military history

Missed all of the wars with Native Americans and left out info on Obama's time as president. the history he covered was well done and informative.

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  • Donald
  • 30-03-18

Stories from an American hero

So to start off Gen. Clark is an American hero and a great man. This course is part lecture, but really part story from someone who lived the history. I've listened to around 50 courses in the history arena and they've all been roughly the same model. This course is that model on paper, but in practice it almost feels like a guest lecture course in what is otherwise a normal class. It's awesome because of that.

Now I will say it was one of the less informative lectures I've listened to. It is a high level survey, for the most part entire wars being boiled down to single lectures. Listen to this because you want to hear it out of the mouth of someone that knew so many of the people and lived so much of this history. That's why it's a great course.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful