Book Review/Contrast of Keegan's MASK of COMMAND. Sorry, Conclusion is 6th part. All 21 pp with bib/citations attached. E-mail for complete paper.

Essay by Axis_of_EvilUniversity, Master'sA+, January 2003

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Operational Command Is Something That Anyone Can Do--

an in-depth study of The Mask of Command

PART 6: Conclusion

* * * "to provide Purpose, Direction, and Motivation" --FM 22-100 * * *

In the end, Keegan can not be criticized for his in-depth portrayal of leadership and how it reflected societal changes over two-thousand years. Where he is at fault, however, is in his portraying only the qualities he wishes to exploit to fulfill his Hero titles; therefore, leaving the reader with a façade of the overall characteristics of these four men. Without a doubt, his best character sketch was of Alexander the Great, and aside from a very disappointing conclusion that summed up the career of a twenty-one year old Warrior-King, who subjugated the greatest portion of the Earth's surface ever by a single individual, as simple Savage Nobility.

Obviously, with such careless word choice, Keegan's approach to 'Command' by way of degrees of heroism was faulted from the close of the first chapter.

If Alexander, the basis for the remaining men's categorizations, is a mere savage, then how accurate can the remaining three chapters of Keegan's work possibly be? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'hero' as: "an illustrious warrior [or] a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities." Clearly, by Keegan's own narratives, Alexander, Wellington, Grant, and Hitler were all heroes--albeit, heroes to different people for different reasons, but heroes nonetheless. As morals, values, and beliefs are all compiled to establish a person's character, it is obvious that one man's hero may very well be another man's villain, and it is this simple truth that makes Keegan's attempt to classify these four men's military leadership in such a warped sense of perspective that he provides an injustice to his readers.

The United States Army defines 'leadership' as...