From The Jaws Of Victory Author:Charles Fair "From the Jaws of Victory", is the study of "the consequences of stupidity in high places"- by examining the highly developed and hitherto unstudied tradition of military incompetence. With iconoclastic wit and great, if unconventional, erudition, Charles Fair elucidates the principles of military defeat through a highly entertaining series of p... more »ortraits of its greatest practitioners from the Roman Licinius Crassus to William Westmoreland.
While many of the classic defeats in history are a result of ignorance, ineptness, and just plain stupidity, many more are from arrogance. Even Napoleon fell because of this last fault, as Fair demonstrates in a lively chapter intended to demolish the emperor's traditional reputation as a great military leader.
Fair accords the supreme position in his pantheon of incompetents to General Ambrose Burnside, a man so versatile in his stupidity as to defy categorization. It was after his performance during the Peinsular Campaign that prompted Lincoln to make the remark that gives the book its title: "Only Burnside could have managed such a coup, wringing one last spectacular defeat from the jaws of victory."
This book will interest anyone who relishes first-class history, but it will give even greater pleasure to the large audience of Americans seeking a counterweight to the conventional myths of military valor and prowess.« less