Picture of author.

John Keegan (1) (1934–2012)

Author of The First World War

For other authors named John Keegan, see the disambiguation page.

60+ Works 20,413 Members 212 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

John Keegan, May 15, 1934 - August 2, 2012 John Keegan was born in London, England on May 15, 1934. He received a degree in history from Balliol College, Oxford in 1953. After graduation, he went to the United States on a grant to study the Civil War. When he returned to London, he wrote political show more reports for the United States Embassy and in 1960 was appointed as a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England, a post he held for 25 years. During this time he also held visiting professorships at Princeton University and Vassar College. In 1997, he began working for the Daily Telegraph as a defense correspondent and then military affairs editor. He also contributed to the American website National Review Online. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 20 books about military history, the majority of which focus on warfare from the 14th to the 21st centuries. His works included Barbarossa: Invasion of Russia, The Face of Battle, A History of Warfare, Who Was Who in World War II, The Second World War, The American Civil War, The Mask of Command, and The Iraq War. He was knighted in 2000. He died on August 2, 2012 at age of 78. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by John Keegan

The First World War (1998) — Author — 3,274 copies, 41 reviews
The Face of Battle (1976) 2,786 copies, 26 reviews
A History of Warfare (1993) 2,504 copies, 21 reviews
The Second World War (1989) 1,390 copies, 11 reviews
The Mask of Command (1987) 1,234 copies, 13 reviews
Six Armies in Normandy : From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris (1982) — Author — 866 copies, 15 reviews
The American Civil War: A Military History (2009) 782 copies, 17 reviews
Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America (1995) 577 copies, 2 reviews
Atlas of the Second World War (2006) 553 copies, 2 reviews
Winston Churchill (2002) 489 copies, 8 reviews
The Penguin Book of War (1999) — Editor — 457 copies, 1 review
An illustrated history of the First World War (2001) 386 copies, 4 reviews
The Second World War: An Illustrated History (1989) 382 copies, 2 reviews
The Iraq War (2004) 359 copies, 6 reviews
Churchill's Generals (1991) — Editor — 303 copies, 1 review
Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle (1985) 239 copies, 2 reviews
Waffen SS, The Asphalt Soldiers (1970) 169 copies, 1 review
World War II: A Visual Encyclopedia (1999) 142 copies, 1 review
War and Our World (1998) 135 copies
Who was who in World War II (1978) 120 copies
The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of World War II (1977) — Editor — 90 copies
The Illustrated Face of Battle (1989) 81 copies, 1 review
The Nature of War (1981) 71 copies
Guderian (1973) 49 copies, 1 review
Rundstedt (1974) 46 copies, 1 review
Dien Bien Phu (1974) 45 copies
World At War 1945 (1991) 17 copies
World Armies (1979) 13 copies
Anzio 1 copy
World War I 1 copy
Sakunsti ajalugu (2004) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) — Editor, some editions — 5,455 copies, 189 reviews
The Gathering Storm (1948) — Introduction, some editions — 2,437 copies, 24 reviews
Their Finest Hour (1949) — Introduction, some editions — 2,023 copies, 20 reviews
What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (1999) — Contributor — 1,791 copies, 25 reviews
The Grand Alliance (1950) — Introduction, some editions — 1,766 copies, 15 reviews
The Hinge of Fate (1950) — Introduction, some editions — 1,673 copies, 19 reviews
Triumph and Tragedy (1953) — Introduction, some editions — 1,609 copies, 21 reviews
Closing the Ring (1951) — Introduction, some editions — 1,595 copies, 19 reviews
The Second World War {complete} (1950) — Foreword, some editions — 1,500 copies, 9 reviews
The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece (1989) — Introduction, some editions — 571 copies, 4 reviews
No End Save Victory: Perspectives on World War II (2001) — Contributor — 279 copies, 2 reviews
The Art of War (Smithsonian History of Warfare): War and Military Thought (2000) — Editor, some editions — 218 copies, 3 reviews
This is Berlin. Reporting from Nazi Germany 1938-40 (1999) — Introduction, some editions — 180 copies, 1 review
The First World War (1999) 162 copies
I Wish I'd Been There, Book Two: European History (2008) — Contributor — 155 copies, 4 reviews
Victory at Any Cost: The Genius of Viet Nam's Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap (1996) — Foreword, some editions — 62 copies, 1 review
First World War (1994) — some editions — 50 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century Protest (1998) — Contributor — 31 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Winter 1989 (1988) — Author "Jutland" — 28 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Spring 1996 (1996) — Author "The View From Kitty Hawk" — 28 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Autumn 1988 (1988) — Author "An Empty Ocean" — 23 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Spring 1998 (1998) — Author "How Hitler Could Have Won in 1941" — 15 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Winter 1993 (1992) — Author "The Parameters of Warfare" and "The Most-Fought-Over City" — 14 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Winter 1990 (1989) — Author "Berlin" — 12 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Summer 1999 (1999) — Author "The Breaking of Armies" — 11 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Autumn 2003 (2003) — Author "Nelson's Pursuit of Napoleon" — 8 copies
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Autumn 2009 (2009) — Author "Reinventing the Battlefield" — 7 copies


20th century (422) adventure (153) alternate history (156) American history (160) biography (398) Britain (120) British (117) British history (239) Churchill (549) classic (116) ebook (118) England (218) espionage (261) Europe (187) European History (345) fiction (788) Germany (120) hardcover (157) history (6,045) Kindle (167) memoir (240) military (1,179) military history (2,663) mystery (349) non-fiction (1,902) own (127) politics (178) read (289) Scotland (126) spy (116) thriller (248) to-read (1,046) unread (174) war (1,205) warfare (293) Winston Churchill (195) world history (272) World War II History (174) WWI (1,215) WWII (3,702)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Keegan, John
Legal name
Keegan, John Desmond Patrick
Date of death
Country (for map)
Clapham, London, England, UK
Place of death
Kilmington, Wiltshire, England, UK
Places of residence
Kilmington, Wiltshire, England, UK
Wimbledon College
King's College, Taunton
Balliol College, Oxford University (MA|1957)
university professor
Everett, Susanne (wife)
Keen, Maurice (brother-in-law)
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Daily Telegraph
National Review
Awards and honors
Samuel Eliot Morison Prize (1996)
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1991)
Knight Bachelor (2000)
BBC Reith Lecturer (1998)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (1986)
Short biography
Sir John Keegan is a famed British military historian, lecturer, writer, and journalist who has published more than 20 books on combats between the 14th and 21st centuries, especially World War II. He was born in London to a family of Irish Catholic extraction. The long-term effects of a serious illness made him unfit for military service, and the timing of his birth made him too young to serve in World War II, as he mentions ironically in his work, given his profession and interest. Following his graduation from Oxford, he worked for a few years at the American Embassy in London. In 1960 he was appointed to a lectureship in Military History at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the training establishment for officers of the British Army. Holding the post for 26 years, he became senior lecturer in military history. During this period, he also held a visiting professorship at Princeton University and was Delmas Distinguished Professor of History at Vassar College. In 1986, Keegan joined the Daily Telegraph as a defence correspondent and rose to become defence editor, also writing for the American conservative website National Review Online. In 1998 he wrote and presented the BBC's Reith Lectures, entitled "War in our World." Many of his books are bestsellers.



history of warfare told by Britain's foremost military historian.
John Keegan's masterpiece is a work of breath-taking scope that not only chronicles the history of warfare from the Empire of Babylon to the Somme, A History of Warfare studies civilisations, psychology, archaeology, genetics, history and strategy with an expert's eye.
MasseyLibrary | 20 other reviews | Jul 6, 2024 |
A strange little book, less an overview of the D-Day invasion than detailed descriptions of individual actions by specific units. Way over detailed in some places and with a startling lack of detail in others. Somehow both comprehensive and uneven - the thing I think it conveyed best is the fog of war as seen from the battlefield. Considered a classic by some, I'm glad I read it, but won't be picking it up again.
dhaxton | 14 other reviews | Jun 17, 2024 |
An excellent, old-school military history of the invasion of Iraq by (mostly American and British) Coalition forces. The best part is Keegan's detached, even-handed account of Iraq's history and the runup to the war. Of course, the main part of the "war" now, is thought of as the several years long occupation and insurgency. But, Iraq is mostly surviving, whilst Afghanistan now (2024) is the chaotic hellhole. Excellent for what it is, though most readers who remember the time will probably be expecting the post-2003 insurgency and occupation stuff, the protests, the hatred of Bush and Blair. But, that's not what the book is. It's about the history, run-up, and toppling of Saddam's dictatorship: that's it.… (more)
tuckerresearch | 5 other reviews | May 2, 2024 |
Read this around 2007. Still remember it pretty well. Wellington got away pretty well in Keegan’s book.
nitrolpost | 12 other reviews | Mar 19, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

George Orwell Contributor
E.L. Spears Contributor
Sidney Rogerson Contributor
John McCrae Contributor
George Peele Contributor
Franklin Lindsay Contributor
Josephus Contributor
David Smiley Contributor
John Glubb Contributor
Arthur Fremantle Contributor
W. H. Fitchett Contributor
Private Wheeler Contributor
Jacob Zimmerman Contributor
Helen Roeder Contributor
Henry Clifford Contributor
Jean de Wavrin Contributor
C. W. Bowman Contributor
Gerald Uloth Contributor
William Laurence Contributor
Bruce Shand Contributor
John D. Hunter Contributor
Arthur Wellesley Contributor
Tim Bishop Contributor
Paul Ragueneau Contributor
Sir Henry Newbolt Contributor
George Kennard Contributor
William Dunbar Contributor
Hugh Dundas Contributor
Julius Caeser Contributor
Peter Cremer Contributor
Thucydides Contributor
Wilfred Owen Contributor
Ernest Hemingway Contributor
Isaac Babel Contributor
Siegfried Sassoon Contributor
Andy McNab Contributor
Xenophon Contributor
Studs Terkel Contributor
W. B. Yeats Contributor
John Masters Contributor
Stephen Crane Contributor
Victor Hugo Contributor
Robert Graves Contributor
Rudyard Kipling Contributor
Thomas Hardy Contributor
James Fenton Contributor
Compton Mackenzie Contributor
Ernie Pyle Contributor
Stephen Graham Contributor
James Bodell Contributor
W. Eugene Smith Cover Photographer
David Crockett Contributor
Keith Douglas Contributor
Andrew Wheatcroft Contributor
Thomas Campbell Contributor
Robert Southey Contributor
Eric Lomax Contributor
Anna Myers Contributor
John Scott Contributor
Erwin Rommel Contributor
Jean Froissart Contributor
Inga Clendinnen Contributor
Lennart Forsman Translator
Thomas Preis Translator
Raymond Albeck Translator
Susan Carroll Cover designer


Also by

Charts & Graphs