Max Hastings is an outstanding historian. He provides significant details, and creates intensely detailed chronologies of events (especially various wars). He has a very distinct strategic style, and I’ve enjoyed many of his other books where he details what happened, when it happened, and how it happened. However, a recurring frustration I have with some of his books is that he does not always explain why it happened. His focus on the detail is useful, and will serve as a valuable reference book for the future, but he does not provide the strategic analysis or broader explanations that I would have preferred.
His books on World War 2 are like that, and that’s why I very much preferred The Second World Wars by Victor Davis Hanson – Hanson provides an overview of the broader economic and political factors that determined the results of World War 2 to a greater extend than Hastings’ books.
Warriors is a series of shortish-stories that draw persuasive and detailed pictures of various warriors over time – but Warriors fundamentally does not have a narrative that I found compelling. I have no reason to doubt the quality of Hastings’ research here, and his writing is clear, concise and accessible. But I found the underlying narrative to be missing and unsatisfactory as a result.