Books by Bevin Alexander
The fourteen volumes of Bevin Alexander cover a vast range of military history and military strategy. In his most recent book, Such Troops as These, Bevin offers a fresh and cogent analysis of Stonewall Jackson’s military genius and reveals how the Civil War might have ended differently if Jackson’s strategies had been adopted. MacArthur's War, details MacArthur’s military and political battles, from the alliances he made with Republican leaders to the threatening ultimatum he delivered to China against orders. Sun Tzu at Gettysburg shows how ten major battles or campaigns could have been won by using the principles of the ancient The Art of War. Two of his books, How Great Generals Win and How Wars Are Won, describe outstanding commanders from ancient to modern times and the rules or principles of war that determine victory or defeat. How The South Could Have Won the Civil War, Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and Lost Victories focus on the American Civil War. Inside the Nazi War Machine and How Hitler Could Have Won World War II concentrate on this titanic struggle. Korea: The First War We Lost describes this, the third worst war in human history. The Strange Connection examines the tortured relations between the United States and China from the last year of World War II till President Nixon’s rapprochement with Red China in 1972. How America Got It Right discusses the profound decision of Americans from the very first to build the most free and most powerful nation on earth and our determination to protect this treasure in an age of terror. The Future of Warfare examines the revolution in warfare that has come with inerrant modern weapons and terrorism.
The Civil War of 1861–65 pitted the industrial North against the agricultural South, and remains the most catastrophic conflict in terms of loss of life in American history. With triple the population and eleven times the industry, the Union had a decided advantage over the Confederacy in terms of direct conflict and conventional warfare. One general had the vision of an alternative approach that could win the War for the South—his name was Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. More info >>
As a United States general, he had an unparalleled genius for military strategy, and it was under his leadership that Japan was rebuilt into a democratic ally after World War II. But MacArthur carried out his zero-sum philosophy both on and off the battlefield. During the Korean War, in defiance of President Harry S. Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he pushed for an aggressive confrontation with Communist China—a position intended to provoke a wider war, regardless of the cost or consequences. More info >>
Ten major battles or campaigns that could have been won by using the principles of The Art of War
Imagine the impact on world history if Lee had listened to General Longstreet at Gettysburg and withdrawn to higher ground instead of sending Pickett uphill against the entrenched Union line? Or if Napoleon, at Waterloo, had avoided mistakes he’d never made before? The advice that would have changed the outcome of these crucial battles is found in a book on strategy written centuries before Christ was born. More info >>
For years, Hitler had planned to conquer Europe and rule a reich that would last a thousand years. But first he had to remove the threat of France—the only standing danger to Germany’s domination. The Nazi general staff was understandably wary of taking on Europe’s most powerful armed force. Still, an unimpressive, halfhearted battle plan was drawn up under orders from the führer.
But in the minds of three brilliant generals—Erwin Rommel, Erich von Manstein, and Heinz Guderian—the plan would have to change, and with it, the face of modern warfare. More info >>
How the South Could Have Won shows why there is nothing inevitable about military victory, even for a state with overwhelming strength. Alexander provides a startling account of how a relatively small number of tactical and strategic mistakes cost the South the war—and changed the course of history. Debunking some of the most common assumptions about this great conflict, How the South Could Have Won will transform the way you see the war. Alexander documents exactly how a Confederate victory could have come about—and how close it came to happening. Moving beyond fanciful theoretical conjectures to explore actual plans that Confederate generals proposed and the tactics ultimately adopted in the war’s key battle, the book offers surprising analyses on topics such as
- How the Confederacy had its greatest chance to win the war just three months into the fighting—but blew it
- How the Confederacy’s three most important leaders—President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson—clashed over how to fight the war
- How the Civil War’s decisive turning point came in a battle that the Rebel army never needed to fight.
- How the Confederate army devised—but never fully exploited—a way to negate the Union’s huge advantages in manpower and weaponry
Left-wing critics—both at home and abroad—relish blasting our country for being the world’s sole superpower, or even an “imperialist” power.
But as acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander shows in How America Got It Right, these criticisms are completely off the mark. Alexander reveals how the United States has done and continues to do exactly the right thing in military and foreign affairs. As the world’s dominant political force and military power, he says, we are the only nation that will actually go into the world and strike down evil. And we must not shirk that responsibility—especially because we cannot rely on our so-called allies to defend our freedoms.
Alexander tells the dramatic and sometimes surprising story of how, from the American Revolution to the War on Terror, America’s core principles and ideals have shaped our march to economic, military, and political supremacy. More info >>
Even as we head into twenty-first-century warfare, thirteen time-tested rules for waging war remain relevant. Both timely and timeless, How Wars Are Won illuminates the thirteen essential rules for success on the battlefield that have evolved from ancient times until the present day. Acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander’s incisive and vivid analyses of famous battles throughout the ages show how the greatest commanders—from Alexander the Great to Douglas MacArthur—have applied these rules. For example:
- Feign retreat: Pretend defeat, fake a retreat, then ambush the enemy while being pursued. Used to devastating effect by the North Vietnamese against U.S. forces during the Vietnam War.
- Strike at enemy weakness: Avoid the enemy’s strength entirely by refusing to fight pitched battles, a method that has run alongside conventional war from the earliest days of human conflict. Brilliantly applied by Mao Zedong to defeat the Chinese Nationalists.
- Defend, then attack: Gain possession of a superior weapon or tactical system, induce the enemy to launch a fruitless attack, then go on the offensive. Employed repeatedly against the Goths by the Eastern Roman general Belisarius to reclaim vast stretches of the Roman Empire.
The lessons of history revealed in these pages can be used to shape the strategies needed to win the conflicts of today. More info >>
"This book should delight enthusiasts of strategy and tactics. But it is also an excellent choice for anyone wishing to gain an introductory knowledge of the sequence of military events from the first days of the Civil War to the last." -The Wall Street Journal
"Bevin Alexander's work is brilliant, provocative work challenging both the scholar and enthusiast to rethink the generalship of R.E. Lee. The author provides clear, insightful, well-documented discussions of Lee's campaigns. Readers are advised to ponder this finely written, comprehensive, and controversial book. Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with Alexander, they will surely find this bold consideration of Lee's military ability more rewarding." -The Civil War News
This vivid depiction of the fiercest battles ever fought on American soil presents the Civil War as you've never seen it before-with a provocative re-examination of the military genius of Robert E. Lee, and a critical, pragmatic re-evaluation of the performance of the generals who led the armies of both South and North.
Military strategist and historian Bevin Alexander takes you behind the battle lines into the general's camps offering a gripping look at the uncertainties, the bravado, and the often misguided decisions of these West Point-trained officers as they struggle to adapt traditional strategies to a new era of warfare.
Robert E. Lee—the South's most revered military leader—receives full credit for both his outstanding defensive maneuvers and for his remarkable achievement in holding together a disorganized and often under-equipped Confederate Army. But, Alexander also demonstrates how Lee's rigid belief in launching large-scale attacks on Union armies led inevitably to the Confederacy's defeat. More info >>
The United States faces no threat of aggression from any great power. The kinds of conflicts we will enter and the ways we will fight them have changed. Highly accurate weapons and great mobility have made it impossible for troops to survive on battlefields like in World War II and Korea. Every place now is vulnerable. There will be no lines of battle, no continuous front and no rear. Traditional military structure is obsolete. The American military will concentrate on extremely fast, extremely lethal small forces, like Special Operations troops. Our enemies cannot match our weapons or our speed, and their only recourse is to hide and to strike from the shadows in guerrilla-type warfare. More info >>
Throughout history great generals have done what their enemies have least expected. Instead of direct, predictable attack, they have deceived, encircled, outflanked, out-thought, and triumphed over often superior armies commanded by conventional thinkers. Collected here are the stories of the most successful commanders of all time—among them Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Stonewall Jackson, Sherman, Rommel, Mao Zedong—who have demonstrated, at their own points in history, the strategic and tactical genius essential for victory. Ironically this virtue does not come naturally to military organizations, since more often than not the straight-ahead, narrow-thinking soldier will be promoted over his more original, more devious counterpart. Yet when the latter gets control, the results may be spectacular. More info >>
The prevailing view of the American Civil War holds that Robert E. Lee was the Confederacy’s preeminent military strategist, the South’s mythic hero who achieved all that was possible against vastly superior forces. This fresh and authoritative account of the Civil War’s first two years challenges that assumption. After President Jefferson Davis rejected Stonewall Jackson’s proposals for an invasion of the North, which could have brought early victory, Jackson developed a method to shatter Union armies and still win the war. But Lee ignored these proposals or waited too late to carry them out. Only at Chancellorsville did Lee at last accept Jackson’s plan. It would have brought about the destruction of the Federal army, but failed when Jackson suffered a mortal wound. More info >>
This book provides an analysis of American intervention in China from World War II to the rapprochement Richard Nixon began in 1972. It traces the origins of U.S. interest in China, based on Roosevelt's hope of using China as a partner to preserve peace in East Asia. It analyzes the U.S. failure to recognize that most Chinese supported the Communist revolution, and the U.S. support of the Nationalists. It covers the Chinese role in the Korean War and the U.S. misconception of that role. The work considers the adoption of Taiwan as an American protectorate and the flirtation with atomic war to protect Quemoy and Matsu. Finally, it considers the decades-long U.S. policy of denying Communist China a seat at the UN and Nixon's decision to recognize China. More info >>
Most of us rally around the glory of the Allies' victory over the Nazis in World War II. The story is often told of how the good fight was won by an astonishing array of manpower and stunning tactics. However, what is often overlooked is how the intersection between Adolf Hitler's influential personality and his military strategy was critical in causing Germany to lose the war.
With an acute eye for detail and his use of clear prose, acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander goes beyond counterfactual "What if?" history and explores for the first time just how close the Allies were to losing the war. Using beautifully detailed, newly designed maps, How Hitler Could Have Won World War II exquisitely illustrates the important battles and how certain key movements and mistakes by Germany were crucial in determining the war's outcome. Alexander's harrowing study shows how only minor tactical changes in Hitler's military approach could have changed the world we live in today.
How Hitler Could Have Won World War II untangles some of the war's most confounding strategic questions, such as:
- Why didn't the Nazis concentrate their enormous military power on the only three beaches upon which the Allies could launch their attack into Europe?
- Why did the terrifying German panzers, on the brink of driving the British army into the sea in May 1940, halt their advance and allow the British to regroup and evacuate at Dunkirk?
- Ultimately, Alexander probes deeply into the crucial intersection between Hitler's psyche and military strategy and how his paranoia fatally overwhelmed his acute political shrewdness to answer the most terrifying question: Just how close were the Nazis to victory?
Now updated with photographs and a new Preface by the author! Korea: The First War We Lost is a balanced, perceptive, and superb account of the Korean conflict written by a professional military historian. The New York Times Book Review says Bevin Alexander argues in this well-researched and readable book that the United States fought two wars in Korea, winning one against North Korea and losing the other to Communist China. More info >><< Back to top