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Gordon: Victorian Hero - Military Profiles (Paperback)
  • Gordon: Victorian Hero - Military Profiles (Paperback)
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Gordon: Victorian Hero - Military Profiles (Paperback)

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Paperback 140 Pages / Published: 31/08/2008
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Charles George Gordon was the preeminent military hero of the late-Victorian British Empire. A lifetime officer in the Royal Engineers, he served in several theaters of war and imperial contest, most notably China and the Sudan. His last assignment took him back to the dusty Sudanese capital, Khartoum, where he supervised the overmatched Anglo-Egyptian garrison's evacuation in the face of imminent attack by Islamic extremists. He was killed there in January 1885, just two days before a British relief expedition arrived. In this new biography of General Gordon, C. Brad Faught looks afresh at the life of one of the most famous Victorian military men. Although a later age would come to reject Gordon's record and the values by which he lived, he has remained an enduring figure in the British Empire's late-nineteenth-century heyday and an important means by which to examine its contemporary issues: abolitionism, territorial conquest, and the rule of dependent peoples. Faught traces Gordon's life from his childhood in England and Corfu to his youth and training as an engineer at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich and his subsequent military and proconsular service in the Crimea, eastern Europe, China, India, Mauritius, South Africa, and the Sudan. Throughout his varied career Gordon was guided by his staunch, conventional Christian faith-despite his critics'best efforts to suggest otherwise-and remained devoted to the best features of imperial rule. Whether as a key opponent of the Arab slave trade or a leader of troops in battle, Gordon was usually successful in his undertakings but always controversial. This biography gives an up-to-date rendering of an important British imperial figure whose demise at the hands of a Muslim extremist is both resonant and potentially instructive for the era in which we live today.

Publisher: Potomac Books Inc
ISBN: 9781597971454
Number of pages: 140
Weight: 159 g
Dimensions: 204 x 126 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Provides excellent contextualisation. . . . Faught has demonstrated rare gifts of concise and perceptive commentary within a nicely illustrated work."
Faught s book provides an excellent overview of Gordon s career. Its mostly narrative structure is easy to follow and engagingly written, holding the attention of even the casual reader with its straightforward language and succinct coverage of events. . . . An up-to-date and thoroughly researched single-volume treatment of Gordon s life that will provide readers with a firm base for further investigations.
"In only just about a hundred pages the author has provided the most concise and accurate account of the life and times of our great hero."
Presents the man with all his modern contradictions and historical righteousness.
"Confidently based on the vast Gordon archive, Faught's work offers excellent reading and will rank as an important contribution to re-examining the switchback reputation of Britain's one-time--in Faught's words--'ultimate soldier of empire.'"--Anthony Kirk-Greene, Emeritus fellow, St. Antony's College, Oxford University--Anthony Kirk-Greene (05/12/2008)
Confidently based on the vast Gordon archive, Faught s work offers excellent reading and will rank as an important contribution to re-examining the switchback reputation of Britain s one-time in Faught s words ultimate soldier of empire. Anthony Kirk-Greene, Emeritus fellow, St. Antony s College, Oxford University--Anthony Kirk-Greene (05/12/2008)"
Brad Faught is equally at home in Victorian religious history and imperial history. His present book on Chinese Gordon is a superb and enlightening revisiting of the career of that imperial adventurer. Faught knows how to write a page-turner, yet the book is based on impeccable archival research and reading in the most up-to-date secondary works. Most important, Faught gives us a well-rounded account of Gordon s career as military engineer and leader of irregular troops as well as religious icon, thereby rescuing him from the stereotype of mere religious fanatic. Readers of this book, whether professional historians or buffs, will be entertained and will learn much about this important Victorian public figure. Denis Paz, professor of history, University of North Texas--Denis Paz (05/16/2008)"
This is an insightful and fast-moving biography of a figure of great importance to Britain s 19th century empire. In describing Gordon s role in the Crimean War, his contributions to the quelling of the brutal Taiping Rebellion in China, and/or his various expeditions to the Sudan that culminated in his dramatic death in Khartoum at the hand of the Mahdi in 1885, Faught does a marvelous job of depicting Gordon in all of his human contradictions a man of war with a deep sense of religious faith, a loyal servant of the British Empire with strong populist inclinations towards those over whom he governed, and a man of private sensibilities that achieved great public fame. This was a pleasure to read and is highly recommended. Paul Kingston, associate professor of political science, University of Toronto--Paul Kingston (05/16/2008)"
"Brad Faught is equally at home in Victorian religious history and imperial history. His present book on 'Chinese' Gordon is a superb and enlightening revisiting of the career of that imperial adventurer. Faught knows how to write a page-turner, yet the book is based on impeccable archival research and reading in the most up-to-date secondary works. Most important, Faught gives us a well-rounded account of Gordon's career as military engineer and leader of irregular troops as well as religious icon, thereby rescuing him from the stereotype of mere religious fanatic. Readers of this book, whether professional historians or buffs, will be entertained and will learn much about this important Victorian public figure."--Denis Paz, professor of history, University of North Texas--Denis Paz (05/16/2008)
"This is an insightful and fast-moving biography of a figure of great importance to Britain's 19th century empire. In describing Gordon's role in the Crimean War, his contributions to the quelling of the brutal Taiping Rebellion in China, and/or his various expeditions to the Sudan that culminated in his dramatic death in Khartoum at the hand of the Mahdi in 1885, Faught does a marvelous job of depicting Gordon in all of his human contradictions--a man of war with a deep sense of religious faith, a loyal servant of the British Empire with strong 'populist' inclinations towards those over whom he governed, and a man of private sensibilities that achieved great public fame. This was a pleasure to read and is highly recommended."--Paul Kingston, associate professor of political science, University of Toronto--Paul Kingston (05/16/2008)

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