This is an enjoyable and very informative look at ancient warfare, from the beginning of recorded history to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The title of the book is somewhat misleading in that this really isn't a series of essays on individual battles, it is actually a bit more encompassing. Instead of Cannae, for example, we get the entirety of the Second Punic War. There are chapters on the campaigns of Caesar and Alexander, there are chapters on the Greek way of war, (both with the Persians and among themselves), the Chinese way of war, the Japanese way of war, and the Swiss way of war. And there are chapters having to do with individual battles: Hastings, Megiddo, Teutoburg forest, etc. As far as I can tell, they didn't miss anything important, although I'm sure there are some experts out there who would disagree.
The chapters are nicely set up in that they first give you an overview of the societies and personalities involved. They then go into a detailed discussion of the weapons, armor and tactics, followed by a detailed examination of the battles themselves. Following this, the discussion has to do with lessons learned, one of which and perhaps the most important is that in order to win a war, an army must have the unqualified support of its citizens. No matter how great the general, no matter how powerful the army, it is destined to ultimately lose unless it can count on its citizens and its government.
It is a great book, but the question is, is it worth the price? Look above. Does the almost exorbitant amount of money they're asking for this seem like a typo? Well it's not. That is the price. But why? When I bought it, I assumed that the book would be oversized, with glossy paper perhaps, and with colored illustrations. Perhaps I would hang onto it for a few years, then present it as a gift to some precocious teenager to pique his interest in ancient warfare. But no. The book is standard sized, about 700 pages, with stock paper, and with black and white lined drawings and maps. Nothing more.
So, again, is it worth it? You want my answer? Well, here it is: no.