Robert L. O'Connell has worked as a senior analyst at the National Ground Intelligence Center, as a contributing editor to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and most recently as a visiting professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons, and Aggression; Sacred Vessels: The Cult of the Battleship and the Rise of the U.S. Navy; Ride of the Second Horseman: The Birth and Death of War; Soul of the Sword: An Illustrated History of Weaponry and Warfare from Prehistory to the Present; and the novel Fast Eddie.
O'Connell (Of Arms and Men) gives a sweeping account of Hannibal's victory over the Romans in the bloody 216 BCE Battle of Cannae, an event of the Second Punic War whose strategy of encirclement has been emulated for centuries. O'Connell tracks the fate of some of the battle's survivors, including Scipio Africanus, Fabius Maximus, and the titular "ghosts of Cannae" (the defeated Roman soldiers), also measuring the historical impact of several factors that eventually led to the conversion of the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. Multiple Audie Award nominee Alan Sklar's (see Behind the Mike, LJ 3/1/09) engaging and witty narration complements this well-researched and well-written work recommended for all those interested in Roman and military history. [The New York Times best-selling Random hc was described as being "thoughtful," "in-depth," and "accessible" and recommended as "an excellent companion" to books by Adrian Goldsworthy and Gregory Daly on the subject, LJ 7/10.-Ed.]-Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The slaughter at Cannae (216 B.C.) has haunted scholars and intrigued generals for over two millennia. Robert O'Connell combines first-rate scholarship, with face-of-battle graphic descriptions, to show us how horrific Hannibal's tactical masterpiece proved for thousands of trapped Romans on a single August afternoon. A masterpiece of style, imagination, and erudition." --Victor Davis Hanson, author of Ripples of Battle and Carnage and Culture"In beautifully chiseled prose, Robert O'Connell explains what really happened at bloody Cannae two thousand years ago and why it still matters. O'Connell says in a sentence what takes most of us pages. The Ghosts of Cannae is shrewd, sure, and one good read."--Barry Strauss, author of "The Spartacus War"