The history is interesting and covers everything that I was looking for. It expands on a region that has a long and often tumultuous story with colourful characters and powerful empires vying for control, with varying levels of success. Starting before the Mongols and coming right through to the present, the book gives a thorough grounding in the development of various empires as they rose and fell in the Central Asian area. There is a lot of important history in here that, certainly a western reader, will find new and fascinating.
Read the full review [link=http://pulp-zen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/book-review-formless-empire-by.html]here.[/link]
Iron Mammoth Blog, David Drage
Over five long months, the Battle of the Somme claimed the lives of more than 400,000 British soldiers. However, the Somme was also the backdrop for many astonishing acts of bravery, with a number of men receiving the highest military honour. Paul Oldfield's hefty volume isn't really designed to be read from cover to cover; instead, it's a reference guide, drawing upon three decades of research to provide biographies of every Victoria Cross recipient from the campaign.
WDYTYA? Magazine, September 2016
I must admit that I had some trepidation about reviewing this book. First and foremost, Gabriel is not a scholar of Islamic history, and I wondered how he would handle the source material and context. Reading the acknowledgements and introduction allay most of my concerns. Gabriel recognized his shortcomings on the religious and Middle Eastern history fields and consulted with scholars who are knowledgeable in those areas and gives them considerable credit. In doing so, he provides a well-informed narrative and does not misjudge the influence of the culture (Islamic or pre-Islamic) and environment. What makes this book useful for military historians and students of Islamic history is the insight that Gabriel offers as a military historian. Placing Muhammad's actions in a larger context, he considers all decisions from a practical military viewpoint and illustrates how early Muslim armies evolved from tribal raiding parties into a full military machine.
Humanities and Social Sciences Online