Jasper Ridley, Garibaldi (1974)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A massive study of a magnificent soldier—and sailor—this relentlessly fascinating biography finally does justice in English to a brilliant campaigner (from Latin America to Italy) unaccountably slighted by military historians. In his Sicilian campaign, Garibaldi led a thousand poorly armed irregulars against 30,000 well-equipped royal troops—and won. He then conquered the southern Italian mainland, the decisive step in the unification of Italy. And his sense of ethics was as great as his genius for strategy: A lifelong champion of freedom, he asked nothing for himself. Giuseppe Garibaldi deserved the title “hero” as few have done.


Ralph Peters is the author of thirty-three books, including works on strategy and security affairs, as well as best-selling, prize-winning novels. He has published more than a thousand columns, articles, and essays here and abroad. As a U.S. Army enlisted man and career officer, he served in Infantry and military intelligence units before becoming a foreign area officer for the dying Soviet Union and the new Russia. As a soldier, journalist, and researcher, he has experience in more than seventy countries, covering various wars and trouble spots. His historical fiction won the American Library Association's Boyd Award for Literary Excellence an unprecedented three times and also received the Herodotus Award and the Hammett Prize. Additionally, he was the 2015 recipient of the Goodpaster Award, presented each year to a distinguished American soldier-scholar. In 2017, he was selected for the U.S. Army’s Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.