500 Great Military Leaders
by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
December 2014, 890pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-757-4
$198, £153, 173€, A272
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-758-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

One of Hitler’s shortcomings as a military leader was his insistence on total control.

This insightful encyclopedia examines the most influential commanders who have shaped military history and the course of world events from ancient times to the present.

From Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun to Ho Chi Minh and Colin Powell, 500 Great Military Leaders provides readers with insight into the most innovative and prominent individuals who have led armies to victory on battlefields all over the world. The broad coverage ranges from military leaders from the ancient world to the present day, including political figures who directed war efforts and those who were responsible for major technological improvements. This encyclopedia goes beyond providing factual information about each individual’s life to delve into the greater historical context and impact on their contemporaries as well as on future military history. The presentation of information is designed to enable readers to both observe the gradual evolution of warfare over time and clearly perceive the differences in tactics used by generals with varying military resources at their disposal.

The entries include not only information on the individual’s life and work but a summary statement that assesses successes and failures across each leader’s career and summarizes the overall impact. Each entry also provides several references for further reading about that individual. The accessible writing style of this resource and in-depth information and analyses make it appropriate for high school and undergraduate-level students as well as scholars of military history and individuals who simply enjoy reading about military history.


  • Profiles 500 military commanders who had a major impact on history in A–Z entries written in plain, easily understood language
  • Provides critical analyses of the individuals themselves, off the field, as well as their significant contributions to military history—and in some cases, world history
  • Includes more than 40 sidebars that provide interesting facts and insight into various military leaders as well as extensive references for further reading
Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, has been senior fellow in military history at ABC-CLIO since 2003. He is the author or editor of 51 books and encyclopedias treating military and naval history, many of which have won prestigious awards. Tucker's last academic position before his retirement from university teaching was the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a U.S. Army captain and intelligence analyst in the Pentagon, and a visiting research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. His recently published works include ABC-CLIO's American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection, which was Booklist's Outstanding Reference Work for 2013 and also won the Society of Military History Award for Best Reference Work in Military History that same year.


"This set is a well-crafted jumping-off point for high school and college students interested in researching military history or leadership qualities."—Booklist, March 10, 2015

"This is a great tool for use in middle or secondary school classrooms and for undergraduates seeking basic information on the subject."—Library Journal, April 15, 2015
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