NPR : Fresh Air

Fresh Air Remembers Military Historian John Keegan

Play associated audio

British military historian John Keegan spent his life studying war, but he never fought in one and described himself as more or less a pacifist. Keegan, who died Thursday at age 78, chronicled the history of warfare from Alexander the Great to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and was considered one of the foremost military historians of his generation. His books included A History of Warfare and The Face of Battle.

Born in 1934, Keegan had tuberculosis as a child, which left him sick from the age of 13 to 22, and unable to walk without a cane. He was a senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for more than 25 years and became a journalist for the British newspaper The Telegraph in 1986. On becoming the newspaper's military affairs editor, he told The New York Times, "I thought to myself, if I don't do it now I'll be an academic all of my life. So I left Sandhurst, and I've been enjoying myself ever since as a journalist."

Fresh Air remembers Keegan with an excerpt of an interview he recorded with Terry Gross on July 30, 1998.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Revisiting Rabin's Assassination, And The Peace That Might Have Been

Twenty years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was killed by a Jewish religious zealot. Dan Ephron, author of Killing a King, discusses the assassination and its effect on the peace process.

King Of Beers: SABMiller Agrees In Principle To Merger With Budweiser Brewer

If the deal is formally agreed upon, the company would own around 31 percent of beer sales around the world.

LIVE CHAT: Join NPR's Politics Team For The Democratic Debate

Join us over on Twitter during the debate by following and contributing to #nprdebate or @nprpolitics, or post your comments, questions and observations here.
WAMU 88.5

Global Security Threats Posed By The Increasingly Sophisticated Tools Of Cyberwarfare

The U.S., Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have emerged as major players in the new world of cyberwarfare. With a panel of experts, we discuss global security threats posed by increasingly sophisticated malware and the new digital arms race.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.