Kitchener: The Road to Omdurman

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9780094791404: Kitchener: The Road to Omdurman

Kitchener, by John Pollock, is the biography of Horatio Herbert, 1st Earl of Kitchener of Khartoum, 1850 -1916, the victor of Omdurman and a man who, at the turn of the last century, caught the popular imagination of the peop le of Britain. '

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For many of his contemporaries, Herbert Kitchener was the quintessential hero of the Victorian British empire. He was a brilliant soldier, yet reserved, modest, and deeply religious; in short, he fit the ideal of a Christian warrior who was facilitating the spread of Anglo-Saxon civilization. Of course, imperialism has been unfashionable for years, so revisionist historians have had a field day trashing Kitchener as a brutal, cold chauvinist with a dysfunctional sex life. Pollock is an unabashed admirer of Kitchener. In the first volume of a projected two-volume biography, he traces Kitchener's life from his boyhood in Ireland through his campaign in the Sudan, where he avenged Charles Gordon, and he concludes with his triumphant return to Britain after victory in the Boer War. Pollack displays a deep understanding of what was, for all its seamier aspects, a heroic age. While the book occasionally goes overboard in defending Kitchener, this is generally a balanced and absorbing account. Jay Freeman

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John Pollock
Published by Constable 1998 (1998)
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