It’s probably because I enjoy and often write about history that I’ve ended up with a lot of friends who are also focused on history. As mentioned earlier, I have a cousin who has written about World War II in Italy. I have an old friend who is one of the world’s leading authorities on Napoleon Bonaparte, and while he doesn’t have a book out, he has published dozens of other people’s books. One acquaintance has written an excellent travel guide to American Civil War sites.
Unusual among these folks is Robert Mueller, because even though his book focuses on a specific region (France and Belgium), it does not focus on one war, but rather spans the centuries, sharing the key battles that have marked this landscape and directed its history.
Fields of War: Fifty Key Battlefields in France and Belgium is a travel guide, as well as a history book. It guides readers to the monuments and battlefields of turning points in Europe’s history, from the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) through World War II. The many national awards the book has won — including the Military Writers Society of America 2010 Bronze Medal in the Travel Category — are testament to its scholarship and usefulness. One can almost imagine the millions of warriors who have fought as Mueller guides the readers across the places these key battles occurred.
If you have any interest in military history, and especially if you’re planning a trip to Europe, you definitely want to buy this book. You can go straight to Amazon to order it, or you can first visit Mueller’s excellent blog, French Battlefields. If you didn’t want to travel before, you will probably want to once you’ve visited his site or read his book. Definitely recommended.