God's Generals The Military Lives of Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad By Richard A. Gabriel
Examines how the military experience of three religious founders shaped their spiritual legacy.

It is one of the more startling facts of military history that the founders of three of the four “great religions”—Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam—were also accomplished field generals with extensive experience in commanding men in battle. One of these, Muhammad, fought eight battles and was wounded twice, once almost fatally. Another, Siddhartha Gautama (later to become the Buddha), witnessed so much battlefield carnage that he suffered a psychological collapse. Moses had become so much a “god-intoxicated” personality that it is a reasonable suspicion that he, like the Buddha, was murdered.

Indeed, had the experiences of these men in war not been so successful, it is quite possible that their achievements as religious leaders would never have occurred. For all three, war and religion were so closely intertwined in their personalities that it is difficult to discern where the influence of one ended and the other began.

This book attempts to explore the military lives of Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad, and the role their war experiences played in their religious lives.

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TitleGod's Generals
SubtitleThe Military Lives of Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad
AuthorBy Richard A. Gabriel
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintSkyhorse Publishing
Published3 January 2017
Dimensions6.13 x 9.25in.
“Richard Gabriel drives his narrative with the desperate speed of a war-chariot, sometimes careening on one wheel so exciting is his story-telling, but masterfully never up-setting. This dean of military history does not preach, but the reader of God’s Generals will learn as much about our own world as about the deeds and times of the holy soldiers of whom Gabriel’s writes.
J.E. Lendon, author of Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity

Religions may be peaceful, but their founders usually couldn’t be. Moses, leading some 25,000 migrants away from and then through hostile territory, was obliged to guard both rear and front constantly and to fight dissidents within, predators without, and dwellers resisting newcomers. Given his vision of the ummah, or worldwide Islamic community, Muhammad had to forge a military force to extend and protect it. Prolific military-historian Gabriel argues from scriptural explication, nonscriptural sources, and the insights of archaeology, cultural anthropology, and modern history that both leaders met their military challenge brilliantly. He does the same with the Buddha, who, despite the legend of his sequestered upbringing, was obliged by his family’s status to be a warrior in a very violent era and almost certainly conceived Buddhism in revulsion, powered by what is now called PTSD. As interesting as Gabriel’s martial portrayals of his subjects is the shaping contention that monotheism is particularly conducive to violence. Gabriel’s accessible style and scholarly propriety make this volume as convincing as it is eye opening.

Praise for Richard A. Gabriel’s previous work:

On Scipio Africanus:
“A brilliant work of research and analysis from one of the country’s leading military historians. A comprehensive, original and important work of scholarship and military biography that is certain to become the definitive work.” —Steve Weingartner, editor of the Cantigny Military History Series and author of Chariots Like a Whirlwind

On Genghis Khan’s Greatest General: Subotai the Valiant:
“An extraordinarily fine description of the structure of the Mongol army . . . . Every officer who has command over other officers should hasten to purchase a copy of this extraordinary book.” —Journal of Military History

On Hannibal:
“Richard Gabriel’s Hannibal is a worthy successor to his books on Subotai, Muhammad, Scipio Africanus, Thutmose III, and Philip of Macedon. Informed equally by the author’s encyclopedic knowledge of antiquity and his own military background, Hannibal is a highly readable military biography.” —Keith Poulter, editor of Military Chronicles
ISBNs: 9781510708662 978-1-5107-0866-2 Title: gods generals category:REL ISBNs: 9781510708785 978-1-5107-0878-5 Title: gods generals category:REL 
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