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The military cult classic with resonance to the wars in Iraq and Vietnam—now back in print
When The Centurions was first published in 1960, readers were riveted by the thrilling account of soldiers fighting for survival in hostile environments. They were equally transfixed by the chilling moral question the novel posed: how to fight when the “age of heroics is over.” As relevant today as it was half a century ago, The Centurions is a gripping military adventure, an extended symposium on waging war in a new global order, and an essential investigation of the ethics of counterinsurgency. Featuring a foreword by renowned military expert Robert D. Kaplan, this important wartime novel will again spark debate about controversial tactics in hot spots around the world.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
wider. He wanted to reply, however, and reassert himself under that label of colonel which was the only thing that was likely to impress these army men. He replied with a certain self-satisfaction. “Yes, I’m a colonel, because with us there are no generals!” “A good thing too,” Raspéguy replied. “If only we could do without them! What’s your command?” “Thousands of men, hundreds of thousands, an entire nation which is up in arms against the oppressor.” “I see, just as I’m at the head of the
Millial specified, “and a box of matches, I forgot my lighter.” Boisfeuras had stopped examining the papers. He now knew who Si Millial was; the “colonel” was exaggerating his military rank, a courtesy title bestowed on him by the group of Kabyle chieftains after the Soumman meeting. His political power, however, was considerable, especially outside Algeria. He was on intimate terms with several politicians who had played, and perhaps would soon be playing again, an extremely important role. He
have been waging clandestine war for the last seven years. They’ve lived in bands quartered in out-of-the-way little villages, either in the mountains of Thanh-Hoa or the limestone country of the Day. They had nothing in common with the mountain people who despised them as inhabitants of the Delta. So they were reduced to living among them in this military, intransigent, rigorist and highly organized community . . .” “That’s absolutely true,” said Marindelle. “Even the Voice, who’s a graduate of
clearing on the side of the mountain above Camp One. For a few weeks his grave was marked with a bamboo cross, then it was swallowed up in the jungle. There were several other officers in the camp who gave up the ghost like this—mostly those who had shown the greatest endurance during the march and had afterwards heaved a profound sigh of relief as they dropped on to their bunks in Camp One. Esclavier and Glatigny had one mosquito net between them and shared the same blanket which they spread
Rather than lunch with General de Percenailles, he preferred to meet this chap Esclavier in a bar. General de Percenailles was a dreary old bore, but he still had useful connexions in the cavalry and played the dual role of arbiter of elegance and chairman of a sort of honorary jury; he it was who decided what was done and what was not done. He was one of those who had condemned Jacques’s gesture. This luncheon might have set everything to rights, but Captain de Glatigny, a staff officer who was