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The Longest Afternoon


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On 18 June 1815, at a farmhouse in Belgium, the fate of Europe was decided. Drawing on eye-witness reports, Brendan Simms' gripping, minute-by-minute account tells the story of how, against all the odds, a small band of soldiers held off thousands of French attackers, and won the Battle of Waterloo.

About the Author

Brendan Simms is the author of Unfinest Hour (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize), Three Victories and a Defeat and the universally praised Europe- The Struggle for Supremacy, which was published in 2013. He is Professor of the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge.


The brevity of this remarkable book belies the amount of work that went into it. One can only marvel at how well Professor Simms has gone through the original sources - the surviving journals, reminiscences and letters of the individual combatants - to produce a coherent and gripping narrative -- Nick Lezard * The Guardian *
A superb little book that is micro-history at its best -- Paul O'Keeffe * Washington Post *
Mr. Simms's fluent and meticulously researched narrative provides enough context to engage not only specialists, but also readers unfamiliar with the broader historical background...by focusing upon a particular episode, rather than the bigger picture, Mr. Simms manages to reflect the grim reality of Waterloo better than some more comprehensive surveys -- Stephen Brumwell * The Wall Street Journal *
[Simms] tells more about realities of boots-on-the-ground combat than any other Waterloo book I have encountered. A five-gun read. -- Joseph C. Goulden * Washington Times *

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