'A fascinating study of the construction of heroism and martial virtue refracted through the evolution of the Victoria Cross. Smith analyses the complex interactions between civilian culture, governmental and military policy and the advent of industrial warfare in determining the standards of heroism required for the highest formal recognition. Along the way he reveals much about the evolution of the British Army, especially between the Crimean and the end of the Great War, and of the expectations held of it by government, public and its own members. Highly recommended.' - Professor Jeffrey Grey, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, Australia.
'Dr Smith has produced an interesting and important book that has done much to rescue the history of the VC from the attentions of amateur historians.' - Contemporary British History
MELVIN CHARLES SMITH has taught at a variety of institutions, holding appointments at West Carolina University, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, the United States Millitary Academy at West Point, and Texas A&M International University. He is currently in a tenure-track position with the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, USA.