Synopses & Reviews
There are many biographies of the Prophet, and they tend to fall into three categories: pious works that emphasize the virtues of the early Islamic community, general works for non-Muslim or non-specialist readers, and source-critical works that grapple with historiographical problems inherent in early Islamic history.
The Generalship of Muhammad charts a new path by merging original sources with the latest in military theory in order to highlight Muhammad’s military strengths and weaknesses. This military biography of the Prophet of Allah is also an examination of how weaker forces can engage and defeat stronger opponents. Muhammad’s campaigns, military thought, and strategy are examined in order to trace his rise from humble beginnings to the creation of a movement that would lead him to become the virtual ruler of Arabia.
Incorporating military, political, and economic analyses, Russ Rodgers investigates Muhammad’s use of insurgency warfare in seventh-century Arabia to gain control of key cities such asMadinah and Makkah. Seeking to understand the operational aspects of these world-changing clashes, Rodgers provides battlefield maps and explores the supply and logistic problems that would have plagued any military leader at the time.
Rodgers reveals how Muhammad organized his forces and gradually built his movement against sporadic resistance from his foes. He draws from the hadith literature to shed new light on the nature of the campaigns and examines the Prophet’s intelligence network and the employment of what would today be called special operations forces. Moreover, Rodgers considers the possibility that Muhammad received outside support to build and maintain his movement as a means to interdict trade routes between the Byzantine Empire and the Sasanid Persians.
Rodgers deftly demonstrates how the combination of philosophical, economic, and social pressure on the people of Makkah would eventually force them to succumb to Muhammad’s call to the sole worship of Allah and acceptance of himself as Allah’s last prophet.
Russ Rodgers is a command historian with the U.S. Army and a former adjunct professor of history. He is the author of Fundamentals of Islamic Asymmetric Warfare: A Documentary Analysis of the Principles of Muhammad.
About the Author
Russ Rodgers is a command historian with the U.S. Army and the author of Fundamentals of Islamic Asymmetric Warfare.