The Waving Flag: Book Reviews - David O. Morgan

Friday 29 September 2023

Book Reviews - David O. Morgan

This is something of a first.  Instead of reviewing the books I want to focus on the author.  David Morgan died in 2019 but left behind a significant body of work.

I first came across his book on Medieval Persia by chance last year when I was looking for books on the Arab Conquests.  Purchased second hand, the first edition was both a bargain and a delight.  With a clear, concise and approachable style the book dealt with all the rulers of post Arab Conquest Persia with aplomb.

I have recently re-read the book and enjoyed it just as much as the first reading.  It has really helped me place the Abbasids, the Ghaznavids, the Seljuks, the Bedouin Dynasties and all the others into a consistent historical framework.

His work on the Mongols is perhaps the most famous of his books.  So much so, it's considered the standard text by many.  Again I bought a second hand copy of the first edition in the hope of more of the same and was not disappointed.  There's almost a whiff of mischief about the way he describes the problems facing historians of the period.  The book is both readable, entertaining and authoritative.

Both books have been revised and published in second editions, and I'm sure things have changed since the late 1980s, but the new editions are not cheap.  My copies of the original editions cost less than £5.00 each, including delivery.  They are ideal for the wargamer and the general reader alike.  Second hand copies are readily available from the likes of eBay and Abebooks.

Highly recommended.


  • Morgan, D. (1986). The Mongols (Peoples of Europe). Blackwell Publishing.
  • Morgan, D. (1988). Medieval Persia, 1040-1797. Longman.

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