The North African campaign as ""a tournament in an empty arena...a true test of generalship"" is developed in breadth and depth here, offering a convincing demonstration of the Horizon format as a vehicle for documentation. The text is extended by quotations from eye-witnesses (often Alan Moorehead) and selections frond novels, memoirs, chronicles; the illustrations include many sketches and paintings by War artists (on both sides) in color and colored with the torpor and desolation of the desert. The tournament was fought to the turning point, El Alamein, by the British; with the assistance of Major General I.S.O. Playfair, British Military Historian for the Mediterranean and Middle East, the personalities and strategy of Wavell, Auchincleck, Alexander and Montgomery get their due. Likewise Rommel--and the bond that developed between the two armies, ""as close to a Code of chivalry as the war produced."" The American arrival was almost an anti-climax dramatically, probably a necessity historically, certainly a stickler diplomatically (Robert Murphy intriguing with the French underground, Eisenhower facing down Darlan). The sum is the war as it was, from top echelon to deserted tank, and boys might will share it with their dads: it's good reading, good reporting, good re-creation.