John Brooks read Natural and Electrical Sciences at St John's College, Cambridge, before pursuing an industrial career in computing and telecommunications. After the publication of his first historical paper on circular dividing engines in 1992, Dr Brooks joined the Department of War Studies at King's College London. His 2001 doctoral thesis was the basis of his book Dreadnought Gunnery and the Battle of Jutland: The Question of Fire Control (2005), which was the first work to challenge the then widely accepted views of 'revisionist' naval historians. Dr Brooks has also published articles on naval fire control, ordnance, policy and tactics, as well as articles for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
The book gathers the contributions of Professors Fortunato Minniti (University of Roma Tre, Rome), Giuseppe Conti (University La Sapienza, Rome), Joan Villarroya (University of Barcelona), Allan R. Millett (University of New Orleans) and Antoni Segura i Mas (University of Barcelona), respectively about World War I, war intelligence, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the asymmetric conflicts ranging from the Cold War to more recent examples.
This unique chronicle is told through the voices of more than a hundred of the soldiers themselves, and of those involved closely with them. Whether in the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone or Afghanistan, the Paras have maintained their reputation for being where the fighting is fiercest and where the odds of survival are often stacked heavily against them.
The gripping, visceral first-person narrative makes The Paras stand apart from conventional regimental histories as one of the most remarkable accounts of conflict ever published.