The Paraguayan War: Causes and Early Conduct is a protracted account of the 1864–1870 Paraguayan war, aka the Triple Alliance war. This is a story about the smallish Paraguay at war with the triple alliance of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.
The author spent considerable effort in explaining the backdrop of the conflict, going as far back as colonial times. This is a bonanza for people interested in history of the Platine basin consisting of areas in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. While the end conflict is certainly military in nature, the causes are historical and deeply rooted in culture and language. Even if you are not a fan of military history, you will learn much about the colonial and post-colonial history of the warring nations.
The book presents a very detailed record of events in the actual war. Despite its elaborate coverage, the account of the war itself is a real page turner. Grave strategic errors were made on both sides, resulting in the exceedingly catastrophic loss of lives and the prolonging of the horrific war. As the admirals and generals miscalculated, the low-ranked soldiers ended up paying the ultimate price despite flashes of acts of valor on the battlefield.