Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society Since 1914

Overview

Over the last three decades the historian Gabriel Kolko has redefined the way we look at modern warfare and its social and political effects. Century of War gives us a masterly synthesis of the effects of war on civilian populations and the political results of these traumatizing experiences in the twentieth century.
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Overview

Over the last three decades the historian Gabriel Kolko has redefined the way we look at modern warfare and its social and political effects. Century of War gives us a masterly synthesis of the effects of war on civilian populations and the political results of these traumatizing experiences in the twentieth century.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kolko (Confronting the Third World), a leading Cold War revisionist, argues here that wars have been the 20th century's principal mediator between the collapse of traditional societies and the emergence of radical movements. Leaders have consistently overestimated their capacity to control the wars they started, he maintains. Protracted wars, in turn, profoundly altered the lives of ordinary people and gave rise to unexpected political consequences. WWI's legacy of wrecked economies, for example, ``became an essential precondition for the emergence of a numerically powerful Left, moving it from the margins to the very center of... all world affairs after 1941.'' But, the author asserts, communist and socialist parties then gradually ``became gravely, perhaps even fatally, defensive and isolated,'' and as a result their popular roots atrophied. This provocative work will engage general readers as well as specialists. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Kolko (Politics of War, Pantheon, 1990) has produced a dense book focusing on World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam. In addition, he covers the Greek civil wars, the conflicts in the Philippines, and China. A main theme is that political and military leaders have consistently misunderstood and underestimated the wars they have set into motion. Kolko argues that since World War I, military technology has caused conflicts to be much longer and more destructive to civilians than ever before. In turn, as the civilian population became alienated, they played crucial roles in the outcome of wars and the history of this century. The effects of war upon civilians has also modified the social character of nations. While some may strongly disagree with Kolko's leftist views, this is an important book on an important subject offering many ideas worthy of discussion. As such, it should be on the shelves of all academic libraries.-Dennis L. Noble, Sequim, Wash.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565841925
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 1,013,697
  • Product dimensions: 1.28 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Pt. 1 Making and Managing Wars: The View from the Top
1 Preparing the World for War 3
2 False Expectations: How Things Go Wrong 20
3 Officers: The Eclipse of Warrior Castes 44
4 War Organization: The Dilemma of Managing Modern War 65
Pt. 2 Transforming People, Societies, and Politics
5 World War One: The Impact on European Society 87
6 World War One: Transforming Europe's People 106
7 Soldiers and the Crisis of World War One 124
8 World War One and the Emergence of the Left 139
9 World War Two and European Life and Society 180
10 European Responses to World War Two 220
11 European Communism and the Political Consequences of World War Two 265
12 China: War, Society, and Revolution 310
13 War, Revolution, and Reaction in Southeast Asia 337
Pt. 3 The United States, Politics, and Warfare in a Complex World, 1946-1991: The Limits of Power
14 Repression, Rebellion, and the Limits of Military Power, 1945-1953 373
15 Warfare at an Impasse: The United States Confronts the World, 1954-1991 412
Conclusion 453
Notes 485
References 507
Index 531
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