War in the Age of Technology: Myriad Faces of Modern Armed Conflict / Edition 1

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Technology of one kind or another has always been a central ingredient in war. The Spartan king Archidamus, for instance, reacted with alarm when first witnessing a weapon that could shoot darts through the air. And yet during the past two centuries technology has played an unprecedented role in military affairs and thinking, and in the overall conduct of war. In addition, the impact of new technology on warfare has brought major social and cultural changes.

This volume explores the relationship between war, technology, and modern society over the course of the last several centuries. The two world wars, total conflicts in which industrial technology took a terrible human toll, brought great changes to the practice of organized violence among nations; even so many aspect of military life and values remained largely unaffected. In the latter half of the twentieth century, technology in the form of nuclear deterrence appears to have prevented the global conflagration of world war while complicating and fueling ferocious regional contests.

A stimulating fusion of military and social history, extending back to the eighteenth century, and with contributions from such leading historians as Brian Bond, Paddy Griffith, and Neil McMillen, War in the Age of Technology will interest lay readers and specialists alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Both general readers and military specialists . . . will find much that is informative and thoughtful in this generally superior collection of essays."

-The Historian

"It is the product of an unusual intellectual matrix."

-Technology and Culture

"Technology has been central to war from the Greeks to the present, from Archidamus, who reacted with alarm to the appearance of a weapon that could shoot darts through the air, to today's U.S. armed forces, which see a revolution in military affairs around every corner. Jensen and Wiest provide a highly readable yet sophisticated analysis of technology's place in modern warfare that incorporates industrial, political, military, social, and psychological aspects. It is a model of erudition and scholarship."

-Holger H. Herwig,University of Calgary

Considering the relationships between war, technology, and modern society, this book fuses military and social history concerning the use of organized violence between states during the period since 1789. Thirteen essays look at the military use of technology on and off the battlefield, the introduction of total war (during the two world wars), and the possibility of limited war in the nuclear age. The experiences of the British military are emphasized. Contributors include historians, archivists, psychologists, and military scholars. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A stimulating fusion of military and social history
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814742518
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Series: World of War Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 406
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Jensen is John C. Biggs ’30 Cincinnati Chair in Military History at Virginia Military Institute.

Andrew Wiest is Professor of History and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is co-editor of War in the Age of Technology: Myriad Faces of Modern Armed Combat (NYU Press, 2001) and author or co-author of numerous books, including Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited, Atlas of World War II, and The Vietnam War, 1959–1975. He lives in Hattiesburg, MS.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Meaning of War in a Technological Age 1
Pt. I Technology and the Military: On and Off the Battlefield
1 Infantry Armament and the Perception of Tactical Need, 1789-1918 19
2 Technology, Industry, and War, 1945-1991 42
3 The Impact of Communications and the Media on the Art of War since 1815 66
Pt. II The Myriad Faces of Total War
4 The Morale of the British Army on the Western Front, 1914-18: A Case Study in the Importance of the "Human Factor" in Twentieth-Century Total War 105
5 Not All Beer and Skittles? Everyday Life and Leisure on the Western Front 140
6 The Indian Corps on the Western Front: A Reconsideration 167
7 The Somme in British History 194
8 The Elusive Victory: The BEF and the Operational Level of War, September 1918 211
9 Scientists at War: The Development of Radar and Jet Propulsion in Britain 239
10 War and Black Memory: World War II and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement 263
Pt. III The Nuclear Age Myriad Faces of Limited War
11 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Legacy of War 295
12 Iraq: A Third-World Superpower? 333
13 Russia and Warfare in the Postindustrial Age 365
Contributors 381
Index 385
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