War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World

War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World

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by Max Boot
     
 

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A monumental, groundbreaking work, now in paperback, that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield

Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four 'revolutions' in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes

Overview

A monumental, groundbreaking work, now in paperback, that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield

Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four 'revolutions' in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes have remade the field of battle-and shaped the rise and fall of empires.

War Made New begins with the Gunpowder Revolution and explains warfare's evolution from ritualistic, drawn-out engagements to much deadlier events, precipitating the rise of the modern nation-state. He next explores the triumph of steel and steam during the Industrial Revolution, showing how it powered the spread of European colonial empires. Moving into the twentieth century and the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot examines three critical clashes of World War II to illustrate how new technology such as the tank, radio, and airplane ushered in terrifying new forms of warfare and the rise of centralized, and even totalitarian, world powers. Finally, Boot focuses on the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq War-arguing that even as cutting-edge technologies have made America the greatest military power in world history, advanced communications systems have allowed decentralized, 'irregular' forces to become an increasingly significant threat.

Editorial Reviews

Derek Leebaert
Boot, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Savage Wars of Peace, proposes to offer "fresh insights about the future" by demonstrating how technological advances have changed the course of landmark battles and campaigns -- from the early days of gunpowder; to the 19th century's extension of the Industrial Revolution onto the battlefield in the form of railroads, repeating rifles, the telegraph and mass-society armies; then to the 20th century's employment of radio, radar, blitzkrieg and long-range bombing; and finally to the military impact of today's ongoing information revolution.
— The Washington Post
Josiah Bunting
…unusual, and magisterial, survey of technology and war…Boot approaches this material narratively. He provides illuminating detail on individual battles, while also assessing the fitness and character of the commanders, as well as the culture of their armies and their missions.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
From bronze cannons to smart bombs, this engaging study examines the impact of new weaponry on war by spotlighting exemplary battles, including famous epics like the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the attack on Pearl Harbor along with obscure clashes like the 1898 Battle of Omdurman, in which a British colonial force mowed down Sudanese tribesmen with machine guns. Boot (The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power) gives due weight to social context: advanced weapons don't spell victory unless accompanied by good training and leadership; innovative doctrine; an efficient, well-funded bureaucracy; and a "battle culture of forbearance" that eschews warrior ferocity in favor of a soldierly ethos of disciplined stoicism under fire. These factors flourish, he contends, under a rationalist, progressive Western mindset. The author, a journalist and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, enlivens his war stories with profiles of generals from Gustavus Adolphus to Norman Schwarzkopf and splashes of blood and guts. Boot distills 500 years of military history into a well-paced, insightful narrative. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Advancements in military and naval hardware invariably lead to the development of tactical and organizational improvements that exploit the new technologies. Boot (foreign affairs columnist, Los Angeles Times; The Savage Wars of Peace) emphasizes that victory in battle relies as much on such organizational innovations as on technology itself. To illustrate, he describes battles fought by adversaries who were technological peers but who organized and employed their forces in radically different ways. Thus, he contrasts the nimble Swedish forces with the ponderous Austrian army at Breitenfeld (1631) and the concentrated, fast-moving German panzer units of 1940 with the dispersed and static French armored forces. The battles that Boot describes are deliberately selected for their lopsided outcomes, and he provides background information to place the engagements in historical contexts. He ignores such conflicts as the Napoleonic Wars and American Civil War that saw some advances but did not signal drastic change. Boot addresses the present conflict in Iraq, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing forces, and concludes with a look at future innovations in military hardware. Readable and informative, this book provides a valuable overview of how military innovations can abruptly affect the course of history. Highly recommended for public and undergraduate libraries. Richard Fraser, formerly archivist & curator of manuscripts, Coll. of Physicians, Philadelphia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592403158
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/16/2007
Pages:
648
Sales rank:
375,035
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.17(h) x 1.45(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Max Boot is the author of the award-winning The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, which was selected as a 2002 Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. A senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a weekly foreign-affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, he lectures regularly at numerous military schools and advises the Department of Defense on transformation issues.

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War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clear and concise, gives a really good overarching look at technological, organizational, and logistical changes over the course of history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was eaasy to read. I reviewed a lot of the turning points in warfare technology vs turning point in human history. Too much time was spent on the actual battle and not enough time was spent on the analysis of the technology change.
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Idam More than 1 year ago
My order concerning mentioned book was well handled for which am grateful. I must however, express my dismay for the abysmal handling of my order number 171982162-004 made in January 2011. I am yet to receive the book despite several mails. I request that you kindly mail my book to me through 816 50th Ave NW, Rochester Mn 55901.