A timeline provides context for the dates, events, and places discussed in the book; there are extensive endnotes and a comprehensive and topically arranged bibliography of recommended print and online sources. A thorough index completes the book.
"The early modern entry in this series begins with the French invasion of Italy in 1949, chronicles the transition of the Western soldier from mercenary to professional, and ends with the French Revolution in 1789. Showalter and Astore chronicle changes in recruitment methods, weaponry, tactics, command structure, morale, daily life in camp, disease, discipline, religious considerations, and civilian attitudes. The final chapter follows Europe's soldiers overseas as they confront enemies waging warfare under new rules and conditions."
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The colorful beginnings of the modern Western soldier are told: his evolution from mercenary to professional, the weapons he carried, the way he fought, and how he lived, from the late fifteenth century and the introduction of gunpowder in battle to the start of the Age of Revolution.
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