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

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Length: 656 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Brilliantly crafted history.”
The Wall Street Journal

The New York Times Book Review

“This is a book for both the general reader and reading generals.”
New York Post

Product Details

  • File Size: 2439 KB
  • Print Length: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (October 19, 2006)
  • Publication Date: October 19, 2006
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000RAK4UE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,395 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Max Boot is one of America's leading military historians and foreign-policy analysts. The Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, he is the author of two-widely acclaimed books: "The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power" and "War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today." His latest book--"Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present"--will be coming out in January 2013. He is also a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He has advised military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his books have been assigned reading by the military services. He has been called "a master historian" by the New York Times and a "a penetrating writer and thinker" by The Wall Street Journal. For more information, see

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Roberts on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many factors which combine to determine the outcomes of battles, some within man's control and others such as blind luck and the ineluctable fog of war residing firmly in the realm of fate. But to many, and for a large number of Americans particularly, the impact of technology has a special resonance in their imaginations. Max Boot's War Made New is a good, popular history of the impact of several technological revolutions in weaponry on the battlefield. Although over 500 pages long, it is not an exhaustive or comprehensive history. Instead it is an anthology of several battles for each of his identified revolutions, all occurring within the "modern" era of warfare defined from around the Renaissance forward.

Perhaps the two best features of this book are the caution with which Mr. Boot approaches the subject and the accessibility he gives it to readers not steeped in military history. War is a very complex and adaptive thing, a chameleon in Karl von Clausewitz's description. No two are alike, and the comparative impact of technology in each is unique, variable, and dependent on other factors which change with each new conflict in unpredictable ways. Mr. Boot thus prefaces his book with two fitting quotes to showcase the range of professional opinion on this fungible factor, one from the eccentric British Armor pioneer J.F.C. Fuller to the extent that technology is the exclusive determinant of battlefield success, the contrasting from Napoleon stating that it's impact is essentially non-existent.

The second very attractive feature of this book is that Mr. Boot is actually quite a good writer who truly makes history an interesting and quick read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Jameson on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Max manages to well capture the balance between seeing the forest at the same time as the trees. Further, by extrapolation, he offers insight as to what the forest will look like in the future. I thought the book was excellent, and should be good reading for any military officer. I am a retired military officer, and have seen all the changes from the middle of the Cold War to Gulf War II. It's a completely different ball game, and Max covers it well. {To the detractors; all books have factual errors. Look to the forest, not the trees, or you miss the point of the book.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. T. Jones on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The main reason why this book is important is simply that there is a basis for all of injustice in warfare in the world today and before. It is important to realize that everything changes, and because not so much of a pivotal invention or technique, but a single thought pattern and innovation to utilize these techniques and inventions would be the game changer in almost every major or minor conflict since the 14th and 15th century. In many conflicts the smaller, and very often physically weaker adversary overcame the opposition in a largely compelling way, on thier way to victory. Every example in this book illustrated that bigger is not better, in fact the larger one became, the more entrenched they had become in maintaining thier status quo, and subsequently more and more unwieldly as time progresses. In the end, those that are able to change and innovate will continue to dominate, regardless of size, and in many ways some cultures have become victims of thier own sucesses and excesses. It is important to recognize this idea and fact. Whomever was the adversary last week is not going to be the adversary next week. And the folks next week, in the information age will have learned from the people last week.
Warfare like all other manifestations of mankind's idiosyncrasies will continue to evolve and grow. And until we evolve away from fighting one another, then we must evolve the fight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eugene A Jewett on September 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the sense that history is really military history punctuated by brief periods of peace, this book is worth the read. Max Boot engages and brings along the reader while making military history come alive. Anyone can understand his narrative while grasping the basic lessons of war. Max Boot divides the last 500 years into the Gunpowder Revolution, the 1st Industrial Revolution, the 2nd Ind. Rev. and the Information revolution. He cites pivotal battles and renown captains to make his case - Gustavus Aldolphus, Lord Kitchener, Yamamoto, LeMay, Napoleon, Guderian, Schwarzkopf, etc. It's about a series of military measures and counter measures where one technological innovation follows another with the importance of leadership and training as an overshadow.

Not enough is taught on this subject which is shameful considering its importance in the ordering of power about the globe. As always the tide will swing when the shock of recognition suffiently jars those at the levers of power out of their complacency. Until then, buckle up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Hermann on October 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is an intriguing look at points of history where large leaps were made in the conduct of war. At this, it is a definite success. I think the best part is the way that it compares and contrasts countries with similar technological capabilities that somehow had various levels of success on the battlefield. As the author points out, technological superiority is no guarantor of victory. For students of history, politics, and professional warriors, this book is an excellent guide to the intricate balance that makes an army great and strengthens a nation.

The sole gripe is that Mr. Pressfield can be unduly verbose. There are times where he hits an angle several times before moving on. Overall, though, this is a minor issue, and does not detract from the book's value.
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