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War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World Paperback – August 16, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brilliantly crafted history.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Magisterial.”
The New York Times Book Review

“This is a book for both the general reader and reading generals.”
New York Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592403158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592403158
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 www.maxboot.net.

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 Rodney J. Szasz on April 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
I was really looking forward to getting hunkered down with the book with its promise of vast spans of time identifying the locus of technological change that makes for revolutions in warfare.

I was more than a little disappointed.

Boot did not hold my interest because of the following:

1) Everything Boot writes has been covered by countless historians before and much better. If you have read about major wars and battles from ancient to modern, you will be familiar with many of the themes and facts Boot raises to buttress his central exposition of revolutionary change in warfare. You will find most of the points rather common fayre in other books written far more beautifully. eg. John Keegan, AJP Taylor, even good 'ol Sir Edward Creasy covers a lot of the military and poltico elements covered in this overly massive and, at times banal, tome.

2) The length of the book is way too long. A good editor could have cut about 1/2 of the book out and it would not have affected what Boot wants to say, but it would have improved flow and heightened my interest. Boot repeats points endlessly and assumes almost no knowledge of the history he relates. This may be good for someone who wanders by the shelf looking for a different read, but if you read mainly history you would be better off spending your time on other reads. And that is the point... someone who does not read military history is extremely unlikely to pick up this book.

At the end of the day I felt that I was not learning anything new. The level of the analysis was not up to snuff. I felt he violated my sense of efficiency by endless repetition.
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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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