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War and the World: Military Power and the Fate of Continents, 1450-2000 Paperback – April 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0300082852 ISBN-10: 0300082851

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300082851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300082852
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a tribute to Black's industry and scholarship...I am confident that it will feature prominently in the working libraries of professional historians and the reading lists of their students." Richard Holmes, Literary Review "This volume is essential for military historians and could be perused profitably by the general reader." Virginia Quarterly Review "With this book, Jeremy Black provides an account of how war has been waged over the past five and a half centuries in the European and non-European worlds. He has written what is in effect a global history of armed conflict." David B. Ralston, American Historical Review

About the Author

Jeremy Black is professor of history at the University of Exeter. He is the author of many books, including Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past (ISBN: 0 300 06976 6, #25.00), also published by Yale University Press.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
War and the World is an extremely well researched and informative account of military history that is truly universal in scope. Jeremy Black has wisely expanded his focus beyond the constricting binds of Eurocentrism to produce a work of scholarship that douments, in detail, military developments in parts of the world ignored by conventional military history. His assertion that future domination by Europeans of most of the world after the fifteenth century was by no means a foregone conclusion is a legitimate one in light of the opposition they would receive from equally determined, aggressive and expansionist non-Europeans. He explores the limitations of European power, expounding on their powerful naval capabilty, but emphasizing their inabilty to be more then a significant presence beyond the coastal regions of places like West Africa. Expansionist peoples like the Dzhungars of central Asia, the Fulani of west Africa and the Moroccans (notably in the context of their little known, but spectacular defeat of the Portugeuse at the battle of Alcazarquivir in 1578) are mentioned, their successes or failures examined. In other military history texts, they would have been outright ignored. It is because of this kind of depth to the author's research that War and the World was a far more satisfying read then John Keegan's A History of Warfare. While War and the World spans a period of history from 1450-2000, I hope that Jeremy Black, should he decide to write another book on world military history, will extend his chronological scope to encompass warfare from the dawn of man onward. It would be interesting to read his perspectives on the Romans, Mongols and other aggressive peoples who forged bloody niches in the pre-modern age.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By 10th Legion on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
First of all this is not a book for the casual reader of military history. Although it reads as if it was designed to be used in a university history course, it assumes a fairly extensive knowledge of major world military events throughout the period under review. For the more knowledgeable reader of historical and contemporary military affairs, Jeremy Black offers a less radical view of the Revolution in Military Affairs based on a European-centric view of events. The strength of this book is that is broadens the scope of major military evolutionary trends to address the impact of geography, political, scientific, and demographic influences. Mr. Black strives and generally succeeds in bringing a "balanced" view of why military "revolutions" did and did not occur. I highly recommend this book to readers who have extensive background in both military and general world history. For more casual readers I recommend having a copy of R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy's Encyclopedia of Military History and a good historical atlas for ready reference. Well done and recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenn McDorman on September 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With War and the World, Jeremy Black constructs a revisionist history of what has come to be known as "the military revolution." Black's approach is broader in both time and scope than those of Michael Roberts and Geoffrey Parker, the traditional proponents of the European military revolution. Unlike the work of Roberts, Black's history is a global history, and Black takes his argument up to the present day. Geoffrey Parker's work on the subject attempted to be global, but, as Black points out, it still took Europeans as the protagonists, and it did not extend beyond the early modern period. Instead, Black treats the "Rise of the West" from a detached perspective. And so, where Black is revisionist, it is not in arguing against the notion that the West employed novel technologies in its rise to global dominance, but rather in seeking to contextualize that story, to see it as contemporaries would have, and to resist the temptation of presentism that so often plagues historians writing large, synthetic theses.

Black's central argument is that there was no single cause for the success of European expansion. Rather, there was a complex interaction of developments around the world that provided an environment for expansion. Black argues that what historians and the general public have long regarded as a triumphant march to dominance was in fact fraught with defeat. Furthermore, Black demonstrates that many of the European "military" successes relied much less on raw military might than is generally assumed. Black writes that it is "necessary to note the extent to which the Europeans were not the sole dynamic powers in the world and, more generally, to draw attention to the limitations of European military power.
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