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World History of Warfare Paperback – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803219415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803219410
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Archer, John Ferris, Holger Herwig, and Timothy Travers (all professors of history at Univ. of Calgary) have designed this work as a text for introductory college courses in military history. It is divided into specific time periods: the ancient empires; the classical West; migration and invasions; the age of chivalry; the Eastern style of warfare; gunpowder and sail; industrial warfare; and modern Third World wars. In each era certain themes are emphasized: society and the idea of war; the impact of technology; organization of armies; and the experience of war from the soldiers' perspective. Finally, for each era there is a case study of a specific battle. These authors follow the trend among some younger military historians (e.g., Bevin Alexander, Victor Davis Hanson) by describing not only the raw detail of battle but sprinkling it with some philosophic insight, emotion, and the impact of war on society as a whole. Not a complete, detailed military history of the world, this is a broad history of man at war, the effect of technology on approaches to battle, and the consequences of war for future epochs. Equal weight is given to Middle Eastern and Asian battles; the case studies presented are battles that one usually finds in standard military histories. Each chapter has a slightly dated bibliography that nevertheless includes the important references. The maps of battles are sparse and simplistic a fault of many such histories. This thoughtful, philosophical, multicultural work is recommended for most libraries. Richard Nowicki, formerly with Emerson Vocational H.S., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"An outstanding reading text on the history of warfare from its origins to the twenty-first century. More than a description of past key events and turning points, it is a rewriting of this history articulating the concept of change."—Air Power History
(Air Power History)

"These authors follow the trend among some younger military historians . . . by describing not only the raw detail of battle but sprinkling it with some philosophic insight, emotion, and the impact of war on society as a whole."—Library Journal
(Library Journal)

"A captivating account of how ancient empires and modern nations advanced their civilizations through the evolution of warfare. Very well written, this book is an excellent source for the average reader as well as the student of military history."—Tim Boxer, 15 Minutes
(Tim Boxer 15 Minutes)

"This book provides a wide-ranging and comprehensive coverage of warfare across time and cultures. Its main strengths are its ability to provide context for each period discussed, comparison between developments in Europe, Asia, and the colonized world, and critical and up-to-date bibliographies that allow the reader to pursue subjects in greater depth."—Jeffrey Grey, author of The Australian Centenary History of Defence
(Jeffrey Grey)

"At last general-audience military history has a worthy successor to Theodore Ropp's classic War in the Modern World. This well-written, well-reasoned volume seamlessly blends the expertise of its four authors in a critical analysis of war from its beginning to the present. Well suited for course adoption, it belongs on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the phenomenon of human conflict."—Dennis Showalter, past president, Society of Military History
(Dennis Showalter)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "chalkisltd" on January 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
World History of Warfare
by Christon I Archer, John R. Ferris, Holger H Herwig, Timothy H. E. Travers
Review by Michael W. Brandt
The World History of Warfare is designed to be a textbook for introductory college courses in military history. I think that the authors have exceeded this modest goal.
It should be understood that the authors of this book took on an enormous task. They condensed the history and evolution of thousands of years of warfare into 591 pages of text.For someone who needs a reference book on the development and evolution of warfare, this is a very useful text. It presents the development of arms, weapons and tactics of warfare against the flow of history. This process enables the student of history to have a background understanding of the effect of warfare on the period he is studying. It is worldwide in scope and gives a perspective which should be kept in mind by any historian.
There are four authors, and if you read carefully you can sense different tones between them. I personally found the last section about more recent warfare a bit weaker than the preceding three. It is a superior book for someone who needs a reference book covering the development and evolution of warfare.

One thing which I did not find recognized was the fact that despite the terrible effects of warfare, such periods were often times of enormous creativity in a variety of areas. I would also stress the fact that each of these four authors could have written a 500 page book on the period they covered.
It is therefore a valuable book for any library. The book is also organized and concise enough for the reader to quickly find and identify the periods he wishes to investigate with regard to warfare.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Albright on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
While the book is somewhat slow going at first, it offers a broad-scoped and excellent view of a few themes of war across a large scope of space and time, looking at the experience of soldiers, the interaction of armies and the societies that wield them, as well as the problems of technology, tactics, and force projection. Especially excellent are the stories told about non-Western or peripheral nations (for personal reasons, I am particularly fond of reading about the Chilean way of war, for example), which compliment the well-worn paths over more commonly discussed military topics. That said, this book is not as well-organized as it should be, and jumps from sub-topic to sub-topic way too quickly. Its case studies are well done, though often a bit repetitive, and though it is quite nice to discuss both land and sea (as well as, more recently, air) warfare within the same book, the book is a lot to take in in one reading. That said, if one is looking for a comprehensive history of warfare which is incisive as well as as balanced in perspective, this book is an excellent place to start, flaws and all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maximus on August 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book covers The Origins of Warfare to the Third World Wars. And in the preface the Authors state about their book that: "It does not simply repeat what other texts have argued but offers fresh views on the troubled past of our world."

I belive the Authors have succeded in this task.

The book is well written, but remember that military history in general sometimes can be a real challenge, and demanding to understand.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in military history.
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