12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The book to start with on 19th century European military history,
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This review is from: Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1914 (Warfare and History) (Paperback)
This excellent book published in 2000 is an up-to-date, chronological discussion on the evolution of warfare on land and sea in the momentous century that witnessed the peak of Europe's domination of the World. It takes us from 1792 with the start of the French Revolutionary Wars to the outbreak of WWI in 1914. It does not present that subject dryly, only as a specialized topic, but inserts it masterfully within its broader cultural context and shows the mutual influence of changes in the way war was fought and the developments on the political, social and technological levels.
Important subjects covered are :
-The Napoleonic Wars and the Battle of Waterloo
-The Restoration period and the new wave of revolutions (1815-49)
-Napoleon III and the militarization of Europe (1848-66)
-The rise of Prussia and Italy (1861-66)
-The Franco-Prussian War (1870-71)
-New weapons and the new imperialism (1877-1905)
-The developments in seapower and naval warfare (1890-1914)
-The European arms race from 1911 to 1914
-The outbreak of the First World War in 1914
This was a fascinating period in military history and more generally in European history and this book really stands out in quality because of its broad scope and penetrating insights. It is extremely informative in that it is fairly concise (225 pages) yet always gets the important points right. Drawing from an extensive bibliography of the most recent and advanced historical research, it really puts together the pieces of a(rather complex)puzzle. The style is fluid and "to the point". It would be hard to write a better synthesis to find one's way in such a huge subject where literature is (too) plentiful and of (very) variable quality. It can serve as an introduction to the novice in the field but will also satisfy and enrich the more experienced reader.