War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World Paperback – Illustrated, August 16, 2007
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?This is a book for both the general reader and reading generals.?
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aBrilliantly crafted history.a
a"The Wall Street Journal"
a"The New York Times Book Review"
aThis is a book for both the general reader and reading generals.a
a"New York Post"
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"
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.62 pounds
- Paperback : 656 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1592403158
- ISBN-13 : 978-1592403158
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.27 x 9.24 inches
- Publisher : Avery; Illustrated edition (August 16, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #709,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is my only criticism. Otherwise the book is outstanding and very good.
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. His individual histories go into significant background matter to set up the battle, he delves into the bios of the major commanders on both sides, the political issues at stake, and the geography and terrain of the sites of the clashes. His accounts of the engagements themselves are raw, often exciting, and he performs a thorough after analysis action for each of his selected battles drawing out harsh lessons from the bloodshed and detritus.
Many have criticized what may at first glance seem like his eclectic selection of conflicts. This is perhaps understandable given the lack of representation of some major and politically important conflicts, Korea and Vietnam in particular being mentioned. However the author's purpose is to explore the slim slice of battles in which generally technology played a dominant role, and more particularly in which one side was pioneering or had mastered one of his identified revolutions in military technology while the other side was about to pay the price for its failure to adapt. Vietnam, although politically more important to America than many of the battles he showcases, was one in which the enemy fought successfully in a manner that nullified the impact of technology on the overall outcome of the war.
Mr. Boot summarizes his book with a preview of possible military revolutions to come and a recap of the lessons which have appeared repeatedly in his individual battle histories. Namely the constant changing of the technology of war, but a pace of change that is anything but, coming in fits and starts here and in giant and rapid bursts of innovation there. The unpredictability of when military revolutions will occur. The importance of mastering not just the technology behind them but the necessity of developing supporting tactics, training, doctrine, personnel policies, etc. to make the whole apparatus of war work in concert to deliver battlefield results. And perhaps most importantly the way military revolutions have restructured the geopolitical order in the past, leaving nations which did not adapt, often regardless of their previous size and power, on the decline, and smaller powers which did adapt the new masters of their domain.
All in all a recommended, but popular and not academic, book on technology in war which draws what appear to be very reasonable and illuminating conclusions.
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.
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!
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.