Author(s): Jeremy Black (As told to); Charles Townshend (Editor); John Bourne (As told to); John Childs (As told to); Jean Bethke Elshtain (As told to); Alan Forrest (As told to); David French (As told to); John B. Hattendorf (Editor); Richard Holmes (Editor); Richard Overy (Editor)
"The musket made the infantryman and the infantryman made the democrat," according to General J.F.C. Fuller. In short, modern war and modern society are inextricably linked. But just how has war shaped society and vice versa? How has war changed over the centuries between the introduction of firearms and the invention of the atom bomb? How--and why--is war waged today?
In The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern War, the techniques, technology, and theory of warfare are insightfully and engagingly investigated, from the military revolution of the seventeenth century--the widespread adoption of the standing army--to the present day battalion of high-tech weaponry and satellite technology. The expert contributors explore major developments and themes, including the extraordinary achievements of Napoleon's armies; the role of nationalism in battlegrounds as various as the American Civil War and the former Yugoslavia; colonial wars; the concept and reality of "total war"; guerrilla warfare and "people's wars." This lavishly illustrated volume offers a comprehensive overview of military conflict over several centuries, with fascinating thematic chapters covering air and sea warfare, combat experience, technology, and even opposition to war. A particularly important and trenchant analysis leads to a conclusion that should concern anyone with an interest in modern society: today we face a scenario in which the military professionalism that has fostered modern war is eroding under the pressures of low-intensity conflict--from civil protest to civil disobedience to domestic terrorism to open battle--so that no purely military approach can wage an effective response to many of our violent social ills.
From a historic overview of the evolution of modern war, through an engaging analysis of the elements of modern war, no aspect of this most-studied and most-argued element of modern life is left unexplored. This volume will be of interest to a wide range of readers, scholars, political thinkers, and historians.