The essays in this volume analyze war, its strategic characterisitics and its political and social functions, over the past five centuries. The diversity of its themes and the broad perspectives applied to them make the book a work of general history as much as a history of the theory and practice of war from the Renaissance to the present. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age takes the first part of its title from an earlier collection of essays, published by Princeton University Press in 1943, which became a classic of historical scholarship. Three essays are repinted from the earlier book; four others have been extensively revised. The rest--twenty-two essays--are new. The subjects addressed range from major theorists and political and military leaders to impersonal forces. Machiavelli, Clausewitz, and Marx and Engels are discussed, as are Napoleon, Churchill, and Mao. Other essays trace the interaction of theory and experience over generations--the evolution of American strategy, for instance, or the emergence of revolutionary war in the modern world. Still others analyze the strategy of particular conflicts--the First and Second World Wars--or the relationship between technology, policy, and war in the nuclear age. Whatever its theme, each essay places the specifics of military thought and action in their political, social, and economic environment. Together the contributors have produced a book that reinterprets and illuminates war, one of the most powerful forces in history and one that cannot be controlled in the future without an understanding of its past.
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These essays provide an authoritative introduction to Carl von Clausewitz and enlarge the history of war by joining it to the history of ideas and institutions and linking it with intellectual biography.
The volume considers Clausewitz's timeless On War against the background of actual armed conflict. With scholars from a range of disciplines and countries, it throws new light on a classic text and contemporary issues.
In 1914, the armies and navies that faced each other were alike, right down to the strengths of their companies and battalions and the designs of their battleships and cruisers. Differences were of degree rather than essence. During the interwar period, however, the armed forces grew increasingly asymmetrical, developing different approaches to the same problems. This study of major military innovations in the 1920s and 1930s explores differences in exploitation by the seven major military powers. The comparative essays investigate how and why innovation occurred or did not occur, and explain much of the strategic and operative performance of the Axis and Allies in World War II. The essays focus on several instances of how military services developed new technology and weapons and incorporated them into their doctrine, organization and styles of operations.
Is there a 'Western way of war' which pursues battles of annihilation and single-minded military victory? Is warfare on a path to ever greater destructive force? This magisterial account answers these questions by tracing the history of Western thinking about strategy - the employment of military force as a political instrument - from antiquity to the present day. Assessing sources from Vegetius to contemporary America, and with a particular focus on strategy since the Napoleonic Wars, Beatrice Heuser explores the evolution of strategic thought, the social institutions, norms and patterns of behaviour within which it operates, the policies that guide it and the cultures that influence it. Ranging across technology and warfare, total warfare and small wars as well as land, sea, air and nuclear warfare, she demonstrates that warfare and strategic thinking have fluctuated wildly in their aims, intensity, limitations and excesses over the past two millennia.
In this prequel to the now-classic Makers of Modern Strategy, Victor Davis Hanson, a leading scholar of ancient military history, gathers prominent thinkers to explore key facets of warfare, strategy, and foreign policy in the Greco-Roman world. From the Persian Wars to the final defense of the Roman Empire, Makers of Ancient Strategy demonstrates that the military thinking and policies of the ancient Greeks and Romans remain surprisingly relevant for understanding conflict in the modern world. The book reveals that much of the organized violence witnessed today--such as counterterrorism, urban fighting, insurgencies, preemptive war, and ethnic cleansing--has ample precedent in the classical era. The book examines the preemption and unilateralism used to instill democracy during Epaminondas's great invasion of the Peloponnesus in 369 BC, as well as the counterinsurgency and terrorism that characterized Rome's battles with insurgents such as Spartacus, Mithridates, and the Cilician pirates. The collection looks at the urban warfare that became increasingly common as more battles were fought within city walls, and follows the careful tactical strategies of statesmen as diverse as Pericles, Demosthenes, Alexander, Pyrrhus, Caesar, and Augustus. Makers of Ancient Strategy shows how Greco-Roman history sheds light on wars of every age. In addition to the editor, the contributors are David L. Berkey, Adrian Goldsworthy, Peter J. Heather, Tom Holland, Donald Kagan, John W. I. Lee, Susan Mattern, Barry Strauss, and Ian Worthington.
The new edition of The Cambridge History of Warfare offers an updated comprehensive account of Western warfare, from its origins in classical Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages and the early modern period, down to the wars of the twenty-first century in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Why do we try to use military force to solve our political problems? And why, when our forces win the military battles does this still fail to solve those problems? It is because the force lacks utility. From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechneya, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady stream of military interventions that have not delivered on their promise for peace, or even political resolution. The Utility of Force explains this anomaly at the heart of our current international system.