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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.
Originally published in 1976, Clausewitz and the State presents a comprehensive analysis of one of the significant thinkers of modern Europe. Peter Paret combines social and military history and psychological interpretation with a study of Clausewitz's military theories and of his unduly neglected historical and political writing. This timely new edition includes a preface which allows Paret to recount the past thirty years of discussion on Clausewitz and respond to critics. A companion volume to Clausewitz's On War, this book is indispensable to anyone interested in Clausewitz and his theories, and their proper historical context.
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.
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.
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.
This engrossing anthology gathers together a remarkable collection of writings on the use of strategy in war. Gérard Chaliand has ranged over the whole of human history in assembling this collection—the result is an integration of the annals of military thought that provides a learned framework for understanding global political history. Included are writings from ancient and modern Europe, China, Byzantium, the Arab world, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire. Alongside well-known militarists such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Walter Raleigh, Rommel, and many others are "irregulars" such as Cortés, Lawrence of Arabia, and even Gandhi. Contrary to standard interpretations stressing competition between land and sea powers, or among rival Christian societies, Chaliand shows the great importance of the struggles between nomadic and sedentary peoples, and of the conflicts between Christianity and Islam. With the invention of firepower, a relatively recent occurrence in the history of warfare, modes of organization and strategic concepts—elements reflecting the nature of a society—have been key to how war is waged. Unparalleled in its breadth, this anthology will become the standard work for understanding a fundamental part of human history—the conduct of war. "This anthology is not only an unparalleled corpus of information and an aid to failing memory; it is also and above all a reliable and liberating guide for research. . . . Ranging "from the origins to the nuclear age," it compels us to widen our narrow perspectives on conflicts and strategic action and open ourselves up to the universal."—from the Foreword
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.