The First Total War

The First Total War : Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It

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The twentieth century is usually seen as the century of total war,” but as the historian David Bell argues in this landmark work, the phenomenon actually began much earlier, in the age of Napoleon. Bell takes us from campaigns of extermination” in the blood-soaked fields of western France to savage street fighting in ruined Spanish cities to central European battlefields where tens of thousands died in a single day. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction, and our modern attitudes toward war were born. Ever since, the dream of perpetual peace and the nightmare of total war have been bound tightly together in the Western worldwhere wars of liberation,” such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into gruesome guerrilla conflict. With a historian’s keen insight and a journalist’s flair for detail, Bell exposes the surprising parallels between Napoleon’s day and our own in a book that is as timely and important as it is more

Product details

  • Paperback | 420 pages
  • 142 x 218 x 28mm | 521.63g
  • Mariner Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations, maps
  • 0618919813
  • 9780618919819
  • 466,254

Review quote

" From the gripping opening paragraphs to the very end, The First Total War is . . . an historical page-turner." --Dror Wahrman, Ruth N. Halls Professor of History, Indiana Universityshow more