The Oxford History of Modern War

The Oxford History of Modern War

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How has war shaped modern society and vice versa? How has it changed over the centuries between the introduction of firearms and the invention of the atom bomb? How is war waged today? This book examines the techniques, technology, and theory of warfare from the 'military revolution' of the seventeenth century to the present day. The expert contributors explore major developments and themes, including the growth of modern military professionalism and mass armies; 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'.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 422 pages
  • 127 x 195.6 x 25.4mm | 181.44g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 8 pp plates
  • 0192853732
  • 9780192853738

Review Text

Professor Townsend has secured Martin van Creveld, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and 14 additional British and American scholars to prepare this summary of one of humankind's main preoccupations, warfare. Van Creveld demonstrates, in two incisive chapters, how much war hinges on technology. He concludes moreover that technical advances have made 'total' wars - such as the two world wars of the 20th century - much less likely, because they would now be so much more disastrous. Nuclear weapons 'have put military history into reverse gear: in every region where they have been introduced, interstate war has as good as disappeared'. This book has all the concision and accuracy readers have come to expect of Oxford histories, set out with equal clarity of thought and of expression. Its first part summarizes the wars fought over the past half-millennium. The second part analyses them, from several angles, including the feminist and the pacifist (the latter in a striking essay by Adam Roberts of Balliol). An extensive book list helps readers to delve further into numerous points, and a long chronology keeps their historical thinking on the rails. (Kirkus UK)show more

Table of contents

Introduction: The Shape of Modern War; PART 1: THE EVOLUTION OF MODERN WAR; The Military Revolution I: The Transition to Modern Warfare; The Military Revolution II: Eighteenth-Century War; The Nation in Arms I: The French Wars; The Nations in Arms II: The Nineteenth Century; Imperial Wars: From the Seven Years War to the First World War; Total War I: The Great War; Total War II: The Second World War; Cold War; PART 2: ELEMENTS OF MODERN WAR; People's War; Technology and War I: To 1945; Battle: The Experience of Modern Combat; Sea Warfare; Air Warfare; War and the People: The Social Impact of Total War; Women and War; Against War; Technology and War II: Postmodern War?show more

About Charles Townshend

Charles Townshend is Professor of History at the University of Keele. His books include Making the Peace: Public Order and Public Security in Modern Britain and Political Violence in Ireland: Government and Resistance since 1848.show more

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