The driving force of this world history of war is the linkage between technology, politics and expansion. Jeremy Black takes the reader through history, highlighting the major developments in warfare, tactics, armour and diplomacy which have influenced the way in which wars are fought.
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(270mm x 200mm x 13mm)
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This is another solid contribution from the prolific pen of historian Jeremy Black. As with his other books Black approaches his subject from an unusual angle, requiring the reader to reassess ideas and question traditionally held opinions. He opens with a brief but interesting coverage of warfare before the 'creation of the Islamic world', focusing especially on campaigns in China, and culminating with the Crusades. By the beginning of the early modern period the exploitation of gunpowder was proving to be decisive, changing warfare from sieges and set battles won at 'push of pike' to indiscriminate slaughter. By the 17th century the quality of generals and the tactics used meant that numerically inferior armies could defeat larger forces. As armies grew in size so too did the logistical and supply problems. In the 18th century China was still the strongest land power, although the British navy made Britain the strongest global power, having countered and defeated French foreign aspirations in America and India. The century saw a rise in European land battles too, which were eventually to culminate in the defeat of possibly the greatest tactician in history - Napoleon. The turn of the last century saw Japan become more important and the great Western powers fight themselves almost to extinction during the First World War. The overwhelming power of technology and firepower does not mean victory is certain, as has been proved in Vietnam and in the Arab-Israeli conflicts; clever tactics, combined with determined fighters, can win the day. This is a good contribution to the history of warfare, with an interesting if eclectic collection of illustrations. Black has made a brave attempt to cover a very broad subject in a readable way, and has succeeded in his aim. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Ian Black
Jeremy Black MBE is a Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is a leading military historian whose recent books include War and the World and Why Wars Happen. His Sutton titles include A New History of England, War for America, The English Press and the Making of Modern Britain.