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The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare
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Book description

The new edition of The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare, written and updated by a team of nine distinguished military historians, examines how war was waged by Western powers across a sweeping timeframe, beginning with classical Greece and Rome, moving through the Middle Ages and the early modern period, down to the wars of the twenty-first century in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The book stresses five essential aspects of the Western way of war: a combination of technology, discipline, and an aggressive military tradition with an extraordinary capacity to respond rapidly to challenges and to use capital rather than manpower to win. Although the focus remains on the West, and on the role of violence in its rise, each chapter also examines the military effectiveness of its adversaries and the regions in which the West's military edge has been - and continues to be - challenged.


‘Here is the story of war as the driving force in the rise of the West from the Greeks to our own day, now updated to 2019. In the fifteen years since the first edition of this book, war has unfortunately not become less central to our concerns - just the opposite. This remarkable volume, written by some of the world's leading experts in military history, helps us to understand why and how something as terrible as war remains so important in the history of the West and the world. Rarely has so much learning, lucidity, and wisdom been found between two covers.’

Barry Strauss - Cornell University, and author of Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine

‘This is, simply, the best survey of the history of warfare in half a century. It explains what the Western way of war is, whence it came, and how it dominated the planet down to the present day. The product of the collaboration of some of the best military historians now writing, it offers judgements as well as a compelling narrative, an argument as well as a story. There can be no better introduction to the study of military history.’

Eliot A. Cohen - Robert E. Osgood Professor, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies

‘Highly polished and well illustrated, this book is a comprehensive history of the Western (European) way of war … The text is superbly supported by numerous and handy sidebars providing details, insights, and anecdotes.’

Source: Library Journal

‘… this is a well-written and handsomely presented volume … the illustrations are pertinent, and the captions interesting … the range of scholarship is impressive … and it has all been pulled together by the finest military historian currently writing, who has also contributed several important sections’.

Source: History in Focus

‘… exceptional … and beautifully illustrated … A highly readable book, and an interesting one, both for the expert and the amateur enthusiast. A must for college libraries.’

Source: USI Journal

‘… impressive …’

Source: Contemporary Review


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