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On the Road to Total War
  • Edited by Stig Förster, Universität Bern, Switzerland, Jorg Nagler, Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel, Germany
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Book description

On the Road to Total War attempts to trace the roots and development of total industrialised warfare, a concept which terrorises citizens and soldiers alike. Mass mobilisation of people and resources and the growth of nationalism led to this totalisation of war in nineteenth-century industrialised nations. In this collection of essays, international scholars focus on the social, political, economic, and cultural impact of the American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification.


"...a rich, indeed profound, study of war in its many aspects. In their exploration of such issues as mass mobilization, civil-military relations, and popular attitudes to war, many of these essays shed light on issues that remain with militaries to this day. This is comparative history and collective scholarship at its very best." Eliot A. Cohen, Foreign Affairs

"The editors of this massive volume have tackled several controversial issues at once and, to send a resume ahead, the result is at least interesting, sometimes refreshing and thought-provoking, and often enlightening." Wolfgang Hochbruck, H-Net Reviews

"This large book is a colection of exceptionally well researched and thoughtful essays....rewards reading from cover to cover." Michael J. Zeps, History

"...the book as a whole is a major contribution to the historiography of war, significantly expanding our understanding of the Civil War and the German Wars of Unification." Mackubiun Thomas Owens, Washington Times

" On the Road to Total War is a substantial and hansomely produced volume, based on a 1992 conference sponsered by the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. ...the resulting publication is a valuable compendium of views. This is a stimulating book, including material of value, not just in the political and military conduct of the three wars, but on all aspects of societies and economies at war." Brian Holden Reid, Military History

"...students...will value important essays on Civil War prisons..., mobilization of African Americans ..., and northern politics and abolition ...." Kentucky Historical Society

"The essays collected in On the Road to Total War make worthwhile reading for anyone interested in American of German history, or military history in general. [Förster and Nagler] have done a superb job of arranging the essays...[this collection] enlarges the understanding of what soldiers and civilians, generals and statesmen, and their contemporaries thought was at wtake in two major conflicts of the 19th century, how prepared they were to sacrifice blood or treasure to win, and whether in the end they believed that what was gained was worth the price." Joint Force Quarterly

"This seven-hundred-page volume is a fascinating,...collection of papers...." Peter Bergmann, Jrnl of American History

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