Saturday, May 21, 2016

War and World History

War has been an integral part of the history of mankind. Even supposedly "peaceful savages" often have an associated war-like past. War and World History provides a nice mixture of military theory along with a survey of the history of the world. It takes a balanced approach to the theory, acknowledging that there are many "theories" of what constitutes war that need not become a stumbling block to looking at the history.

I enjoyed the survey aspect of the work. It is rare to encounter a comprehensive history that attempts to cover the history of humanity over the entire globe. With its broad scope, military innovations are well traced across the entire world. (The professor also identifies areas where innovations were not propagated, with possible reasons why.) Interestingly, there has been little significant "new" innovations in the last century. Many of the new advancements have been refinements of older technology (such as airplanes.) The new weapons (such as nuclear bombs) are so powerful that they don't have a significant place in modern warfare.

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