"Crisp... Boot found many persuasive things to say about how changes in military technology and management affected the course of European and world history ... Novel and convincing... Admirably clear and concise... I learned a lot... Well-written."
—William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books
"By [one] of our most accomplished commentators on military affairs... Wise... Graphic... Boot provides a vivid and engaging mix of historical narrative and analysis, showing the bloody real-world results of abstract decision-making about the nature and degree of a country's military preparedness.... [A] fine book... We are fortunate to have clear-headed analysts like ... Boot, who turn to history rather than technology to provide answers for the future.... Deeply informed."
—Victor Davis Hanson, Commentary
—The Washington Times
"Splendid history... Fascinating insights for those seeking to understand how the U.S. military got where it is today: namely, bogged down in Iraq.... Could well help Washington avoid similar conflicts in the future—or at least handle them better if they do occur... Sweeping."
"[An] unusual and magisterial survey of technology and war. ... Illuminating."
—Josiah Bunting, New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating look at the complicated relationship between warfare and
technological development by a master historian."
—Barry Gewen, nytimes.com
"Refreshingly novel ... Mr. Boot is an insightful observer of the profession of arms. ... Mr. Boot takes a daring—and successful—tack in approaching his subject; rather than attempt to be exhaustively comprehensive, he treats battles like lily pads, jumping from one to the next in quick succession across the pond of history. ... Mr. Boot is a penetrating writer and thinker, and his opinions are influential in military circles. ... Brilliantly crafted history."
—Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, The Wall Street Journal
"Superb. ... Mr. Boot's historical sections, commencing with the Spanish armada and marching briskly through four centuries of organized mayhem, can be enjoyed even by the reader who is aware of the broad parameters of the conflicts he describes. But what is utterly fascinating is Mr. Boot's section on what is happening now in modernizing the battle field."
—Joe Goulden, The Washington Times
"[Boot] is, all hyperbole aside, a modern-day Thucydides, telling the story of war and why it matters. In this rich and highly readable tome, he focuses on four revolutions in technology and doctrine. ... Boot is not only an excellent historian, but also an excellent writer.Furthermore, he explains the implications not just for armed conflict, but also for military and political alliances, coronations, and redrawn boundaries around the globe. ... Based on his thorough understanding of military history."
—Mark Yost, The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Max Boot traces the impact of military revolutions on the course of politics and history over the past 500 years. In doing so, he shows that changes in military technology are limited not to war fighting alone, but play a decisive role in shaping our world. Sweeping and erudite, while entirely accessible to the lay reader, this work is key for anyone interested in where military revolutions have taken us—and where they might lead in the future."
—U.S. Senator John McCain
"Meticulously researched … A timely and important work, providing an excellent thumbnail sketch of the sometimes simultaneous strokes of genius, luck, and technological smarts that kings and generals have used for centuries to best their enemies in the field."
—Christian Science Monitor
"Sweeping. ... Extraordinary. ... Boot's magisterial grasp of the long trend lines of history is impressive and compelling. ... "War Made New" is an ambitious effort that ultimately succeeds in capturing the general sweep of history. ... The product of prodigious research and concise analysis. ... Engaging."
—Frank Hoffman, Armed Forces Journal
"War Made New is a tour-de-force of warfare over the past half-millennium.... It is fast-paced and reads like a novel. Boot grabs the readers and causes him or her to turn the page to find out what happened next. This is not only essential reading for anyone who is a serious student of warfare, technology, and the like, but for anyone wanting to know what has made the world unfold the way it has over the past five centuries."
—Capt. George Galdorisi, U.S. Navy (Retired), Naval Institute Proceedings
"I really enjoyed reading it. Boot is a fantastic writer who eloquently describes the march of military history from the 15th century to the present day, using vignettes like the British drubbing the Spanish Armada in 1588 and Japan's smashing of the Russian fleet in 1905 to illustrate certain key points."
—Philip Carter, Slate
"While of substantial length (624 pages), it is so well written and so full of information and insight that was new to me that it didn't seem long enough. ... War Made New is one of those books that had me saying, 'Ah hah, now I understand,' over and over again."
—John Steele Gordon, American Heritage
"Max Boot provides both facts and a deeper examination of causes, producing an interesting, readable and compelling examination of military transformations throughout history."
"The subject of military transformation is one that is difficult to make interesting—some think it impossible—but the book is not just interesting, it is compelling."
—The Atlantic Monthly
—The Weekly Standard
"[A] fascinating analysis of the role of technology in warfare. ...He makes a convincing case that "history's winners" take advantage of technological shifts to gain the upper hand on the battlefield. Boot sorts through the clutter of military history—the traditional accounts of battles and strategies, winners and losers—and discovers big themes that explain the whys of victory and defeat in modern warfare. ... Vivid character sketches. ... War Made New bristles with insights and succinct arguments. Boot, a military historian and defense analyst who previously worked as an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal, impressively combines an expert's knowledge with a wordsmith's skills."
—Mobile (Alabama) Register
"If you take military history seriously, you'll simply devour this book."
—Military Book Club
"Mr. Boot is ably filling the role occupied for many years by John Keegan, the famed British author of classics like The Face of War and The Mask of Command. Both use a similar approach: Illustrate broad military trends with specific examples, and embed the analysis in an entertaining historical narrative accompanied by commentary. Fans of Mr. Keegan's will enjoy Mr. Boot."
—Bruce Berkowitz, New York Sun
"Max Boot has the intellectual audacity and meticulous scholarship to rearrange the kaleidoscope of military history. War Made New is a classic that must be savored.... A wonderful book, combining impressive scholarship and keen insights. It is not possible to read this book without stopping every twenty or so pages to say, 'I didn't know that,' and without frequently pausing to reflect on the future."
—Bing West, Marine Corps Gazette
"It's not only a terrific read; it's a cheap education on how, for half a millennium, machines made war and war made machines. The research is impressive, the judgments are sound—and Max Boot's a strong, clear writer. ... This is a book for both the general reader and reading generals."
—Ralph Peters, New York Post
"Boot has bitten off a big chunk of history. But thanks to his knowledge of the facts and his skill in setting them down, he has served up a first-class book."
—St. Louis Post Dispatch
"A dazzling history of war."
—The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Readable and informative, this book provides a valuable overview of how military innovations can abruptly affect the course of history. Highly recommended."
"From bronze cannons to smart bombs, this engaging study examines the impact of new weaponry on war by spotlighting exemplary battles, including famous epics like the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the attack on Pearl Harbor along with obscure clashes like the 1898 Battle of Omdurman, in which a British colonial force mowed down Sudanese tribesmen with machine guns. Boot (The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and The Rise of American Power) gives due weight to social context: advanced weapons don't spell victory unless accompanied by good training and leadership; innovative doctrine; an efficient, well-funded bureaucracy; and a 'battle culture of forbearance' that eschews warrior ferocity in favor of a soldierly ethos of disciplined stoicism under fire. These factors flourish, he contends, under a rationalist, progressive Western mindset. The author, a journalist, and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, enlivens his war stories with profiles of generals from Gustavus Adolphus to Norman Schwarzkopf and splashes of blood and guts. Boot distills 500 years of military history into a well-paced, insightful narrative."
"Max Boot's War Made New condenses the evolution of Western warfare from the Renaissance to the present into a single readable and entertaining volume."
—Geoffrey Wawro, History Book Club
"While much has been written in recent years about the so-called 'Revolution in Military Affairs,' Max Boot is the first scholar to place it within the broad sweep of history, and in the context of the rise of the West in world affairs since 1500. In so doing, he not only tells a remarkable tale, but he compels us all, even those obsessed solely with contemporary military affairs, to ask the right questions and to distinguish what is truly new and revolutionary from what is merely ephemeral. He has rendered a valuable service, and given us a fascinating read at the same time, so we are doubly in his debt."
—Paul Kennedy, Professor of History at Yale University and author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
"War Made New is impressive in scope. What is equally impressive is its unique interpretation of the causal relationship between technology, warfare and the contemporary social milieu. This is a superb thinking-person's book, which scrutinizes conventional historical wisdom through a new lens."
—Lt. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor, USMC (ret.), coauthor of Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
"Max Boot's book takes hundreds of years of tactical battle history and reduces it to an incisive narrative of how war has changed. By providing such a coherent view of the past, he has pointed us toward the future. What is doubly impressive is how he draws surprising, fresh lessons from wars we thought we knew so much about but in fact didn't."
—Robert D. Kaplan, author of Imperial Grunts
"From Drake's ships harrying the Armada up the Channel to U.S. Special Forces deploying in the mountains of Afghanistan, Boot's narrative takes the widest possible view, yet it always crackles with fascinating detail and swift, adept character sketches. Drawing examples from scores of battlefields, War Made New shows how nations have seized technological opportunities, or failed to do so at the steepest imaginable cost. Boot makes events from the dawn of the gunpowder era as immediate to contemporary America as is the threat of terrorist attack, all the while telling a story as enthralling as it is significant."
—Richard Snow, Editor, American Heritage
"A powerful tome."
"Excellent. ... Cogent and compelling, War Made New should be required reading for anyone dealing with military issues."
—Tom Miller, Military.com
"Boot provides a sweeping, accessible narrative."
"Boot's detail-packed discussion of the impact of military revolutions on the course of modern history makes War Made New one of the most provocative, thought-stimulating books in recent memory."
—The Editors, Barnesandnoble.com
Selected as "Book of the week" by The Week magazine.
Max Boot is a senior fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a weekly foreign affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, and a regular contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and many other publications.
His new book, War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (Gotham Books), has been hailed as a "magisterial survey of technology and war," "a classic that must be savored," "brilliantly crafted history," and "a book for both the general reader and reading generals." (For more, see www.cfr.org/WarMadeNew.)
His previous book, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (Basic Books) was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history, and has been placed on professional reading lists by the Navy, Army, and Marine Corps.
Boot is a frequent public speaker and guest on radio and television news programs, both at home and abroad. He has lectured at many military institutions, including the Army, Navy, and Air War Colleges, the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School, the Army Command and General Staff College, Marine Corps University, West Point, and the Naval Academy. He is a member of the U.S. Joint Forces Command Transformation Advisory Group.
In 2004, he was named by the World Affairs Councils of America as one of "the 500 most influential people in the United States in the field of foreign policy." The New York Sun says that he is "ably filling the role occupied for many years by John Keegan, the famed British author of classics like The Face of War and The Mask of Command."
Before joining the Council in 2002, Boot spent eight years as a writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the last five years as editorial features editor. From 1992 to 1994 he was an editor and writer at The Christian Science Monitor.
Boot holds a bachelor's degree in history, with high honors, from the University of California, Berkeley (1991), and a master's degree in history from Yale University (1992). He grew up in Los Angeles and now lives with his family in the New York area.
Find a discussion between Max Boot and Geoffrey Wheatcroft on American Foreign Policy in the The New York Times.
Find an online interview with Max Boot for FrontPage Magazine.