A sweeping, epic history that ranges from the defeat of the Spanish Armada to the war on terrorism, War Made New is a provocative new vision of the rise of the modern world through the lens of warfare. Acclaimed author Max Boot explores how innovations in weaponry and tactics have not only transformed how wars are fought and won but also have guided the course of human events, from the formation of the first modern states, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the coming of al-Qaeda.
Boot argues that the past five centuries of history have been marked not by gradual change in how we fight but instead by four revolutions in military technology—and that the nations who have successfully mastered these revolutions have gained the power to redraw the map of the world. Boot brings these moments of transformation to vivid life through gripping combat scenes.
For the Gunpowder Age, he argues that firearm technology brought from China shattered the ritualized combat of the Middle Ages as innovators such as Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus and the Duke of Wellington incorporated artillery and cavalry in new ways, leading to the rise of the Western powers. Exploring the Industrial Revolution, Boot discusses how breakthrough inventions such as the steam engine led to a rapid mechanization of fighting technology in the mid-nineteenth century and terrifying new levels of bloodshed, from the Prussian victory over the Austrian Empire at the Battle of Koniggratz to the newly industrialized Japanese navy's devastation of the Russian fleet at Tsushima. For the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot focuses on how the oil-driven combustion engine and the advent of combat aviation culminated in the battlefield breakthroughs of World War Two, from the German blitzkrieg of France to the American firebombing of Tokyo, which would lead to the rise of global superpowers.
War Made New concludes with the ongoing Information Revolution, beginning with the Gulf War in 1991. Boot describes how the use of precision-guided missiles along with stealth planes and cruise missiles granted the United States critical advantage over enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also looks at how the world's last superpower can combat the asymmetric tactics of groups such as al-Qaeda.
A stirring analysis of the last five hundred years of warfare, War Made New will forever change our understanding of the forces shaping human civilization.
A Council on Foreign Relations Book