Book Review: The Projection and Limitations of Imperial Powers, 1618-1850


by Frederick C. Schneid, editor

Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2012. Pp. xiv, 224. Map, notes, index. $199,00. ISBN: 9004226710

Essays on War and Empire

This festschrift honoring the late Gunther Rothenberg (1923-2004) opens with an overview of his life and work by his wife, Prof. Eleanor Hancock (Australian Defence Force Academy) and an introduction by Prof. Scneid (High Point University).  The essays that that follow were presented at a series of seminars in Rothenberg’s honor at High Point University, and all focus on the period and region of his greatest interest, Central Europe from the 1700s to the mid-1800s. 

The individual essays are all by noted scholars.  The essays vary in their subject matter.  Three of the essays examine strategic and policy aspects of several wars in the period, with a revisionist view of the character of the Thirty Years’ War (Peter H. Wilson), a look the global context of the wars of Louis XIV and Napoleon (Jeremy Black), and the complex relations among France, Italy, Piedmont, and the Hapsburg Empire (Ciro Paoletti) from 1688-1748.  One paper looks at the interesting concept of “honorable surrender” in the age of Louis XIV (John A. Lynn II).  Three essays address military institutions and effectives, one on Prussia (Dennis Showalter), one on Russia (Janet M. Hartley), and a general survey of the various armies during the Napoleonic campaign of 1813 (Robert M. Epstein).  The volume closes with essays on “Europe’s Progress and America’s Success, 1760-1850” (Paul W. Schroeder) and “War and Revolution in the Age of the Risorgimento.”  The essays tend to set events within a larger framework than is commonly the case, looking at the continent-wide and even global complexities of their themes. 

A volume in the Brill series "History of Warfare," all of the essays in   well-written, thoughtful, and usually insightful, making this an excellent memorial for Prof. Rothenberg and likely to prove rewarding reading for anyone interested in military or diplomatic history.

Note: This work is also available as an e-pub, ISBN 978-9-0042-2670-8


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close