War and the World: Military Power and the Fate of Continents, 1450-2000, by Jeremy Black
New Haven: Yale University, 1998. Pp. x, 334. Illus, maps, notes, biblio., index. $17.95 paper. ISBN:0-300-08285-1.
A remarkably coherent survey of the conduct of war across more than five centuries, with due regard not only for technological, organizational, and political factors, but also with considerable success in tracing common developments across cultures. Rather than a “the West and the rest” treatment, the author manages to integrate the experiences of a broad variety of societies. This leads to often striking parallels, such as the very similar experiences of Spain in its conquest of the New World and the Turks in their conquest of the Middle East, both alike at least partially the result of superior technology, technique, and organization. A good book for anyone looking for a single-volume treatment of the ways of war over the past few centuries.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, CNA
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