Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age

by Peter Paret (Editor)

Paperback, 1986


Princeton University Press (1986), Edition: 1, 941 pages


The essays in this volume analyze war, its strategic characterisitics and its political and social functions, over the past five centuries. The diversity of its themes and the broad perspectives applied to them make the book a work of general history as much as a history of the theory and practice of war from the Renaissance to the present. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age takes the first part of its title from an earlier collection of essays, published by Princeton University Press in 1943, which became a classic of historical scholarship. Three essays are repinted from the earlier book; four others have been extensively revised. The rest--twenty-two essays--are new. The subjects addressed range from major theorists and political and military leaders to impersonal forces. Machiavelli, Clausewitz, and Marx and Engels are discussed, as are Napoleon, Churchill, and Mao. Other essays trace the interaction of theory and experience over generations--the evolution of American strategy, for instance, or the emergence of revolutionary war in the modern world. Still others analyze the strategy of particular conflicts--the First and Second World Wars--or the relationship between technology, policy, and war in the nuclear age. Whatever its theme, each essay places the specifics of military thought and action in their political, social, and economic environment. Together the contributors have produced a book that reinterprets and illuminates war, one of the most powerful forces in history and one that cannot be controlled in the future without an understanding of its past.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Wprecht
Unlike standard texts, this book is an anthology of salient topics of military history. It isn't really meant to be read straight through. I have had this book as a supplemental text in two different military history classes and that is where it excepts. The essays vary in quality however, or
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rather, readability. They are all great essays, just some topics/authors needed more of an editorial hand than this volume received. In particular Henry Guerlac and John Sly's essays are tedious. Though they still beat sifting through the material they summarize. All in all, I highly recommned this as a supplemental text. The 28 essays cover a broad range and has something for everyone.
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LibraryThing member LASER6
This was a hard book to get started. But once I finished it, I had to go back and re-read, because it put it all together. Especially if you are an 11Bravo! (If you don't know what an 11B is don't ask, you can't understand)

Original publication date



0691027641 / 9780691027647


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