"Warfare and technology predate human history. The dynamic relationship between them is timeless, echoing through human history in patterns that link the bow and arrow with the IED (improvised explosive device), the walls of Jericho with reconnaissance satellites. This book traces those patterns, from the Scheoningen spears to cyberwarfare."--Provided by publisher.
In this accessible and authoritative Very Short Introduction, Richard English considers what modern warfare is and what it achieves. Addressing our assumptions about war in the modern period, and drawing upon direct accounts of warfare, he considers its impact on society, culture, economics, as well its future.
This title explains the history and politics of the bomb, from the technology of nuclear weapons, to the revolutionary implications of the H-bomb, and the politics of nuclear deterrence. The issues are set against a backdrop of the changing international landscape, from the early days of development through the Cold War. Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Bomb is still the biggest threat that faces us in the 21st century. But what significant lessons can be learnt from the history of the nuclear weapons era?
The subject of international security is never out of the headlines. The subjects of war and peace, military strategy, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and revisionist states remain central to the discussion, but burgeoning concerns such as climate change, migration, poverty, health, and international terrorism have complicated the field. So what really matters? The traditional prioritization of state security or the security needs of individuals, humanity, and the biosphere? And where do the problems lie? Are states themselves as much a part of the problem as the solution for people's security needs? With globalization, the international security environment has become more interdependent than ever before with the establishment of complex networks that make responding to and managing security challenges increasingly difficult, but increasingly necessary. This Very Short Introduction shows that international security is both vibrant and deeply contested, with stakeholders frequently in disagreement over questions of priority and approach. Christopher S. Browning outlines the nature of the key debates about contemporary international security challenges, and discusses the inherent difficulties that exist in tackling them. He also asks to what extent such debates are infused with questions of power, politics, justice, morality, and responsibility. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Karl von Clausewitz's study On War was described by the American strategic thinker Bernard Brodie as 'not simply the greatest, but the only great book about war'. It is hard to disagree. Even though he wrote his only major work at a time when the range of firearms was fifty yards, much of what he had to say remains relevant today. Michael Howard explains Clausewitz's ideas in terms both of his experiences as a professional soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, and of the intellectual background of his time. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
"This book explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict. Many aspects of ancient warfare are examined from philosophy to the technical skills needed to fight"--Provided by publisher.
Distilling the ideas of the greatest military theoreticians of history, including Sun Tzu, Niccol? Machiavelli, and Carl von Clausewitz, Antulio J. Echevarria II presents a fascinating account of the "art of the general." Drawing on historical examples, from Hannibal's war against Rome to Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, from the Allies' campaign to overwhelm Hitler's fortress to the terror attacks of September 11, Echevarria vividly describes the major types of military strategy and their advantages and disadvantages. Clear and engaging, this book shows that military strategy is essential for understanding major events of the past and becomes even more critical today, in a world increasingly threatened by weapons of mass destruction, terrorist attacks, and new dimensions of conflict such as cyberwar and space.
By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise and insightful history of the 'Great War', focusing on why it happened, how it was fought, and why it had the consequences it did. It examines the state of Europe in 1914 and the outbreak of war; the onset of attrition and crisis; the role of the US; the collapse of Russia; and the weakening and eventual surrender of the Central Powers. Looking at the historical controversies surrounding the causes and conduct of war, Michael Howard also describes how peace was ultimately made, and the potent legacy of resentment left to Germany. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The massive disorder and economic ruin following the Second World War inevitably predetermined the scope and intensity of the Cold War. But why did it last so long? And what impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, how did it affect the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century - what were the human and financial costs? This Very Short Introduction provides a clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War, one that will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The enormous loss of life and physical destruction caused by the First World War led people to hope that there would never be another such catastrophe. How then did it come about that there was a Second World War causing twice the 30 million deaths and many times more destruction as had been caused in the previous conflict? In this Very Short Introduction, Gerhard L. Weinberg provides an introduction to the origins, course, and impact of the war on those who fought and the ordinary citizens who lived through it. Starting by looking at the inter-war years and the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he examines how the war progressed by examining a number of key events, including the war in the West in 1940, Barbarossa, The German Invasion of the Soviet Union, the expansion of Japan's war with China, developments on the home front, and the Allied victory from 1944-45. Exploring the costs and effects of the war, Weinberg concludes by considering the long-lasting mark World War II has left on society today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In this engaging book, Jeremy Black argues that technology neither acts as an independent variable nor operates without major limitations. This includes its capacity to obtain end results, as technology’s impact is far from simple and its pathways are by no means clear. After considering such key conceptual points, Black discusses important technological advances in weaponry and power projection from sailing warships to aircraft carriers, muskets to tanks, balloons to unmanned drones—in each case, taking into account what difference these advances made. He addresses not only firepower but also power projection and technologies of logistics, command, and control. Examining military technologies in their historical context and the present centered on the Revolution in Military Affairs and Military Transformation, Black then forecasts possible future trends.
This introduction considers whether the Trojan war actually took place and whether archaeologists have discovered the site of ancient Troy.
The Napoleonic Wars left their mark on European and world societies in a variety of ways, not least from the radical social and political change they evoked in many countries. Examining the social, political, and institutional aspects of warfare in the Napoleonic era, Mike Rapport considers their significance and the legacy they leave today.
"You can't handle the truth." These iconic words, bellowed by Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessup in the 1992 movie A Few Good Men, became an emblem of the conflict between honor and truth that the collective imagination often considers the quintessence of military justice. The military is the rare part of contemporary society that enjoys the privilege of policing its own members' behavior, with special courts and a separate body of rules. Whether one is for or against this system, military trials are fascinating and little understood. This book opens a window on the military judicial system, offering an accessible and balanced assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of military legal regimes around the world. It illuminates US military justice through a comparison with civilian and foreign models for the administration of justice, with a particular emphasis on the UK and Canadian military justice systems. Drawing on his experience as a serving officer, private practitioner, and law professor, Eugene R. Fidell presents a hard-hitting tour of the field, exploring military justice trends across different countries and compliance (or lack thereof) with contemporary human rights standards. He digs into critical issues such as the response to sexual assault in the armed forces, the challenges of protecting judicial independence, and the effect of social media and modern technology on age-old traditions of military discipline. A rich series of case studies, ranging from examples of misconduct, such as the devastating Abu Ghraib photos, to political tangles, such as the Guantanamo military commissions, throw light on the high profile and occasionally obscure circumstances that emerge from today's military operations around the world. As Fidell's account shows, by understanding the mechanism of military justice we can better comprehend the political values of a country. "
This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the Spanish Civil war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. During this time, history writing itself became a battleground, and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. Graham has provided an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how the effects of this regime continue to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond.
Over the past sixty years, the spectacular growth of the technologies associated with the computer is visible for all to see and experience. Yet, the science underpinning this technology is less visible and little understood outside the professional computer science community. As a scientific discipline, computer science stands alongside the likes of molecular biology and cognitive science as one of the most significant new sciences of the post Second World War era. In this Very Short Introduction, Subrata Dasgupta sheds light on these lesser known areas and considers the conceptual basis of computer science. Discussing algorithms, programming, and sequential and parallel processing, he considers emerging modern ideas such as biological computing and cognitive modelling, challenging the idea of computer science as a science of the artificial. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Compelling and accessible, this Very Short Introduction challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map, revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic, social, political, and environmental processes that shape our lives. Highlighting the historical development and continued relevance of borders, Alexander Diener and Joshua Hagen offer a powerful counterpoint to the idea of an imminent borderless world, underscoring the impact borders have on a range of issues, such as economic development, inter- and intra-state conflict, global terrorism, migration, nationalism, international law, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. Diener and Hagen demonstrate how and why borders have been, are currently, and will undoubtedly remain hot topics across the social sciences and in the global headlines for years to come. This compact volume will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students, including geographers, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, international relations and law experts, as well as lay readers interested in understanding current events.
"The conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the most highly publicized and bitter struggles of modern times, a dangerous tinderbox always poised to set the Middle East aflame, and to draw the United States into the fire. In this volume the author illuminates the history of the problem, reducing it to its very essence. He explores the Palestinian-Israeli dispute in twenty-year segments, to highlight the historical complexity of the conflict throughout successive decades. Each chapter starts with an examination of the relationships among people and events that marked particular years as historical stepping stones in the evolution of the conflict, including the 1897 Basel Congress, the 1917 Balfour Declaration and British occupation of Palestine, and the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan and the war for Palestine. Providing an exploration of the main issues, the author explores not only the historical basis of the conflict, but also looks at how and why partition has been so difficult and how efforts to restore peace continue today"--OCLC
Cinema was the first, and is arguably still the greatest, of the industrialized art forms that came to dominate the cultural life of the twentieth century. Today, it continues to adapt and grow as new technologies and viewing platforms become available, and remains an integral cultural and aesthetic entertainment experience for people the world over. Cinema developed against the backdrop of the two world wars, and over the years has seen smaller wars, revolutions, and profound social changes. Its history reflects this changing landscape, and, more than any other art form, developments in technology. In this Very Short Introduction, Nowell-Smith looks at the defining moments of the industry, from silent to sound, black and white to color, and considers its genres from intellectual art house to mass market entertainment. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introduction series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic demonstrated the power of pandemics and their ability not only to destroy lives locally but also to capture the imagination and terrify the world. Christian W. McMillen provides a concise yet comprehensive account of pandemics throughout human history, illustrating how pandemic disease has shaped history and, at the same time, social behavior has influenced pandemic disease. Extremely interesting from a medical standpoint, the study of pandemics also provides unexpected, broader insights into culture and politics. This Very Short Introduction describes history's major pandemics - plague, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, cholera, influenza, and HIV/AIDS - highlighting how each disease's biological characteristics affected its pandemic development. McMillen discusses state responses to pandemics, such as quarantine, isolation, travel restrictions, and other forms of social control, and pays special attention to the rise of public health and the explosion of medical research in the wake of pandemics, especially as the germ theory of disease emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, medicine is able to control all of these diseases, yet some of them are still devastating in much of the developing world. By assessing the relationship between poverty and disease and the geography of epidemics, McMillen offers an outspoken and thought-provoking point of view on the necessity for global governments to learn from past experiences and proactively cooperate to prevent any future epidemic.