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The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300–2050

The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300–2050

$56.99 (P)

Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox, Clifford J. Rogers, John A. Lynn, Mark Grimsley, Dennis E. Showalter, Holger H. Herwig, Jonathan B. A. Bailey
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  • Date Published: August 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521800792

$ 56.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The Dynamics of Military Revolution bridges a major gap in the emerging literature on revolutions in military affairs. It suggests that two very different phenomena have been at work over the past centuries: "military revolutions," which are driven by vast social and political changes, and "revolutions in military affairs," which military institutions have directed, although usually with great difficulty and ambiguous results. MacGregor Knox and Williamson Murray provide a conceptual framework and historical context for understanding the patterns of change, innovation, and adaptation that have marked war in the Western world since the fourteenth century--beginning with Edward III's revolution in medieval warfare, through the development of modern military institutions in seventeenth-century France, to the military impact of mass politics in the French Revolution, the cataclysmic military-industrial struggle of 1914-1918, and the German Blitzkrieg victories of 1940. Case studies and a conceptual overview offer an indispensible introduction to revolutionary military change,--which is as inevitable as it is difficult to predict. Macgregor Knox is the Stevenson Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of Common Destiny (Cambridge, 2000) and Hitler's Italian Allies (Cambridge, 2000). Knox and Murray are co-editors of Making of Strategy (Cambridge, 1996). Willamson Murray is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defense Analysis. He is the co-editor of Military Innovation in the Interwar Period (Cambridge, 1996) and author of A War to Be Won (Harvard University Press, 2000).

    • A ground-breaking work that provides an historical context to the debate over revolutions in military affairs
    • A major contribution to the current debate over the direction of US current defense policy
    • A major contribution to the continuing historical debate over military revolutions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Dynamics of Military Revolution brings a much needed historical perspective to the current debate about the 'revolution in military affairs.' The future of military force is not simply about technology, but rather about the concepts and doctrine that utilize technology to achieve larger purposes. That is precisely the focus of this challenging and thoughtful book."
    -Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

    "This is an important little book. It deserves to be widely read."
    -The Washington Times

    "This provocative book is a welcome addition to the literature on military innovation that is well recommended to those with any interest in the ongoing debate about U.S. force transformation."
    -Air Power History

    "The separate chapters contain some of the best examples of analytical history available...a first-class work that should be on every professional's reading list."
    -Air & Space Power Journal

    "...highly readable, impecably researched, and academically of the first order... the book provides some interesting insights in discussions..."
    -Mark O'Hare, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society

    "...provocative findings and the book's case studies provide a needed context for current debates...these essays provide needed context for understanding the dynamics of military change..."
    -H-Net Reviews

    "This book masterfully presents the most current and profound thinking on the subject of revolutions in military affairs. More importantly, it does so from an historical context that provides the foundation for the continuing dialogue needed to educate our nation's civilian and military leaders as they address possible future revolutions in military affairs."
    -Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper, USMC (ret.)

    "Dynamics of Military Revolution is certain to be viewed as the standard work. This well-edited collection of scintillating case studies shows us how history can and should be used to test important ideas."
    -Colin S. Gray, University of Reading

    "...reading The Dynamics of Military Revolution is well worth the time invested."

    "Whether one agrees with the editor's assessment or not, The Dynamics of Military Revolution will reward historians and military professionals alike. This book belongs on the reading lists of officers from all four services."
    -Miltary Review

    "The Dynamics of Military Revolution, a thought-provoking examination of critical military history. It provides prerequisite knowledge for understanding the true nature of RMAs and possible pitfalsl for the future U.S. military."
    -Special Warfare

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521800792
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Williamson Murray and MacGregor Knox
    2. 'As if a new sun had arisen': England's fourteenth-century RMA Clifford J. Rogers
    3. Forging the Western army in seventeenth-century France John A. Lynn
    4. Mass politics and nationalism as military revolution: the French Revolution and after MacGregor Knox
    5. Surviving military revolution: the US Civil War Mark Grimsley
    6. The Prusso-German RMA, 1840–71 Dennis E. Showalter
    7. The battlefleet revolution, 1885–1914 Holger H. Herwig
    8. The First World War and the birth of modern warfare Jonathan B. A. Bailey
    9. May 1940: contingency and fragility of the German RMA Williamson Murray
    10. Conclusion: the future behind us Williamson Murray and MacGregor Knox.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Causes of War
    • European Military History
    • Graduate Readings in War and Society in Europe
    • History of Small Wars
    • Revolutions in History
  • Editors

    MacGregor Knox, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Williamson Murray


    Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox, Clifford J. Rogers, John A. Lynn, Mark Grimsley, Dennis E. Showalter, Holger H. Herwig, Jonathan B. A. Bailey

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