Monday, February 26, 2007

New at the CARL: Max Boot's "War Made New"

Review by Nancy Pearl, 22 Jan 2007 "Max Boot’s Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today is one of those narrative histories so compulsively readable that as you’re taking in all the information you forget how long it is . Boot describes how technology – specifically technology either designed or adapted for warfare – has had a major impact on human history. In Boot’s view, "technology sets the parameters of the possible", but doesn’t determine it. In exploring his thesis, he describes four different periods, and how the war-related technological innovations of each one helped steer history along a particular pathway. He includes the age of gunpowder (1500-1700), the First Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century through the start of World War I, the Second Industrial Revolution (1917-1945), and the Information Revolution, from 1970 to the present (with its emphasis on stealth bombers, guided missiles, GPS devices, and the other major weapons systems that played such an important role in both the first and second Gulf Wars). Boot’s book is a must for war buffs, and a good choice for anyone looking for a thought-provoking look at history."

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