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The Future of War: A History

Sir Lawrence Freedman



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15 October 2018
History; Military history; History of ideas; Theory of warfare & military science
Where should we look for new dangers? What cunning plans might an aggressor have in mind? What are the best forms of defence? How might peace be preserved or conflict resolved?

From the French rout at Sedan in 1870 to the relentless contemporary insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lawrence Freedman, one of the UK's foremost military thinkers, reveals how those who have imagined future war have often had an idealised notion of it as confined, brief and decisive - hence the stubborn persistence of the idea of a knockout blow, whether through a dashing land offensive or nuclear first strike or cyberattacks. He also notes the lack of attention paid to civil wars until the West began to intervene in them during the 1990s and how the boundaries between peace and war, between the military, the civilian, and the criminal are becoming increasingly blurred. Freedman's account of a century and a half of warfare and the (often misconceived) thinking that precedes war is a challenge to hawks and doves alike, and puts current strategic thinking into a bracing historical perspective.
By:   Sir Lawrence Freedman
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   292g
ISBN:   9780141975603
ISBN 10:   0141975601
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   15 October 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Future of War: A History

What is most impressive about the book is the author's erudition and the lightness with which he wears it -- Christopher Coker * Literary Review * Arguably Britain's leading academic strategist examines how ideas about how future wars could be fought have shaped the reality, with usually baleful results. ... His message to policymakers is to beware those who tout the ease and speed with which victory can be achieved while underestimating the resourcefulness of adversaries . Anybody who thinks otherwise should read this book * Economist * It reflects the author's immense knowledge and wisdom. It should feed our humility, because it reminds us of mankind's unlimited capacity for folly; and also of the need to sustain defences against all manner of threats, because the only certainty is that the next peril to confront us will be the one we least expect -- Max Hastings * The Times *

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