The Pursuit of Power

Author: William H. McNeill
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616019X
Format: PDF
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In this magnificent synthesis of military, technological, and social history, William H. McNeill explores a whole millennium of human upheaval and traces the path by which we have arrived at the frightening dilemmas that now confront us. McNeill moves with equal mastery from the crossbow—banned by the Church in 1139 as too lethal for Christians to use against one another—to the nuclear missile, from the sociological consequences of drill in the seventeenth century to the emergence of the military-industrial complex in the twentieth. His central argument is that a commercial transformation of world society in the eleventh century caused military activity to respond increasingly to market forces as well as to the commands of rulers. Only in our own time, suggests McNeill, are command economies replacing the market control of large-scale human effort. The Pursuit of Power does not solve the problems of the present, but its discoveries, hypotheses, and sheer breadth of learning do offer a perspective on our current fears and, as McNeill hopes, "a ground for wiser action."

Venice

Author: William H. McNeill
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226561496
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this magisterial history, National Book Award winner William H. McNeill chronicles the interactions and disputes between Latin Christians and the Orthodox communities of eastern Europe during the period 1081–1797. Concentrating on Venice as the hinge of European history in the late medieval and early modern period, McNeill explores the technological, economic, and political bases of Venetian power and wealth, and the city’s unique status at the frontier between the papal and Orthodox Christian worlds. He pays particular attention to Venetian influence upon southeastern Europe, and from such an angle of vision, the familiar pattern of European history changes shape. “No other historian would have been capable of writing a book as direct, as well-informed and as little weighed down by purple prose as this one. Or as impartial. McNeill has succeeded admirably.”—Fernand Braudel, Times Literary Supplement “The book is serious, interesting, occasionally compelling, and always suggestive.”—Stanley Chojnacki, American Historical Review

The Rise And Fall of British Naval Mastery

Author: Paul Kennedy
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141983833
Format: PDF, Docs
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Paul Kennedy's classic naval history, now updated with a new introduction by the author This acclaimed book traces Britain's rise and fall as a sea power from the Tudors to the present day. Challenging the traditional view that the British are natural 'sons of the waves', he suggests instead that the country's fortunes as a significant maritime force have always been bound up with its economic growth. In doing so, he contributes significantly to the centuries-long debate between 'continental' and 'maritime' schools of strategy over Britain's policy in times of war. Setting British naval history within a framework of national, international, economic, political and strategic considerations, he offers a fresh approach to one of the central questions in British history. A new introduction extends his analysis into the twenty-first century and reflects on current American and Chinese ambitions for naval mastery. 'Excellent and stimulating' Correlli Barnett 'The first scholar to have set the sweep of British Naval history against the background of economic history' Michael Howard, Sunday Times 'By far the best study that has ever been done on the subject ... a sparkling and apt quotation on practically every page' Daniel A. Baugh, International History Review 'The best single-volume study of Britain and her naval past now available to us' Jon Sumida, Journal of Modern History

Europe s Steppe Frontier 1500 1800

Author: William H. McNeill
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022605103X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Europe’s Steppe Frontier, acclaimed historian William H. McNeill analyzes the process whereby the thinly occupied grasslands of southeastern Europe were incorporated into the bodies-social of three great empires: the Ottoman, the Austrian, and the Russian. McNeill benefits from a New World detachment from the bitter nationality quarrels of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century which inspired but also blinded most of the historians of the region. Moreover, the unique institutional adjustments southeastern Europeans made to the frontier challenge cast indirect light upon the peculiarities of the North American frontier experience.

Plagues and Peoples

Author: William McNeill
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307773663
Format: PDF, ePub
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Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history as seen through the extraordinary impact--political, demographic, ecological, and psychological--of disease on cultures. From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, the history of disease is the history of humankind. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter has been added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his new introduction to this updated editon. Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening. "A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement" (Kirkus Reviews), it is essential reading, offering a new perspective on human history.

War Made New

Author: Max Boot
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101216832
Format: PDF
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A monumental, groundbreaking work, now in paperback, that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four ?revolutions? in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes have remade the field of battle?and shaped the rise and fall of empires. War Made New begins with the Gunpowder Revolution and explains warfare?s evolution from ritualistic, drawn-out engagements to much deadlier events, precipitating the rise of the modern nation-state. He next explores the triumph of steel and steam during the Industrial Revolution, showing how it powered the spread of European colonial empires. Moving into the twentieth century and the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot examines three critical clashes of World War II to illustrate how new technology such as the tank, radio, and airplane ushered in terrifying new forms of warfare and the rise of centralized, and even totalitarian, world powers. Finally, Boot focuses on the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq War?arguing that even as cutting-edge technologies have made America the greatest military power in world history, advanced communications systems have allowed decentralized, ?irregular? forces to become an increasingly significant threat.

The Rise of the West

Author: William H. McNeill
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226561615
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Rise of the West, winner of the National Book Award for history in 1964, is famous for its ambitious scope and intellectual rigor. In it, McNeill challenges the Spengler-Toynbee view that a number of separate civilizations pursued essentially independent careers, and argues instead that human cultures interacted at every stage of their history. The author suggests that from the Neolithic beginnings of grain agriculture to the present major social changes in all parts of the world were triggered by new or newly important foreign stimuli, and he presents a persuasive narrative of world history to support this claim. In a retrospective essay titled "The Rise of the West after Twenty-five Years," McNeill shows how his book was shaped by the time and place in which it was written (1954-63). He discusses how historiography subsequently developed and suggests how his portrait of the world's past in The Rise of the West should be revised to reflect these changes. "This is not only the most learned and the most intelligent, it is also the most stimulating and fascinating book that has ever set out to recount and explain the whole history of mankind. . . . To read it is a great experience. It leaves echoes to reverberate, and seeds to germinate in the mind."—H. R. Trevor-Roper, New York Times Book Review

War in the Middle Ages

Author: Philippe Contamine
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISBN: 9780631144694
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A history of medieval warfare in Europe covers the fifth through the fifteenth century and discusses armor, artillery, strategy, and courage

The State War and the State of War

Author: Kalevi Jaakko Holsti
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521577908
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Why do we have Rwandas, Bosnias, and Somalias? This book explores the sources of such bitter, prolonged conflicts that result in immense human tragedies of civilian deaths and mass refugee flows. The author argues that such conflicts, and not wars between states, are the wars of the future. What can the United Nations and other international institutions do about them? Can organizations designed to manage conflicts between states successfully manage wars whose origins are domestic? The author develops some ideas about conflict resolution and peace derived from such recent experiences of war.