World History of Warfare


World History of Warfare

Christon I. Archer, John R. Ferris, Holger H. Herwig, and Timothy H. E. Travers

640 pages
25 illustrations, 16 maps


September 2008


$40.00 Add to Cart

October 2002


$60.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

World History of Warfare is designed as a textbook for introductory college courses in military history. The text covers worldwide military history from ancient times to the present. Its principal theme is an exploration of change and continuity, revolution and tradition, in three thousand years of warfare. The work teaches students and general readers how warfare evolved and how that evolution affected human society, with emphasis on major turning points in the conduct of warfare rather than a superficial general history of wars.

This volume addresses traditional subjects such as generals and tactics, but each chapter also includes discussions of the idea of war, the role of the common soldier, and the changing interpretations of the military's place in society and politics. Of special value is the authors' treatment of non-Western societies. Too often military history has meant the study of warfare in England, France, and Germany, especially as it was shaped by the Napoleonic conflicts. In contrast, the authors of this volume examine the role that military forces have played in shaping societies worldwide.

Author Bio

All four authors are professors of history at the University of Calgary. Christon I. Archer is the editor of The Wars of Independence in Spanish America. John R. Ferris is the author of The Evolution of British Strategic Policy, 1919-1926. Holger H. Herwig is a coauthor of The Grand Illusion: The Prussianization of the Chilean Army (Nebraska 1999). Timothy H. E. Travers is the author of Gallipoli 1915.


"An outstanding reading text on the history of warfare from its origins to the twenty-first century. More than a description of past key events and turning points, it is a rewriting of this history articulating the concept of change."—Air Power History

"These authors follow the trend among some younger military historians . . . by describing not only the raw detail of battle but sprinkling it with some philosophic insight, emotion, and the impact of war on society as a whole."—Library Journal

"This book provides a wide-ranging and comprehensive coverage of warfare across time and cultures. Its main strengths are its ability to provide context for each period discussed, comparison between developments in Europe, Asia, and the colonized world, and critical and up-to-date bibliographies that allow the reader to pursue subjects in greater depth."—Jeffrey Grey, author of The Australian Centenary History of Defence

"At last general-audience military history has a worthy successor to Theodore Ropp's classic War in the Modern World. This well-written, well-reasoned volume seamlessly blends the expertise of its four authors in a critical analysis of war from its beginning to the present. Well suited for course adoption, it belongs on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the phenomenon of human conflict."—Dennis Showalter, past president, Society of Military History

"A captivating account of how ancient empires and modern nations advanced their civilizations through the evolution of warfare. Very well written, this book is an excellent source for the average reader as well as the student of military history."—Tim Boxer, 15 Minutes

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Introduction: The Origins of Warfare
1. Warfare of the Ancient Empires
2. War and Society in the Classical West
3. Migrations and Invasions
4. European Chivalry and the Rise of Islam
5. Eastern Styles of Warfare
6. The Age of Gunpowder and Sail
7. New Signs of Total War
8. Absolutism and War
9. The Revolutionary Era
10. The Beginnings of Industrial Warfare
11. The West Conquers the World
12. Twentieth-Century Militarisms and Technological Warfare
13. Third World Wars
Epilogue: The Future of War and Peace


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