Karl von Clausewitz's study On War was described by the American strategic thinker Bernard Brodie as 'not simply the greatest, but the only great book about war'. It is hard to disagree. Even though he wrote his only major work at a time when the range of firearms was fifty yards, much of what he had to say remains relevant today. Michael Howard explains Clausewitz's ideas in terms both of his experiences as a professional soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, and of the intellectual background of his time. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In this accessible and authoritative Very Short Introduction, Richard English considers what modern warfare is and what it achieves. Addressing our assumptions about war in the modern period, and drawing upon direct accounts of warfare, he considers its impact on society, culture, economics, as well its future.
Author: Antulio J. Echevarria
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Since ancient times, poets, historians, and philosophers have contemplated warlords' exploits in battle and praised their ability to lead armies toward victory as the "art of the general." Today, this quality is designated military strategy. Military strategy plays a vital role in everyconflict, because, as the United States' involvement in the Vietnam conflict showed, when the overarching strategy is weak it is possible to win every battle but still lose a war.Taking inspiration from the greatest military theoreticians of history, such as Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Carl von Clausewitz, this Very Short Introduction highlights the dynamic relationship between the principal components of strategy: purpose, method, and means. Drawing on paradigmaticexamples, from Hannibal's war against Rome to Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, from the Allies' campaign to overwhelm Hitler's fortress to the terror attacks of September 11, Antulio J. Echevarria II vividly illustrates the factors contributing to the success or failure of military strategy.Echevarria describes the major types of military strategy and their advantages and disadvantages: annihilation and dislocation; attrition and exhaustion; deterrence and coercion; terror and terrorism; targeted killing; and cyber power. He also explores the emerging nano- and bio-genetic technologiesand explains how they are affecting today's military strategy. Clear and engaging, this book shows that military strategy is essential for understanding major events of the past and becomes even more critical today, in a world increasingly threatened by weapons of mass destruction, terroristattacks, and new dimensions of conflict, such as cyberwar and space.
'This is a fascinating book which sketches, in a very short space, one view of the nature of politics the reader is challenged, provoked and stimulated by Minogue's trenchant views.' -Ian Davies, Talking Politics'a dazzling but unpretentious display of great scholarship and humane reflection.' -Neil O'Sullivan, University of Hull'Professor Minogue's slim volume is an admirably light and sensible guide to political practitioners and students who want to learn more about the theoretical and historical context of today's controversies.' -Sir Philip Goodhart'Kenneth Minogue is a very lively stylist who does not distort difficult ideas.' -Maurice Cranston'Minogue is an admirable choice for showing us the nuts and bolts of the subject.' -Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
The war instinct is part of human nature, but the means to fight war depend on technology. Alex Roland traces the co-evolution of technology and warfare from the Stone Age to the age of cyberwar, describing the inventions that changed the direction of warfare throughout history: from fortified walls, the chariot, battleships, and the gunpowder revolution to bombers, rockets, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and nuclear weapons. In the twenty-first century, new technologies continue to push warfare in unexpected directions, while warfare stimulates stunning new technological advances. Yet even now, the newest and best technology cannot guarantee victory. Brimming with dramatic narratives of battles and deep insights into military psychology, this book shows that although military technologies keep changing at great speed, the principles and patterns behind them abide.
Author: Quentin Skinner
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated
Written with passion by experts in their field, concise and accessible books feature color illustrations and explore a sweeping range of topics, including history, philosophy, religion, mathematics and more.
Writing is a defining marker of civilisation; without it there could be no accumulation of knowledge. Andrew Robinson tells the fascinating story of the history of writing, considering its development, and examining the enormous variety of writing and scripts we use today.
In recent years, global migration has transformed in terms of its numbers and reach, its political significance, and its impact. The rising rates of international migration have been matched by growing public and media interest around the world. Today, the political and media attention on migration and greater public interest and concern feed into an international debate that is all too often poorly informed and one-sided. This Very Short Introduction looks at the phenomenon of international human migration - both legal and illegal - and offers an objective stance on the topic, and its benefits and challenges. Khalid Koser reveals the opportunities migration presents that must be taken advantage of in the current economic climate, and debunks common myths to demonstrate that society, as we now know it, cannot function without migrants. Using interviews with migrants from around the world, Koser presents the human side of issues such as asylum, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and the international labour force, inviting readers to come to their own conclusions on the international migration situation today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The First World War
Author: Michael Howard, Michael Eliot Howard
Publisher: Oxford University Press
By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise and insightful history of the 'Great War', focusing on why it happened, how it was fought, and why it had the consequences it did. It examines the state of Europe in 1914 and the outbreak of war; the onset of attrition and crisis; the role of the US; the collapse of Russia; and the weakening and eventual surrender of the Central Powers. Looking at the historical controversies surrounding the causes and conduct of war, Michael Howard also describes how peace was ultimately made, and the potent legacy of resentment left to Germany. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Clausewitz's On War
Author: Hew Strachan
Publisher: Grove Press
Perhaps the most important book on military strategy ever written, Carl von Clausewitz’s On War has influenced generations of generals and politicians, has been blamed for the unprecedented death tolls in the First and Second World Wars, and is required reading at military academies to this day. But On War, which was never finished and was published posthumously, is obscure and fundamentally contradictory. What Clausewitz declares in book 1, he discounts in book 8. The language is confusing and the relevance not always clear. It is an extremely difficult book for the general reader to approach, to reconcile with itself, and to place in context. Hew Strachan, one of the world’s foremost military historians answers these problems. He explains how and why On War was written, elucidates what Clausewitz meant, and offers insight into the book’s continuing significance. This is a must read for fans of military history.
Interest in international law has increased greatly over the past decade, largely because of its central place in discussions such as the Iraq War and Guantanamo, the World Trade Organisation, the anti-capitalist movement, the Kyoto Convention on climate change, and the apparent failure of the international system to deal with the situations in Palestine and Darfur, and the plights of refugees and illegal immigrants around the world. This Very Short Introduction explains what international law is, what its role in international society is, and how it operates. Vaughan Lowe examines what international law can and cannot do and what it is and what it isn't doing to make the world a better place. Focussing on the problems the world faces, Lowe uses terrorism, environmental change, poverty, and international violence to demonstrate the theories and practice of international law, and how the principles can be used for international co-operation.
If environmental protection is costly, how much should we spend on pollution control? Is it worth reducing pollution to zero, or should we accept some level of pollution because of the economic benefits associated with it? How can we assess the benefits that people get from a less-polluted atmosphere? In broad terms, environmental economics looks at how economic activity and policy affect the environment in which we live. Some production generates pollution, such as power station emissions causing acid rain and contributing to global warming, but household consumption decisions also affect the environment, where more consumption can mean more waste sent to polluting incinerators. However, pollution is not an inevitable consequence of economic activity - environmental policies can require polluting firms to clean up their emissions, and can encourage people to change their behaviour, through environmental taxes on polluting goods, for example. Generally, though, these measures will involve some costs, such as installing pollution control equipment. So there's a trade-off: a cleaner environment, but economic costs. In recent years, many economists have argued for greater use of incentive in the form of pollution charges and emissions trading rather than more traditional direct regulation of polluters. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Smith discusses environmental issues including pollution control, reducing environmental damage, and global climate change policies, answering questions about how we should balance environmental and economic considerations, and what form government policies should take. Including many illustrative case studies and examples he shows that this is an exciting field of economics, and one that is at the heart of many public debates and controversies. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
'[William Doyle] writes on the French Revolution with more understanding, balance and clarity than any other historian, living or dead.' -Prof. Tim Blanning, University of Cambridge
The Utility of Force
Author: Rupert Smith
From a highly decorated general, a brilliant new way of understanding war and its role in the twenty-first century. Drawing on his vast experience as a commander during the first Gulf War, and in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland, General Rupert Smith gives us a probing analysis of modern war. He demonstrates why today’s conflicts must be understood as intertwined political and military events, and makes clear why the current model of total war has failed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other recent campaigns. Smith offers a compelling contemporary vision for how to secure our world and the consequences of ignoring the new, shifting face of war. From the Trade Paperback edition.