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When the first tanks lumbered onto the battlefields of the Western Front in 1916, they created an enduring myth and tapped into deep currents in the 20th-century mind: into ideas of unstoppable progress and of technological futurism. The tank, always more than the sum of its mechanical parts, is a social and cultural object, partly mythical, a curious compound of fact and fantasy, surrounded by legend. Going beyond military history, this book examines the tank's development as a 20th-century icon. In some ways it was a product of the artistic imagination (it was prefigured in the work of Leonardo da Vinci and H.G. Wells), and part of its effectiveness as a weapon is its mesmerizing visual impact. It has been a component of many enduring 20th-century images: the Blitzkrieg, the Polish cavalry charge, the Desert War, Tiananmen Square and, in Operation Desert Storm, the harbinger of a new, computer-age warfare of simulators and virtual-reality systems. The book's content encompasses discussion of the tank photo-opportunity (as used by Lenin, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush), women in tanks, and the curious case of the tank in Turkey which, by way of punishment for mechanical failure, was made to stand under guard on a hillside.
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Patrick Wright is Professor of Modern Cultural Studies at Nottingham Trent University, U.K. His books include Living in an Old Country, A Journey Through the Ruins, and The Village That Died for England.From Publishers Weekly:
Beginning with H.G. Wells's 1903 premonitions of tanklike creatures, Wright (The Village that Died for England) traces the cultural history of a kill vehicle variously called "behemoth," "landship" and even "Mother." Wright's exhaustive research offers a treasure trove of facts usually eclipsed in conventional military or technical histories. The early attention-getting potential of the creatures ("male" or "female," depending on their armament) during WWI was used to demoralizing effect on German troops and as a successful fund-raising tool by the British, whose "tank bank" war bonds proved popular. Such potential was not lost on subsequent champions of the ungainly machine in the interwar period, from the British tactician J.F.C. Fuller to the unholy trinity of Guderian, Rommel and Hitler, simultaneously the tank's greatest and most disastrous deployers. As authoritarian regimes rose, so did Western PR campaigns showing the tank as the symbol of liberation (from fascism and bolshevism), while paradoxically, Wright argues, the tank subsequently began to appear primarily as a tool governments use to control their own people. Wright, a professor of modern cultural studies at the U.K.'s Nottingham Trent University, also covers the suicidal heroism of Soviet women tankers in WWII and talks with Israel Tal about his singular design for Israel's Merkava. While the book's scope is somewhat skewed toward Britain, ignoring Asian tank development and deployment, the WWII Pacific theater and Vietnam, Wright brings vital social and microhistorical data to military history and fleshes out the story of one of the 2oth century's most powerful, destructive and highly symbolic creations. Photos. (On sale Apr. 29)Forecast: This book's iconic subject and cultural savvy should bring in readers who don't normally pick up military history. Look for sales to grow as reviews chime in; the book got great press when published in the U.K. in 2000.
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Book Description Hardback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR001071511
Book Description Faber and Faber, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Used; Acceptable. We are committed to providing each customer with the highest standard of customer service. All books are picked, packed and dispatched from the United Kingdom. Seller Inventory # FH1762897
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Book Description Viking, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition.... New York: Viking Press . First edition. First printing. Review copy. Hardbound. Fine/Fine. A nice tight copy. Defect free, smoke-free. Comes with mylar dust jacket protector. 0.0. Seller Inventory # jean115
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # FPS0571192599VG
Book Description Faber & Faber, 2000. Condition: Very Good. Seller Inventory # U9780571192595
Book Description Faber & Faber, London, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. This is a Very Good Copy of this book in Publisher's black cloth with cream title lettering to spine,in a Very Good dust-jacket which has NO chips or tears to the outer edges of the dust-jacket but with light rubbing to the outer edges of the dust-jacket.Not price clipped and this copy has NO previous names or inscriptions present.The book has a firm binding with no hinge weakness and there is no leaning or rolling to spine.Thick 8vo 499pp First Edition 1st Impression. Seller Inventory # 63684
Book Description Faber & Faber, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. HARDBACK. Condition: VG in VG dust jacket. Seller Inventory # 019087
Book Description Faber, London. 2000., 2000. 8vo, 499pp, with black and white and colour illustrations. A very good hardback copy in like dust jacket. Seller Inventory # 90446
Book Description Faber & Faber, London, 2000. Cloth. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. N.B. Slight shelf wear to edges and corners of D/J. D/J is a little rubbed and has some very light marks. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 036604