Battle: A History Of Combat And Culture

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Battle: A History of Combat and Culture spans the globe and the centuries to explore the way ideas shape the conduct of warfare. Drawing its examples from Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and America, John A. Lynn challenges the belief that technology has been the dominant influence on combat from ancient times to the present day. In battle, ideas can be more far more important than bullets or bombs. Carl von Clausewitz proclaimed that war is politics, but even more basically, war is culture. The hard reality of armed conflict is formed by - and, in turn, forms - a culture's values, assumptions, and expectations about fighting. The author examines the relationship between the real and the ideal, arguing that feedback between the two follows certain discernable paths. Battle rejects the currently fashionable notion of a "Western way of warfare" and replaces it with more nuanced concepts of varied and evolving cultural patterns of combat. After considering history, Lynn finally asks how the knowledge gained might illuminate our understanding of the war on terrorism.

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About the Author:

John A. Lynn, an expert on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century warfare professor, is a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an adjunct professor at Ohio State University. He lives in Champaign, Illinois.

From Publishers Weekly:

Without denying the existence of such constants as fear and courage, Lynn, a historian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, seeks in this volume to refute "universal" models of interpreting warfare. Classical Greece, he argues, sought decisive battle because of its particular values emphasizing individual worth and independence, while in ancient India and China, the dominant values emphasized deception and diplomacy. Medieval Europe balanced a brutal reality of highly destructive mutual raiding with an artificial form of war in the tournament and an idealized form in the crusade. The European wars of the 18th century were defined by style and aesthetics, manifestations of the conscious mixture of fashion and function that reflected general European taste. Similarly, 19th-century Europe's concept of the decisive battle, argues Lynn (The Wars of Louis XIV), was influenced more by a Romantic high culture than by specifically military factors such as weapons systems or mass armies. Even the U.S.-Japanese conflict from 1941 to 1945, Lynn contends, was shaped by a profound contrast in military cultures, one emphasizing survival and the other self-immolation. The final chapter discusses the Egyptian army's conscious and rejection in 1973 of maneuver warfare in favor of a set-piece approach more congruent with its supporting cultures.
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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised and Updated ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. Battle: A History of Combat and Culture spans the globe and the centuries to explore the way ideas shape the conduct of warfare. Drawing its examples from Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and America, John A. Lynn challenges the belief that technology has been the dominant influence on combat from ancient times to the present day. In battle, ideas can be more far more important than bullets or bombs. Carl von Clausewitz proclaimed that war is politics, but even more basically, war is culture. The hard reality of armed conflict is formed by - and, in turn, forms - a culture's values, assumptions, and expectations about fighting. The author examines the relationship between the real and the ideal, arguing that feedback between the two follows certain discernable paths. Battle rejects the currently fashionable notion of a "Western way of warfare" and replaces it with more nuanced concepts of varied and evolving cultural patterns of combat. After considering history, Lynn finally asks how the knowledge gained might illuminate our understanding of the war on terrorism. Seller Inventory # BZE9780813333724

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