Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World” as Want to Read:
War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  463 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
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 bat
Paperback, 656 pages
Published August 16th 2007 by Avery (first published October 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about War Made New, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about War Made New

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Artur Coelho
Max Boot procura demonstrar nestes livro o potencial revolucionário de novas armas adaptadas a tácticas que delas tiram partido ao longo da história ocidental. Opta por relatos de batalhas que considera historicamente basilares e acaba por concluir que novos utensílios levam a novas utilizações e, como McLuhan fez bastante mais cedo e a meditar sobre outras problemáticas, que os generais de hoje estão soberbamente preparados para lutar as guerras de ontem.

Se nas primeiras épocas abordadas Boot
Scott Pierce
Feb 26, 2017 Scott Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-military
Because military innovation spread so rapidly in Europe, the first mover advantage was limited.

Even the poet Belloc understood the advantage of technology - "Whatever happens, we have go the Maxim Gun, and they have not." Though, some armies did not adopt advantages, like the Union initially not taking the Spencer and Sharps repeating rifles because the head of ordnance thought that they would waste ammunition.

For all the advances in planes, Boot claims that the Norden bombsight was the biggest
Nov 19, 2008 William rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Whenever I pick up a book, newspaper or magazine, my expectation is that I will be learning something new by reading it. So it is always a bit of a let down when a book fails this test, as did "War Made New" by Max Boot. (OK, so I'm getting old and jaded.)

"War Made New" is nothing new, since the ground was already covered by numerous authors, like van Creveld, Dupuy, Weigley, Addington and others. "War Made New" would do just fine as a starter book, but more experienced readers won't lose anyth
Feb 20, 2008 Alexnd05 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book expecting it to be a misguided proclamation of the current overwhelming might of the United States military; however, I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be far more insightful and nuanced than I had anticipated. Boot divides modern military history into periods separated by four “revolutions”—Gunpowder, First Industrial, Second Industrial, and Information. I’m generally skeptical of efforts to say “this period was where the transformation took place.” For inst ...more
Anson Pham
Jan 29, 2014 Anson Pham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today," by Max Boot was a book that made me realize that there were many weak and small groups of people could challenge much stronger and better groups. For example, Japan at around 1850 was still keeping out the western influences. But a half a century later, this changed. They became known as one of the superpowers because of its victory in the Russo-Japanese War. A quote explains,"Out of thirty-eight Russian warships that ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
This was a fascinating, erudite read. The premise of book was to analyze in the author's opinion conflicts and wars in the last 500 years that were revolutionary in changing the course of history from a technological, strategic and social perspective. What seemingly appeared random were synthesized to an excellent conclusion. I read these kind of books because in order to understand the present, I must know the past.

There were essentially four revolutions: gunpowder in which guns replaced the bo
Jan 25, 2011 Isi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good account of some major changes in warfare since the time Europeans first learned what to do with black powder... only to conclude with two VERY BAD chapters on the latest changes in warfare. Everything that is right with the first 3/4 of the book (level-headed, distanced big-picture view of the historian, accentuated with just enough story-telling and anecdote to make it all come to life) is wrong with the book's last chapters, the ones on the "information technology revolution". That ...more
As a brief survey of a handful of battles from 1500-2005, this book is serviceable. But as a grand unified theory of the major revolutions in military affairs during that time, it fails. Boot generally favors the 'technology drives innovation in warfare' school of thought, but as a exercise in actually proving that thesis, he fails. He broadly divides military revolutions into four epochs since 1500, Gunpowder, First Industrial, Second Industrial, and Information. He then picks 3-4 battles per e ...more
The American Conservative
'Historical surveys of war and the way technological developments change the way it is fought are common—from the tours de force of major military historians like Martin Van Creveld and William O’Neill to potboilers marketed to 12-year-old boys. In his new book, Max Boot certainly aspires to be among the former, and the enthusiastic recommendations on the book’s dust jacket from no less than Sen. John McCain, Robert Kaplan, retired Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor, and Paul Kennedy certainly add to this ...more
Jun 03, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-history
Phenomenal writing combined with concise analysis. Better than The Savage Wars of Peace, itself a great read. You're right in the middle of some of history's grandest battles -- the Spanish Armada v. England's pirates, ascendent Prussia v. Austria, Russian/Japanese navies duking it out. Entertaining chapters also on Gulf War I and the invasion of Afghanistan.

What Guns, Germs and Steel did for environmental determinism and The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers did for economic determinism, Boot'
Nov 24, 2016 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tracing the history of warfare from 1500 to modern day is not an easy task. Boot chooses to break it up and address the pivotal jumps in warfare, revolutions as he calls them. We see the rise of the Arquebus amid pike warfare in the Renaissance, the evolutions of horse and musket warfare, the percussion cap and the train, the repeating rifle and the machine gun, the tank/aircraft, and then the information/accuracy/stealth age we reside in now. Throughout there is detail aplenty for the most avid ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
War Made New uses the theme of differences in warfare technology as the organizing principle for a history of warfare for the last 500 years. Many decisive military confrontations became routs because one side employed weapons, tactics, or organization that were superior to those of their opponents.

War Made New is very readable. It can be treated as a series of vignettes because each battle or “revolution” is independent of the others. On the other hand, it can be read as organic whole because
O. Gold
Jun 13, 2016 O. Gold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WAR MADE NEW by Max Boot
A military history, the thesis is that wars are
won or lost on the basis of technological advances. Thus, gunpowder defeated the
Spanish Armada, railroads and rifling enabled the Prussians to defeat the Austrians at the
battle of Koniggratz in 1866, the mechanized blitzkrieg won for the Germans in 1940, and
stealth planes and guided missiles guide todays fighting. As the back cover exclaims, "this
is a stirring analysis" which I echo will catch the interest of any reader. [5
Carlos D
Feb 07, 2008 Carlos D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of how warfare has changed according to technological advancements and economic development. Does warfare lead to advancements in technology? or do advancemenmts in technology lead to changes in warfare? It used to be the former, now more of the latter. Very well written, with lots of real world examples from history used to prove the point. If you like history AND blowing stuff up, you'll love this book.
Jul 07, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as "Savage Wars of Peace", but still one of the best books out there on the general topic of "revolutions in military affairs". Boot focuses on the importance of non-material factors--organization, doctrine, training, society--that fundamentally determine the ability of militaries to employ technological advantages to their advantage and to make significant changes in the way wars have historically been fought and won.
Dec 31, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A interesting examination of how technological advances applied to military forces can overturn the existing world power structure and usher in a new world order. The author warns that what happened to powers like the Holy Roman Empire, the Turks, the Austrians, the Spanish, etc. etc. when they failed to keep up with smaller powers armed with better technology can also happen to the United States.
Feb 02, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly detailed retelling of warfare. Mr. Boot takes the reader through the ages, literally, of how warfare has developed. Sometimes he flexes his large muscle of knowledge a little hard in telling the story of how a single battle or piece of weaponry changed warfare, but if you are able to finish the book you will have a significantly better appreciation of warfare and where it has come from and why it is the way it is now. One down side it that it is a long read, worth it, but long.
Ronald Jones
Max Boot chronicles the history of modern warfare, with an almost singular focus on European developments, from France's invasion of Italy in the 15th century to European world dominance at the dawn of the 20th century. War Made New continues into the present where the latest military technology and its applications are highlighted and examined. Max Boot's study is a comprehensive, clearly written work sure to please military history buffs.
Feb 16, 2009 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good overview of warfare from a technology perspective. But beware, to illustrate the intersection between technology and warfare, the book focuses heavily on battlefield tactics. In my mind, this is actually a positive aspect of the book. The book does not try to do too much. And because of this, it is a success.
May 19, 2016 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Max Boot gives a sweeping review of Revolutions in Military Affairs in the past 500 years. These revolutions include the gunpowder, aircraft carrier, and information revolution. Through clear sentences and insightful commentary Mr. Boot delivers in presenting the ideas and causes of revolutions in military in the modern era.
Feb 12, 2015 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, technology, defense
An interesting account of the role of technology in warfare through certain hand-picked instances of military innovation. The major detractor is that he completely, almost comically mischaracterized the outcomes in his coverage of more recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq. Plus, Boot is the poster child neocon and it really, really comes through, but overall a worthwhile read.
Warfare and defense technology are compared throughout five hundred years of history. Divided into clear historical periods, readers may navigate history as desired to focus on specific battles and technological developments.
Dec 17, 2007 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in military history
A scholarly but very readable look at the history of military technology and tactics from the end of the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 21st century. Focuses mainly on western cultures, but effectively covers their interactions with those in other parts of the world.
Nov 10, 2010 Bill rated it liked it
Recommends it for: war/ military history buffs
Recommended to Bill by: daughter's boyfriend
Shelves: history-military, war
Interesting book and well written. Last chapter was a bit boring and it was sort of irritating that the last 100+ pages were basically the acknowledgements, glossary and index.. Otherwise, I recommend to anyone interested in the history of how technological change affected the military..
Kathrin Passig
Started out well enough, but I had to skip the parts on Iraq and Afghanistan when the author's enthusiasm for gadgetry and general gushing over America got the better of him.
Brendan  McAuliffe
Oct 05, 2010 Brendan McAuliffe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of this can be skipped over. This guy's books aren't nearly as good as Singer's
Jan 26, 2015 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fairly expansive and interesting look at how certain technological advances have changed the way wars are fought and won.
Oct 25, 2007 Cimuchowski marked it as to-read
Referred to by the Economist.
Jan 14, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing
Max Boot's summary of western development since the 1450's is on point and shows that without change a nation can not stay in power.
Nov 02, 2009 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
War Made New by Max Boot 1 1 Feb 09, 2017 07:27AM  
  • The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy
  • First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps
  • The Price of Admiralty: The Evolution of Naval Warfare from Trafalgar to Midway
  • Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton
  • The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One
  • Military Innovation in the Interwar Period
  • The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World
  • How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle
  • Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945
  • To Dare and to Conquer: Special Operations and the Destiny of Nations, from Achilles to Al Qaeda
  • Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II
  • Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam
  • The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008
  • A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam
  • Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age
  • War in European History
  • The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History
  • Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice
American author, consultant, editorialist, lecturer, and military historian. He self-identifies as a conservative, once joking that "I grew up in the 1980s, when conservatism was cool".Boot worked as a writer and editor for Christian Science Monitor and then for The Wall Street Journal in the 1990s. He is now Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign ...more
More about Max Boot...

Share This Book

“It was not always the case, of course, that navies paid for themselves. In wartime, costs often exceeded revenues, and those deficits grew over time as fleets and armies got bigger. But this was hardly an insurmountable obstacle for the most dynamic economies in the world. The United Provinces and England were able to borrow all they needed to underwrite their defense budgets. The pressures of war gave a powerful impetus to the growth of stocks, bonds, loans, and paper currencies during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and helped to turn Amsterdam and then London into international financial centers. To take one example, the Bank of England was established in 1694 to raise funds to allow England to wage war against France.” 0 likes
“Some lasting terms of military organization owe their origin to Spain: colonel comes from cabo de colunela, or head of a column; infantry most likely comes from infante, the name for a Spanish prince, who often led these formations of foot soldiers.” 0 likes
More quotes…