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War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  421 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A monumental, groundbreaking work of history that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield—from the Spanish Armada to the War on Terror— and how mastery of these innovations has shaped the rise and fall of nations and empires

In War Made New, acclaimed author Max Boot explores how innovations in warfare mark crucial turning points
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 640 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Gotham (first published October 2006)
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Artur Coelho
Dec 14, 2011 Artur Coelho rated it it was ok
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
Anson Pham
Feb 07, 2014 Anson Pham rated it really liked it
"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
O. Gold
Jun 13, 2016 O. Gold rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 07, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 19, 2008 William rated it it was ok

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
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
Aug 02, 2013 Christopher rated it it was ok
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
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.
May 19, 2016 Will rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Jul 05, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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'
Jan 22, 2014 Storrs added it
Shelves: great-decisions
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.
Jonathan Ojanpera
Jun 04, 2014 Jonathan Ojanpera rated it it was amazing
An amazing historical account of weapons and how we use them.
Apr 10, 2011 Jill rated it liked it
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
Nov 29, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 07, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it
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.
Carlos D
Feb 07, 2008 Carlos D rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 13, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 21, 2016 Steph rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 16, 2009 Tim rated it liked it
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.
Jul 23, 2011 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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..
Dec 17, 2007 James rated it really liked it
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.
Patrick Shrier
Sep 07, 2015 Patrick Shrier rated it liked it
Another of the disciples of RMAs tries to convince us all that technology changes the essential nature of warfare because changes in the way we kill each other make warfare fundamentally different.
Kathrin Passig
Aug 23, 2012 Kathrin Passig rated it liked it
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.
May 16, 2015 Nicholas rated it really liked it
This was a fairly expansive and interesting look at how certain technological advances have changed the way wars are fought and won.
Jan 14, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
John Weibull
Feb 09, 2007 John Weibull rated it really liked it
Shelves: militaryhistory
an excellent analysis of how warfare has changed over the centuries, and how wars have shaped, and influenced human history... a must read
Apr 11, 2014 Brandon rated it liked it
A book well worth reading. The author brings up some very good points about technology and the use of it.
Brendan  McAuliffe
Oct 07, 2010 Brendan McAuliffe rated it did not like it
A lot of this can be skipped over. This guy's books aren't nearly as good as Singer's
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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
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“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
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