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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  6 reviews
As a concept, deterrence has launched a thousand books and articles. It has dominated Western strategic thinking for more than four decades. In this important and groundbreaking new book, Lawrence Freedman develops a distinctive approach to the evaluation of deterrence as both a state of mind and a strategic option. This approach is applied to post-cold war crisis manageme ...more
Published May 21st 2004 by Polity Press
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Brian Thorson
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Freedman is a big thinker. Often, big thinkers struggle to communicate their ideas clearly to those who have not received as much training in their field of expertise - not Freedman. In this book, he clearly presents the fundamentals of deterrence theory weaved throughout history and ends with a look to the future.

I found the entire book to be informative but the two sentences that resonate most with me are the last two in the book.

"Success will be judged by good behaviour resulting not from a
James Voorhees
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short, insightful, and well written. You can't ask for much more from a book on international political theory. Published in 2004, Deterrence addresses the theory of deterrence as it was shortly the United States invaded Iraq, animated by the alternative idea of pre-emption.

Freedman is not beholden to a single theory of international relations unlike many other scholars in his field. He has a more practical bent in his analysis of the ideas behind the theory. At one point he says that practitio
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even if you are unaccustomed to Lawrence Freedman, or even the deeper workings of deterrence-related theories, recognize that as a reader you will contextualize the concepts that are presented in this short book.

An adjacent review of this book, by someone who is more familiar with Freedman than myself, laments the lack of context. I believe Freedman resists providing the reader too much context because the typical reader has already been inundated with control dogma that passed as viable theory
John DeRosa
Not your normal deterrence read. Freedman tries to revive a theory for post 9/11. Enough tidbits of value.
Ian Taylor
Oct 18, 2008 rated it liked it
It's a pretty decent, short book on the concept of deterrence. It's only about 130 pages and is easily readable in a day. I wonder if Lawrence Freedman ever feels bound to stay within one area of international relations/history. He's written a great work on the foreign policy crises of the Kennedy administration, a new and very readable book on the American experience in the Middle East in the contemporary era, and extensively written on nuclear strategy. But this very short work on the concept ...more
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Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has a very niche audience and is not particularly interesting.
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Sir Lawrence David Freedman, KCMG, CBE, PC, FBA is Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London.

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