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The Oxford History of Modern War

Townshend, Charles
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Year Published:  2005   First Published:  1997
Pages:  414pp   Price:  $21.95   ISBN:  0-19-280645-9

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This book was first published under a different title in 1997; here, Townshend, an international history professor at Keele University in the UK and a published author on military history, has provided additional commentary since the events of "9/11." Eighteen essays have been written by fifteen individuals, all identified as contributors. The book is a military history, principally from the defeat of the Ottoman besiegers of Vienna in 1683. Since then, western Europe launched a course of global dominance. There are four major themes here: notes on military technology, description of combat experiences, discussion on the social impact of war, and material about the efforts to limit war's destructiveness by various organizations. Since 1997, Townshend points out that there have been more genocides, a breakdown of states, a privatization of the military, and terrorism. Part One here features the historical approach (Seven Years War, Great War, Second World War, Cold War, and the like). Part Two deals with technology of sea warfare, air warfare, women and war, and other such topics. There is a bibliography of further readings (arranged by chapter) and an index.

* Audience or interest level: students, libraries.
* Some interesting facts: "A complex of economic, social, and political modernization generated the phenomenon of the "nation in arms", and, ultimately, in the twentieth century, of "total war"".
* What I don't like about this resource (its shortcomings): there's enough in this book to make you sing "ain't gonna study war no more".
* What I do like about this resource (its positives): there is a chronology from 1515 through 2003.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 88.

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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