War in the Nineteenth Century: 1800-1914
July 2009, Polity
Leading military historian Jeremy Black offers the reader a twenty-first century approach to this period, particularly through his focus on the dynamic drive provided by different forms of military goals, or "tasking". This allows echoes with modern warfare to come to the fore and provides a fuller understanding of a period sometimes considered solely as background to the total war of 1914-45. Alongside state-to-state warfare and the move toward "total war", Black's emphasis on different military goals gives due weight to trans-oceanic conflict at the expense of non-Europeans. Irregular, internal and asymmetric war are all considered, ranging from local insurgencies to imperial expeditions, and provide a deliberate shift from Western-centricity.
At the very cutting edge of its field, this book is a must read for all students and scholars of military history and its related disciplines.
1. Introduction: Framing the Problems.
2. Napoleonic Background.
4. The 1850s.
5. Naval Power and Warfare.
6. Outside Europe, 1815-60.
9. The Victory of the West, 1860-1913.
10. Towards the First World War, 1903-1914.
11. War and Society.
- The first in a new Polity series of volumes which, taken
together, will provide a history of war from ancient times to the
- This first volume deals with the rich military history of the
nineteenth century and is written by an internationally renowned
- Takes a fresh “twenty-first century” approach,
making novel links with conflict of the period in the broad sense,
including irregular, internal and asymmetric war.
- Maintains a judicious balance between major state-to-state warfares and smaller conflicts which provide a deliberate shift from Western-centricity.
Dennis Showalter, Colorado College
"Jeremy Black has given us a masterful overview of the period 1800-1914, not just for the West but for the world as a whole, analyzing the role of military power as an agent of change in history, and historical experience as an agent of change for armies and navies. Black considers the domestic significance of armed forces as well as their international role, using the concept of tasking to take a fresh approach to his topic."
Lawrence Sondhaus, University of Indianapolis
"Jeremy Black offers an alternative reading of military history, eschewing the linear teleology of most modernization theses in favour of explanations based on contingency and a multi-track approach placing western development alongside that elsewhere in the world. The result is a refreshingly clear, crisp and succinct overview of warfare from the end of the eighteenth century until the First World War."
Peter Wilson, University of Hull