search by author or title

War Made New

The Key Weapons, Battles, and Warriors That Changed the Course of History from 1500 to Today


Max Boot (View Bio)
Hardcover: Gotham Books, 2006.

War Made New
A Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.

"Someone who is keenly interested in the bigger implications of the strategies and tactics of the war on terror is Max Boot, a senior fellow in national-security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and one of today's most astute observers of RMA, Pentagon-speak for the Revolution in Military Affairs. His first book, THE SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE, looked at the long-term impact of some of the ‘little wars’ that took place in between the Revolutionary, Civil, two World, and Cold Wars. His latest book, WAR MADE NEW, looks at the larger trends that defined and advanced warfare and doctrine over the last six centuries. He is, all hyperbole aside, a modern-day Thucydides, telling the story of war and why it matters. In this rich and highly readable tome, he focuses on four revolutions in technology and doctrine…. Boot is not only an excellent historian, but also an excellent writer. Furthermore, he explains the implications not just for armed conflict, but also for military and political alliances, coronations, and redrawn boundaries around the globe.

" — Mark Yost, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Brilliantly crafted history." — The Wall Street Journal

"A book’s got to be pretty damned good to be worth $35. And WAR MADE NEW is worth every penny. It’s not only a terrific read; it’s a cheap education on how, for half a millennium, machines made war and war made machines. The research is impressive, the judgments are sound—and Max Boot’s a strong, clear writer…. The author sets up great battles as suspense stories, and you'll want to know what happens next. This is grand history, moving from the collapse of the Marathas in India to Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway. I knew the outcomes, but I still read anxiously..… Riveting… This is a book for both the general reader and reading generals." — Ralph Peters, The New York Post

"Max Boot has the intellectual audacity and meticulous scholarship to rearrange the kaleidoscope of military history. WAR MADE NEW is a classic that must be savored.... Boot has written a wonderful book, combining impressive scholarship and keen insights. It is not possible to read this book without stopping every 20 or so pages to say, ‘I didn't know that,’ and without frequently pausing to reflect on the future. Boot does not have an agenda. He's not arguing who the next enemy is or what the next new thing is. He's far better than that. His message is that we should take the time to reflect on the past 500 years and keep a broad, open, adaptive mind in preparing for the next war." — F. J. West, Marine Corps Gazette

"From bronze cannons to smart bombs, this engaging study examines the impact of new weaponry on war by spotlighting exemplary battles, including famous epics like the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the attack on Pearl Harbor along with obscure clashes like the 1898 Battle of Omdurman…. The author, a journalist and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, enlivens his war stories with profiles of generals from Gustavus Adolphus to Norman Schwarzkopf and splashes of blood and guts. Boot distills 500 years of military history into a well-paced, insightful narrative." — Publishers Weekly

"Meticulously researched…to bring the fleshy reality of warfare back into view by looking at how technological advances, coupled with the innovations of field commanders, have changed warfare over the past five centuries…. A timely and important work, providing an excellent thumbnail sketch of the sometimes simultaneous strokes of genius, luck, and technological smarts that kings and generals have used for centuries to best their enemies in the field." — Paul McLeary, The Christian Science Monitor

"Boot provides both facts and a deeper examination of causes, producing an interesting, readable, and compelling examination of military transformations throughout history." — Thomas J. Wilson III, Military Times

"Readable and informative, this book provides a valuable overview of how military innovations can abruptly affect the course of history. Highly recommended for public and undergraduate libraries." — Library Journal

"Max Boot traces the impact of military revolutions on the course of politics and history over the past 500 years. In doing so, he shows that changes in military technology are limited not to war fighting alone, but play a decisive role in shaping our world. Sweeping and erudite, while entirely accessible to the lay reader, this work is key for anyone interested in where military revolutions have taken us—and where they might lead in the future." — Senator John McCain

"While much has been in written in recent years about the so-called ‘Revolution in Military Affairs,’ Max Boot is the first scholar to place it within the broad sweep of history, and in the context of the rise of the West in world affairs since 1500. In so doing, he not only tells a remarkable tale, but he compels us all, even those obsessed solely with contemporary military affairs, to ask the right questions and to distinguish what is truly new and revolutionary from what is merely ephemeral. He has rendered a valuable service, and given us a fascinating read at the same time, so we are doubly in his debt." — Paul Kennedy, author of THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GREAT POWERS

"WAR MADE NEW is impressive in scope. What is equally impressive is its unique interpretation of the causal relationship between technology, warfare and the contemporary social milieu. This is a superb thinking person’s book which scrutinizes conventional historical wisdom through a new lens." — Bernard E. Trainor, Lt. Gen.USMC (ret.), co-author of COBRA II

"From Drake’s ships harrying the Armada up the Channel to U.S. Special Forces deploying in the mountains of Afghanistan, Boot’s narrative takes the widest possible view, yet it always crackles with fascinating detail and swift, adept character sketches. Drawing examples from scores of battlefields, WAR MADE NEW shows how nations have seized technological opportunities, or failed to do so at the steepest imaginable cost. Boot makes events from the dawn of the gunpowder era as immediate to contemporary America as is the treat of terrorist attack, all the while telling a story as enthralling as it is significant." — Richard Snow, American Heritage

"Max Boot’s book takes hundred of years of tactical battle history and reduces it to an incisive narrative of how war has changed. By providing such a coherent view of the past, he has pointed us toward the future. What is doubly impressive is how he draws surprising, fresh lessons from wars we thought we knew so much about but in fact didn’t." — Robert D. Kaplan, author of IMPERIAL GRUNTS

Up Back to Top