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Firearms: A Global History to 1700by Kenneth Chase
Synopses & Reviews
Kenneth Chase traces the history of firearms from their invention in China in the 1100s to the 1700s, when European firearms had become clearly superior. In Firearms, Chase asks why it was the Europeans who perfected firearms, not the Chinese, and answers this question by looking at how firearms were used throughout the world. Early firearms were restricted to infantry and siege warfare, limiting their use outside of Europe and Japan. Steppe and desert nomads imposed a different style of warfare on the Middle East, India, and China--a style incompatible with firearms. By the time that better firearms allowed these regions to turn the tables on the nomads, Japan's self-imposed isolation left Europe with no rival in firearms design, production, or use, with lasting consequences. After earning his doctorate from Harvard in the area of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and traveling extensively in Asia, Kenneth Chase pursued a career in the law. His interest in history endures unabated, however, and after nine years of research on firearms, he is now working on a history of international trade in the Indian Ocean region in the 1300s and 1400s.
This book asks why Europeans perfected firearms when the Chinese had invented them by looking at how firearms were used throughout the world.
This book is a history of firearms across the world from the 1100s up to the 1700s, from the time of their invention in China to the time when European firearms had become clearly superior. It asks why it was the Europeans who perfected firearms when it was the Chinese who had invented them, but it answers this question by looking at how firearms were used throughout the world.
About the Author
Kenneth W. Chase is an attorney at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton. He received his Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Oikoumene; The Steppe; The Desert; Logistics; Cavalry; Firearms; China to 1500: The invention of firearms; The rise of the Ming; The Ming military; The Hongwu campaigns; The Yongle campaigns; Vietnam; The South Seas; Tumu; Europe: The introduction of firearms; Sieges and battles; Geography; Guns and horses; Guns and ships; Guns and bows; Eastern Europe; The Americas; Western Islamdom: Turkey; The Ottoman military; The Balkans; The Mediterranean; Ottoman success; Egypt; The Mamluk military; Mamluk warfare; Marj Dabiq; Mamluk failure; The Maghrib; Sub-Saharan Africa; Eastern Islamdom: Iran; The Safavid military; Azarbayjan; Khurasan; Safavid success or failure?; India; The Afghans; The Mughals; The Portuguese; Southeast Asia; China From 1500: Foreign firearms; New Chinese firearms; Institutional change; Japanese pirates; The Great Wall; Wagons; The fall of the Ming; The Qing dynasty; Korea and Japan: Korea; Japan; Tanegashima; Nobunaga; Unification; The first invasion of Korea; The Korean response; The second invasion of Korea; The Tokugawa; Conclusion: Firearms after 1700; The world after 1700; Wagons and pikes; Firearms and nomads.
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History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General