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This title in other editions

The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The twentieth century is usually seen as "the century of total war, " but as historian David Bell argues in this landmark work, the phenomenon actually began much earlier, in the age of Napoleon. Bell takes us from campaigns of "extermination" in the blood-soaked fields of western France to savage street fighting in ruined Spanish cities to central European battlefields where tens of thousands died in a single day. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction, and our modern attitudes toward war were born. Ever since, the dream of perpetual peace and the nightmare of total war have been bound tightly together in the Western world — where "wars of liberation, " such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into gruesome guerrilla conflict.

With a historian's keen insight and a journalist's flair for detail, Bell exposes the surprising parallels between Napoleon's day and our own in a book that is as timely and important as it is unforgettable.

Synopsis:

As Bell argues in this tour de force of interpretive history, nearly every modern aspect of war took root during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution: conscription, unconditional surrender, mobilization of civilians, guerrilla warfare, and the notion of war fought for the sake of peace.

Synopsis:

The twentieth century is usually seen as “the century of total war,” but as the historian David Bell argues in this landmark work, the phenomenon actually began much earlier, in the age of Napoleon. Bell takes us from campaigns of “extermination” in the blood-soaked fields of western France to savage street fighting in ruined Spanish cities to central European battlefields where tens of thousands died in a single day. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction, and our modern attitudes toward war were born. Ever since, the dream of perpetual peace and the nightmare of total war have been bound tightly together in the Western world—where “wars of liberation,” such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into gruesome guerrilla conflict.

With a historians keen insight and a journalists flair for detail, Bell exposes the surprising parallels between Napoleons day and our own in a book that is as timely and important as it is unforgettable.

About the Author

David A. Bell is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins and a contributing editor for the New Republic. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his Ph.D. at Princeton and taught for several years at Yale. Bell has written for the New York Times, Slate, and Time, and was featured on the History Channel's program on the French Revolution.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618919819
Author:
Bell, David A.
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Military - Napoleonic Wars
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Non-Classifiable
Subject:
France
Subject:
World History-Napoleon
Subject:
Military-General History
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 b/w halftones
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.63 x 5.56 x 1 in 0.85 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » 19th Century

The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It New Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Mariner Books - English 9780618919819 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , As Bell argues in this tour de force of interpretive history, nearly every modern aspect of war took root during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution: conscription, unconditional surrender, mobilization of civilians, guerrilla warfare, and the notion of war fought for the sake of peace.
"Synopsis" by ,
The twentieth century is usually seen as “the century of total war,” but as the historian David Bell argues in this landmark work, the phenomenon actually began much earlier, in the age of Napoleon. Bell takes us from campaigns of “extermination” in the blood-soaked fields of western France to savage street fighting in ruined Spanish cities to central European battlefields where tens of thousands died in a single day. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction, and our modern attitudes toward war were born. Ever since, the dream of perpetual peace and the nightmare of total war have been bound tightly together in the Western world—where “wars of liberation,” such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into gruesome guerrilla conflict.

With a historians keen insight and a journalists flair for detail, Bell exposes the surprising parallels between Napoleons day and our own in a book that is as timely and important as it is unforgettable.

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