Synopses & Reviews
Beginning with the first insurgencies in the ancient world — when Alexander the Great discovered that fleet nomads were harder to defeat than massive conventional armies — Max Boot, best-selling author and military advisor in Iraq and Afghanistan, masterfully guides us from the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire up through the horrors of the French-Indochina War and the shadowy, post-9/11 battlefields of today. Relying on a diverse cast of unforgettable characters — not only Mao and Che but also the legendary Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi, the archaeologist-turned-military commander T. E. Lawrence, and the "Quiet American" Edward Lansdale, among others — Boot explodes everything we thought we knew about unconventional combat. The result is both an enthralling read and our most important work on nontraditional warfare.
"A military historian and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Boot (The Savage Wars of Peace) presents a sweeping, well-written, and comprehensively documented history of guerilla war. For Boot, guerrilla warfare and terrorism are distinct but synergistically linked. Terrorism is the use of violence, primarily by nonstate actors, against noncombatants. Guerrilla, which means 'little war,' is the organized use of hit-and run tactics against governments. What they have in common is their use by fighters 'too weak to employ conventional methods,' although these unconventional methods may have higher prospects of success. Boot begins by tracing their roots, from prehistoric tribal war to the medieval grappling on the Anglo-Scottish frontier. He goes on to address terrorism and guerrilla warfare through the centuries and around the world, from medieval assassins to irregulars' operations during 19th century the liberal European revolutions between the 1770s and to the 1880s to guerrilla movements generated by imperialism, terrorism, from the medieval Assassins to the IRA, and guerrilla operations in the world wars. He concludes with an analysis of national liberation movements, recent Leftist revolutionary upheavals and Islamic terror. The result is a compelling narrative and perceptive analysis: a must read in today's world. Agent: Glen Hartley and Lynn Chu, Writers' Representatives. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
As fitting for the twenty-first century as von Clausewitz's On War was in its own time, Invisible Armies is a complete global history of guerrilla uprisings through the ages.
About the Author
A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a renowned military historian, Max Boot is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Savage Wars of Peace and War Made New, he lives in New York.