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.
"Fascinating....Beginning with the barbarians at the gates of the Roman Empire, a wonderful and valuable historic narrative filled with colorful characters." Walter Isaacson
"Max Boot has written a landmark book about a perennial and important challenge: guerilla warfare." Jon Meacham, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
"A penetrating writer and thinker." Wall Street Journal
"Max Boot has produced the most definitive and comprehensive work to date on the dominant form of warfare of our times. From the origins of guerrilla warfare to current conflicts the reader travels through the centuries of time understanding the nature and character of unconventional warfare yet because of the power of Boot's narrative and sheer ability to tell a story, the reader can live the experience. A must read for scholars, military and government professionals and a fascinating journey for the general public." General (ret.) Jack Keane, former Army Vice Chi
"This is the definitive treatment of guerrilla warfare through the ages — a tour de force by a preeminent military historian who has advised generals, policymakers and political leaders on the subject." Senator John S. McCain
"Sweeping, meticulous, and exceptionally thoughtful. Max Boot's Invisible Armies is an important, compelling contribution to our understanding of how men make war." Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle
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.