War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today (2006)

A “book of the week” in The Week magazine, a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice,” “one of the best books of the year” in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and one of the “Notable Naval Books of 2006” in Naval Institute Proceedings.

“Riveting…. This is a book for both the general reader and reading generals.”

–Ralph Peters, The New York Post

“Brilliantly crafted history.”

–Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, The Wall Street Journal

“[An] unusual and magisterial survey of technology and war…. Illuminating.”

–Josiah Bunting, New York Times Book Review

“A fascinating look at the complicated relationship between warfare and technological development by a master historian.”

–Barry Gewen, nytimes.com

A monumental, groundbreaking work that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield.

Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four “revolutions” in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes have remade the field of battle—and shaped the rise and fall of empires.

War Made New begins with the Gunpowder Revolution and explains warfare’s evolution from ritualistic, drawn-out engagements to much deadlier events, precipitating the rise of the modern nation-state. He next explores the triumph of steel and steam during the Industrial Revolution, showing how it powered the spread of European colonial empires. Moving into the twentieth century and the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot examines three critical clashes of World War II to illustrate how new technology such as the tank, radio, and airplane ushered in terrifying new forms of warfare and the rise of centralized, and even totalitarian, world powers. Finally, Boot focuses on the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq War—arguing that even as cutting-edge technologies have made America the greatest military power in world history, advanced communications systems have allowed decentralized, “irregular” forces to become an increasingly significant threat.