Creveld is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is apparently one of the leading experts on military history and strategy. For such an eminent scholar I wonder why he brought out and put his name to a book like this.
- Martin Van Creveld
This is literally a scan through time from weapons of stone and club to nuclear arms in what is almost a pocket sized book. Obviously it is impossible to give much time to each event as the whole covers 10,000 BC to the outbreak of the Arab Spring wars. For instance the First World War gets two pages and the Second World War gets four – but only so it can be split into before USA entered the war to after the USA entered the war.
The book is made up of five parts, One being 10,000 BCE to 476 CE (BCE = Before Common Era to replace BC, Before Christ and CE = Common Era which replaces Anno Domini in this ever more PC world). Part two is 476-1494 CE, Part three is 1495-1815 CE, Part four is 1815-1945 CE and the final part is 1945 CE to present date. There is no index needed as the Contents list all the events.
This book is a reminder of dates, important battles, and the list of what is important is obviously a judgement call by the author which the reader may not totally agree with. There is no depth at all to the event, just a straightforward statement of what happened at that time, a bit of background explanation and how it affected that period in time.
I am not sure who the audience is for this book but it is a good reference book to have on the shelf to bump one’s memory about an important battle/war. One thing the book shows is that in 12,000 years, the Human Race has become very good at killing itself.
This could be a good stocking filler come December.
2/5 Mr MRHs from me.