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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (Biography)
A New York Times bestseller, this “epic and elegant” biography (Wall Street Journal) profoundly recasts our understanding of the Vietnam War.
Praised as a “superb scholarly achievement” (Foreign Policy), The Road Not Taken confirms Max Boot’s role as a “master chronicler” (Washington Times) of American military affairs. Through dozens of interviews and never-before-seen documents, Boot rescues Edward Lansdale (1908–1987) from historical ignominy to “restore a sense of proportion” to this “political Svengali, or ‘Lawrence of Asia’ ”(The New Yorker). Boot demonstrates how Lansdale, the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, pioneered a “hearts and minds” diplomacy, first in the Philippines and then in Vietnam. Bringing a tragic complexity to Lansdale and a nuanced analysis to his visionary foreign policy, Boot suggests Vietnam could have been different had we only listened.
With contemporary reverberations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, The Road Not Taken is a “judicious and absorbing” (New York Times Book Review) biography of lasting historical consequence.
New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Notable Book (Nonfiction)
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Foreign Policy
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection
“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest... hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal
Invisible Armies presents an entirely original narrative of warfare, which demonstrates that, far from the exception, loosely organized partisan or guerrilla
warfare has been the dominant form of military conflict throughout history. New York Times best-selling author and military historian Max Boot traces guerrilla
warfare and terrorism from antiquity to the present, narrating nearly thirty centuries of unconventional military conflicts. Filled with dramatic analysis of strategy and tactics, as well as many memorable characters—from Italian nationalist Guiseppe Garibaldi to the “Quiet American,” Edward Lansdale—Invisible Armies is “as readable as a novel” (Michael Korda, Daily Beast) and “a timely reminder to politicians and generals of the hard-earned lessons of history” (Economist).
America's "small wars," "imperial war," or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts," have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power. Beginning with Jefferson's expedition against the Barbary pirates, Max Boot tells the exciting stories of our sometimes minor but often bloody landings in Samoa, the Philippines, China, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere. Along the way he sketches colorful portraits of little-known military heroes such as Stephen Decatur, "Fighting Fred" Funston, and Smedly Butler.
This revised and updated edition of Boot's compellingly readable history of the forgotten wars that helped promote America's rise in the lst two centuries includes a wealth of new material, including a chapter on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a new afterword on the lessons of the post-9/11 world.
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.