SEVEN MYTHS OF MILITARY HISTORY
John D. Hosler
John D. Hosler, expert in medieval warfare, the Crusades, teaches military history to field-grade officers at the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). Co-Editor of the book series "War and Conflict in Pre-Modern Societies", former Yale UP author, winner of the Verbruggen Prize for best book in medieval military history in 2019, one of his recent books was considered a Times Literary Supplement and Financial Times "Book of the Year".
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Why does military history generate so many myths? Is it because easily digestible myths make the subject easier to teach and study? Or because such myths help to paper over the simple but depressing fact that mankind has, since its very origins, permitted the slaughter of millions, often for the most minor of reasons? While such questions are difficult if not impossible to answer, in bringing together seven of the world’s finest military historians to dispel seven of these myths, John Hosler provides a great service in laying bare the myths’ origins.
Introduction: Myths too Convenient to Fade away
1. War and the Divine: Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?
2. The Western Way of War: Battle, Imperialism, and Ethnocentrism
Everett L. Wheeler
3. The Myths of Feudalism and the Feudal Knight
4. Military Revolutions: An Academic Party Game
5. Strategic Air Power: An Elegant Idea Fallen Short
6. New Asymmetric Warfare: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed
7. Technological Determinism: Explaining Success and Failure in War
Epilogue: To Bravely Go…
"This brief, provocative, and accessible book offers snapshots of seven pernicious myths in military history that have been perpetrated on unsuspecting students, readers, moviegoers, game players, and politicians. It promotes awareness of how myths are created by 'the spurious misuse and ignorance of history' and how misleading ideas about a military problem, as in asymmetric warfare, can lead to misguided solutions. "Both scholarly and engaging, this book is an ideal addition to military history and historical methodology courses. In fact, it could be fruitfully used in any course that teaches critical thinking skills, including courses outside the discipline of history. Military history has a broad appeal to students, and there’s something here for everyone....