In this scholarly and original study of military thought during the nineteenth century Azar Gat continues and expands the themes he explored in his previous book, The Origins of Military Thought from the Enlightenment to Clausewitz (Oxford Historical Monographs, 1989).
The present volume spans the period from the aftermath of the Napoleonic era to the outbreak of the First World War. Encompassing Prussia/Germany, France, Great Britain, the United States of America and the Marxist theory later to gain sway in Russia, The Development of Military Thought focuses on the wider conceptions of war, strategy, and military theory which dominated the West in this period. Dr. Gat's penetrating analysis uncovers the intellectual assumptions and picture of the past which underlay military policy and practice.
`Gat presents a great deal of historical and theoretical material in a relatively brief compass.'
`but it is not on the military side of its university that Dr Gat operates, it is in the departments of history and political science ... And it is this which gives his work its depth and value ... he is above all a historian of ideas ... he has written a very good book ... The historiographical passages and bibliographical footnotes are rich and useful, the general-historical foundations of the work are admirably solid, and the exposition flows from cover
to cover in a powerful and compelling stream.'
Times Literary Supplement
'The present volume ... extends and amplifies the basic argument that Gat developed in his earlier book on The Origins of Miltary Thought from the Enlightenment to Clausewitz, by far the most frequently cited work in the notes to this one. His approach has the merit of simplicity, and those who found the first volume convincing will find little to complain about here.'
Daniel Moran, United States Naval War College, The Journal of Military History
'In this most welcome sequel he extends his study to cover the whole of the period from the Napoleonic era to the First World War. A brief review can do scant justice to the quality of this book. Its erudition is matched by the clarity of its presentation and above all the originality of its concepts.'
Michael Howard, War in History 1994
`Gat's book must be lauded for the attempt it makes to remedy one of the great omisssions in the historiography of strategic theory. An especially worthwhile result of Gat's approach is the fundamental criticisms it allows Gat to make of the popular interpretation of pre-First World War French miltary thought, ... the second important contribution of Gat's book is to show that the 19th-century European military had a coherent, convincing, and applicable
view of war.'