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War and Technology : A Very Short Introduction - Alex Roland

War and Technology

A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Published: 27th October 2016
ISBN: 9780190605384
Number Of Pages: 136

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Humans were born armed. Before Homo sapiens first walked the Earth, proto-humans had manufactured spears and other tools not only to hunt and defend themselves but also to attack other humans. The war instinct is part of human nature, but the means to fight war depend on technology. Politics, economics, ideology, culture, strategy, tactics, and philosophy have all shaped war, but none of these factors has driven the evolution of warfare as much as technology. Expanding on this compelling thesis, this book traces the co-evolution of technology and war from the Stone Age to the age of cyberwar and nanotechnology. Alex Roland shines a light on the patterns of interaction between technology and warfare, describing the sensational inventions that changed the direction of war throughout history: fortified walls, the chariot, swift and nimble battleships, the gunpowder revolution, and finally aircraft, bombers, rockets, submarines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and nuclear weapons. In the twenty-first century, scientific and engineering research is constantly transforming war and simultaneously producing countless technological innovations. Yet even now, the newest and best technology cannot guarantee victory. Rather, technology and warfare remain in a timeless dialectic, spurring change without ever stabilizing a military balance of power. New technologies continue to push warfare in unexpected directions, while warfare pulls technology into new stunning possibilities. In an era of computers, drones, and robotic systems, Roland reminds us that, although military technologies keep changing at a precipitous speed, the principles and patterns behind them abide. Brimming with dramatic narratives of battles and deep insights into military psychology, this Very Short Introduction is ultimately an original account of human history seen through the kaleidoscopic lens of war technology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Industry Reviews

There have been few things in history so closely allied and dependent on each other as war and technology. Though this may seem obvious in an age of nuclear capability and smart bombs, Alex Roland's fascinating book demonstrates that this was always so. * Catholic Herald *

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 2: LAND WARFARE CHAPTER 3: NAVAL, AIR, SPACE, AND MODERN WARFARE CHAPTER 4: TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE CONCLUSION GLOSSARY REFERENCES FURTHER READING INDEX

ISBN: 9780190605384
ISBN-10: 0190605383
Series: Very Short Introductions
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 136
Published: 27th October 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.5 x 11.0  x 0.8
Weight (kg): 0.12

Earn 34 Qantas Points
on this Book