War and the Cultural Turn

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Polity, 2012 - History - 192 pages
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In this stimulating new text, renowned military historian Jeremy Black unpacks the concept of culture as a descriptive and analytical approach to the history of warfare. Black takes the reader through the limits and prospects of culture as a tool for analyzing war, while also demonstrating the necessity of maintaining the context of alternative analytical matrices, such as technology.

Black sets out his unique approach to culture and warfare without making his paradigm into a straightjacket. He goes on to demonstrate the flexibility of his argument through a series of case studies which include the contexts of rationale (Gloire), strategy (early modern Britaisn), organizations (the modern West), and ideologies (the Cold War). These case studies drive home the point at the core of the book: culture is not a bumper sticker; it is a survival mechanism. Culture is not immutable; it is adaptable.

Wide-ranging, international and always provocative, War and the Cultural Turn will be required reading for all students of military history and security studies.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Culture of Gloire The Royal Military
44
Strategic Culture The Case of Britain 16881815
64
Organizational Cultures Western Warfare 18151950
91
Strategic Culture The Cold War
110
From the Cold War into the Future
121
Culture and Military Analysis
141
Conclusions
153
Notes
175
Selected Further Reading
191
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