European Warfare 1350-1750

Article excerpt

EUROPEAN WARFARE 1350-1750, edited by Frank Tallett and D. J. B. Trim, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 20 1 0, 394 pages, $34.99.

European Warfare 1350-1750 is an anthology of perspectives and interpretations by leading military historians on warfare over a span of time that has traditionally been treated by at least two different groups of specialists: historians of the Middle Ages and those of the Early Modern Period. The book addresses the perceived need by both groups of scholars to cross the artificial divide between their chosen periods. Its publication follows a decision made at a conference at the University of Reading, England, entitled "Crossing the Divide: Continuity and Change in Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Warfare." This new perspective has resulted in reframing the timeline of history so that the years between 1350 and 1750 are seen as a continuous and coherent whole.

The volume's 1 4 essays are wideranging and tend to take a long view of a specific complex subject - the longue durée - while keeping an eye for the relevant detail. They cover such diverse topics as "Warfare and the International State System"; "Aspects of Operational Art: Communications, Cannon, and Small War"; "Legality and Legitimacy in War and its Conduct 1350-1650"; "Conflict, Religion, and Ideology"; and "Warfare, Entrepreneurship, and the FiscalMilitary State." Most students of the period will find at least a few pieces that speak to their interests. …