Academic journal article Military Review

Fascist and Liberal Visions of War: Fuller, Liddell Hart, Douhet and Other Modernists

Academic journal article Military Review

Fascist and Liberal Visions of War: Fuller, Liddell Hart, Douhet and Other Modernists

Article excerpt

FASCIST AND LIBERAL VISIONS OF WAR: Fuller, Liddell Hart, Douhet and Other Modernists, Azar Gat, Clarendon Press, Oxford, NY, 1998, 334 pages, $85.00.

Fascist and Liberal Visions of War completes Israeli professor Azar Gat's trilogy of the intellectual and cultural history of military thought from the 18th century to World War 11. In many ways this book is the best of the three, although Gat's date-- analysis of the final notes in Carl von Clausewitz's On War (Viking Press, NY, 1983, $12.95) alone would make the first volume, The Origins of Military Thought from the Enlightenment to Clausewitz (Clarendon, 1989, out of print), worth reading. However, Fascist and Liberal Visions of War is superior in form to The Origins of Military Thought and its successor The Development of Military Thought: The Nineteenth Century (Clarendon, 1992, out of print) in the author's sense of balance and structure. Gat seems to have found his most felicitous voice in his final volume.

This book can be divided largely in half. In the first half, Gat treats together fascist, Soviet and US populist responses to the social and technological revolutions that so changed war during the brief interwar period. He discusses J.F.C. Fuller and Giulio Douhet in light of a social-cultural definition of fascism that, however synthetic, provides a sound heuristic device for analysis. The essay on Douhet is excellent, and Gat's ability to refer to Italian sources makes it particularly effective. …

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