Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine. (Book Reviews)

By Dr. Crane, Conrad | Parameters, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine. (Book Reviews)


Dr. Crane, Conrad, Parameters


Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine. By Patrick Wright. New York: Viking, 2002. 499 pages. $29.95. Reviewed by Dr. Conrad Crane, Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research, US Army War College.

On the jacket of this book, noted historian Richard Overy describes it as "richly researched and brilliantly written." The passage is obviously excerpted from a longer critique, and one would hope that the rest of the evaluation by a historian of Overy's talent and reputation was not as positive. For this long, disjointed, and shallow book does not deserve that praise, and it will disappoint knowledgeable readers who expect it to live up to such quotes.

Tank is a loosely connected series of essays based upon British views of the tank and the author's impressions concerning other writers' observations about it. While Wright begins and ends with sections that are more cosmopolitan, he generally presents a British cultural and intellectual history of how armored military vehicles have been perceived during the last century. The author is a professor of modern cultural studies at Nottingham Trent University, and he presents some interesting ideas, but he has not done sufficient research to overcome his limited knowledge of military history. Professor Wright is also inconsistent in his focus; sometimes he seems clear that all armored vehicles are not tanks, but at other times he loses that perspective and tends to confuse his argument.

The book opens with a provocative introduction dealing with the images of "tankman" from Tiananmen Square and how they were received around the world. Part One that follows focuses on the early British experience with tanks in World War I. It contains some excellent tactical vignettes of fighting in the early models, but provides little overview of the major tank actions of the war. The author provides a whole chapter on the use of tanks in British war bond rallies, while devoting only one sentence to the Battles of Soissons and Amiens in 1918 that proved the decisive role the weapon could play, and which provided the basis for much of the reputation associated with armored forces.

Part Two is primarily a biography J. F. C. Fuller, perhaps the most important Western theorist on the employment of armored forces. However, the book spends an inordinate amount of time analyzing Fuller's ties to the occult while minimizing his military thought. Though Wright has obviously read much about the British thinker, he does not reveal much understanding of Fuller's theories of combined arms warfare. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine. (Book Reviews)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.