Technology of one kind or another has always been a central ingredient in war. The Spartan king Archidamus, for instance, reacted with alarm when first witnessing a weapon that could shoot darts through the air. And yet during the past two centuries technology has played an unprecedented role in military affairs and thinking, and in the overall conduct of war. In addition, the impact of new technology on warfare has brought major social and cultural changes.
This volume explores the relationship between war, technology, and modern society over the course of the last several centuries. The two world wars, total conflicts in which industrial technology took a terrible human toll, brought great changes to the practice of organized violence among nations; even so many aspect of military life and values remained largely unaffected. In the latter half of the twentieth century, technology in the form of nuclear deterrence appears to have prevented the global conflagration of world war while complicating and fueling ferocious regional contests.
A stimulating fusion of military and social history, extending back to the eighteenth century, and with contributions from such leading historians as Brian Bond, Paddy Griffith, and Neil McMillen, War in the Age of Technology will interest lay readers and specialists alike.
"Technology has been central to war from the Greeks to the present, from Archidamus, who reacted with alarm to the appearance of a weapon that could shoot darts through the air, to today's U.S. armed forces, which see a revolution in military affairs around every corner. Jensen and Wiest provide a highly readable yet sophisticated analysis of technology's place in modern warfare that incorporates industrial, political, military, social, and psychological aspects. It is a model of erudition and scholarship." ~Holger H. Herwig,University of Calgary
"It is the product of an unusual intellectual matrix." ~Technology and Culture
"Both general readers and military specialists . . . will find much that is informative and thoughtful in this generally superior collection of essays." ~The Historian