War in the Shadows: Guerillas in History

Robert B. Asprey, Author William Morrow & Company $40 (1279p) ISBN 978-0-688-12815-9
Originally published in two volumes in 1975, this updated, abridged version of Asprey's monumental survey of guerrilla warfare begins with the struggle between Persian king Darius and Scythian irregulars and concludes with the mujahedin resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He discusses how great commanders such as Hannibal and Napoleon dealt with irregulars and how counterinsurgency experts such as Sir Gerald Templar during the Malayan Emergency in the early 1950s found ways to defeat the guerrilla. Roughly a fifth of the text treats the United States's involvement in Vietnam and our failure to adapt organizationally or tactically to the guerrilla challenge of the Viet Cong. Asprey's angry remarks about our ``criminal military-political strategy'' in Southeast Asia is even more scathing than in the original edition. This is the definitive history of guerrilla warfare over the past two millenia, illustrating its evolution into ``an ideal instrument for the realization of social-political-economic aspirations of underprivileged peoples.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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