Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present

Max Boot. Norton/Liveright, $35 (784 p) ISBN 978-0-87140-424-4
A military historian and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Boot (The Savage Wars of Peace) presents a sweeping, well-written, and comprehensively documented history of guerilla war. For Boot, guerrilla warfare and terrorism are distinct but synergistically linked. Terrorism is the use of violence, primarily by nonstate actors, against noncombatants. Guerrilla, which means "little war," is the organized use of hit-and run tactics against governments. What they have in common is their use by fighters "too weak to employ conventional methods," although these unconventional methods may have higher prospects of success. Boot begins by tracing their roots, from prehistoric tribal war to the medieval grappling on the Anglo-Scottish frontier. He goes on to address terrorism and guerrilla warfare through the centuries and around the world, from medieval assassins to irregulars' operations during 19th century the liberal European revolutions between the 1770s and to the 1880s to guerrilla movements generated by imperialism, terrorism, from the medieval Assassins to the IRA, and guerrilla operations in the world wars. He concludes with an analysis of national liberation movements, recent Leftist revolutionary upheavals and Islamic terror. The result is a compelling narrative and perceptive analysis: a must read in today's world. Agent: Glen Hartley and Lynn Chu, Writers' Representatives. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 750 pages - 978-0-87140-688-0
Open Ebook - 576 pages - 978-0-87140-350-6
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