Month: November 2016

Review of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

A fine review from Choice on Insurgency and Counterinsurgency:

The nature of war has changed, especially since the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Now the public no longer worries about nuclear Armageddon, but instead fears suicide bombers in European capitals. Consequently, the face of war has been altered. In his new study, respected military historian Black (Univ. of Exeter, UK) seeks to enlighten readers by highlighting not only the mainstream analysis of guerrilla operations but, more importantly, the evolution of counterinsurgency doctrine. Commentators have even given insurgency a new name: asymmetrical war. Although the author takes readers on a brief tour of insurgencies throughout history, especially those in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, his prime focus remains on the situations found in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. But to get there, Black traces the beginnings, when the component parts of both the former Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union sought independence. It was those conflicts, Black stresses, that were the beginning of a new revolution in military affairs that the powers-that-be still grapple with today. Asignificant and timely contribution to understanding the new meaning of war.

Summing Up: Highly recommended.

Maps of War

Maps of War. Mapping Conflict through the Centuries, by Jeremy Black, published by Bloomsbury.

9781844863440 There is little documented mapping of conflict prior to the Renaissance period, but from the seventeenth century onwards, military commanders and strategists began to document the wars in which they were involved and later, to use mapping to actually plan the progress of a conflict.

Using maps produced at the time, this superb new volume covers the history of the mapping of war on land and shows the way in which maps provide a guide to the history of war.

Content includes

  • The beginnings of military mapping, including the impact of printing and the introduction of gunpowder
  • The seventeenth century and the significance of fortification maps
  • The First World War, with maps showing trench warfare and aerial reconnaissance
  • The Second World War: including planning maps and propaganda maps
  • Modern warfare, with special sections on the Vietnam War and the Gulf Wars

About the author
Jeremy Black, internationally known military historian and Professor of History at the University of Exeter, is the author of The Cold War: A Military History, Rethinking World War Two: The Conflict and its Legacy and Metropolis, among many others. He is also a keen writer on maps and their history. This book brings together his two main interests.

Find out more at

Review of Maps of War

The following review appeared in Family Tree magazine

Maps of War: Mapping Conflicts Through the Centuries by Jeremy Black

Map addicts will take to this gorgeously illustrated book like a warship to water as military historian Jeremy Black takes us on a visual voyage into our past. Using more than 150 historical maps, he investigates how conflict was planned and recorded by our military forebears, providing fascinating insight to methods of land warfare from the beginnings of military mapping up to 1600 to the present day. It includes extended features on the First and Second World Wars.

l ISBN: 9781844863440. RRP £30 hardback, £27.99 eBook. Conway (an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing).

Naval Warfare – coming soon

“This is the rare book that will appeal to a wide audience, including the general reader seeking an engaging overview as well as the naval specialist, who will benefit from the insights of the foremost interpreter of modern military history on the macrolevel. From his analysis of the introduction of the ironclad to his assessment of the present and future of the world’s navies, Jeremy Black offers an appreciation of the broader contexts not often found in works of naval history.”

—Lawrence Sondhaus, University of Indianapolis

Naval Warfare is published by Rowman and Littlefield and is available from January 2017. More…

Endorsement for Naval Warfare

naval-warfare“In Naval Warfare: A Global History, the acclaimed historian Jeremy Black presents a fascinating, lucid study on sea power, maritime strategy, and naval transformation. Starting with the birth of modern navies in the middle of the nineteenth century and ranging to our own times, Black examines the strategic, operational, and force-planning dilemmas faced by leaders who build and use naval might. At a time when the United States and the great powers of Asia are acquiring ever-greater capabilities to contest control of the maritime commons, Black’s insights into naval strategy and warfare are sorely needed. Black’s Naval Warfare should be read by all who are interested in grand strategy and the role of sea power in determining the fate of nations.”

—John H. Maurer, U.S. Naval War College

Naval Warfare is published by Rowman and Littlefield and is available from January 2017. More…