Author: Jeremy Black

Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Jeremy is a prolific lecturer and writer, the author of over 100 books. Many concern aspects of eighteenth-century British, European and American political, diplomatic and military history, but he has also published on the history of the press, cartography, warfare, culture and on the nature and uses of history itself.

Coming soon: Military Strategy. A Global History

Military Strategy. A Global History (Yale University Press, April 2020) is a global account of military strategy, which examines the practices, rather than the theories, of the most significant military figures of the past 400 years.

Strategy has existed as long as there has been organised conflict. In this new account, Jeremy Black explores the ever-changing relationship between purpose, force, implementation and effectiveness in military strategy and its dramatic impact on the development of the global power system.

Taking a ‘total’ view of strategy, Black looks at leading powers — notably the United States, China, Britain and Russia — in the wider context of their competition and their domestic and international strengths. Ranging from France’s Ancien Regime and Britain’s empire building to present day conflicts in the Middle East, Black devotes particular attention to the strategic practice and decisions of the Kangxi Emperor, Clausewitz, Napoleon and Hitler.

Praise for Jeremy’s forthcoming publication

“Melds incisive historical insight with important modern-day lessons.”—Andrew Roberts
“Once again, Jeremy Black has shown that he can meld incisive historical insight with important modern-day lessons. Anyone connected with strategic decision-making, even far beyond the military sphere, will profit from reading this hugely readable and scholarly work, as will anyone interested in seeing how the great decision-makers of the past got things so right occasionally, but so wrong all too often.”—Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

“Jeremy Black is one of Britain’s foremost historians and a world leader in the subject of military strategy. He has expanded his purview to the global story of strategy in a bold and imaginative study.”—John Bew, author of Citizen Clem: A Life of Attlee

“This book succeeds in communicating the dynamics of strategy across a huge canvas in an intelligent, engaging but also an extremely erudite fashion … It not only informs the reader of many aspects of the global history of strategy, it encourages readers to think about the subject matter and the historical challenges as they read.”—Alaric Searle, author of Armoured Warfare: A Military, Political and Global History


Appeasement 80 years on

A discussion in the ‘Arguing History’ series for the New Books Network.

According to one dictionary definition, the term means: “to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles”. Of course when one employs this term in a historical context, it is usually taken to refer to the ‘Appeasement’ by Great Britain of the Fascist powers during the 1930s.  In this latest edition of ‘Arguing History’, Professor of History Jeremy Black and Dr. Charles Coutinho of the Royal Historical Society, discuss the historical nature of appeasement and endeavor to go beyond the reductionist and ahistorical picture so popular with some historians and much of the reading public. Going beyond the sloganeering that originated with Michael Foot’s The Guilty Men, and more recent tomes like Tim Bouverie’s Appeasement, this discussion of  the topic endeavors to examine at length the underlying variables which factored into British policy in the 1930s.

Listen to the podcast on the New Books Network website.

A Brief History of Spain

Wonderfully concise and very readable, A Brief History of Spain (Robinson, 2019), is perfect for travellers as well as the discerning reader. This book is a ‘must read’. This is an extraordinary tale of Spain, from early tribalism and Roman rule to the Moorish conquest in the 8th century, Spain’s eighteenth-century revival under the Bourbons, the Peninsular War and revolution in Spanish America right up to the horrendous civil war and Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s regime. A leitmotif running from Columbus’s first voyage in 1492 was Spain’s trans-oceanic empire which was central to the country’s global impact and to a degree self-understanding. And the story continues with a look at contemporary Spain, not least Catalonia, and its future. Professor Black excels in covering not only political and military history, but also environmental and cultural factors. He looks, too, at what makes Spain’s regions distinct, and how the history of the Iberian peninsula, could, at various points, have taken very different turns.

Jeremy talks to Charles Coutinho for the New Books Network. Listen to the podcast now.

Mapping Conflict through the Centuries

There is little documented mapping of conflict prior to the Renaissance period, but, from the 17th century onward, 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 contemporary maps, Jeremy Black‘s Maps of War: Mapping Conflict through the Centuries (Conway, 2016) covers the history of the mapping of land wars, and shows the way in which maps provide a guide to the history of war.

Jeremy talks to Marshall Poe for the New Books Network. Listen to the podcast here.

Is Military History worth studying?

Military history is thought by some to be a valuable field of study to both professional soldiers and civilians. It is indeed one of the most popular fields in the genre of history. And yet many academics tend to look down upon the field as fundamentally unserious and not therefore meriting attention by academic based historians. Historian Jeremy Black, who has written extensively in the field of military history discusses with Charles Coutinho of the Royal Historical Society the question: Is military history worth studying?  In a wide-ranging discussion they delve into the various criticisms that can be made about the genre of military history while also stating why the discipline is still valid, worthy of study.

Listen to the podcast for the New Books Network.