This timely book offers a world history of insurgencies and of counterinsurgency warfare. Jeremy Black moves beyond the conventional Western-centric narrative, arguing that it is crucial to ground contemporary experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq in a global framework. Unlike other studies that begin with the American and French revolutions, this book reaches back to antiquity to trace the pre-modern origins of war within states. Interweaving thematic and chronological narratives, Black probes the enduring linkages between beliefs, events, and people on the one hand and changes over time on the other hand. He shows the extent to which power politics, technologies, and ideologies have evolved, creating new parameters and paradigms that have framed both governmental and public views.
Tracing insurgencies ranging from China to Africa to Latin America, Black highlights the widely differing military and political dimensions of each conflict. He weighs how, and why, lessons were "learned" or, rather, asserted, in both insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare. At every stage, he considers lessons learned by contemporaries, the ways in which norms developed within militaries and societies, and their impact on doctrine and policy. His sweeping study of insurrectionary warfare and its counterinsurgency counterpart will be essential reading for all students of military history.
Jeremy Black graduated from Cambridge University with a starred First and did graduate work at Oxford University before teaching at the University of Durham and then at the University of Exeter, where he is professor of history. He has held visiting chairs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Texas Christian University, and Stillman College. He is a 2018 Templeton Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Black received the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize from the Society for Military History in 2008. His recent books include Air Power: A Global History; War and Technology; Naval Power: A History of Warfare and the Sea from 1500 Onwards; and Rethinking World War Two: The Conflict and Its Legacy.
Preface Abbreviations Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Insurgency to 1500 Chapter 3: Contesting Religion and Power, 1500-1700 Chapter 4: Entering the Modern? The Eighteenth Century Chapter 5: Insurgencies in an Age of Imperialism: The Nineteenth Century Chapter 6: The Ideology of People's War Refracted, 1900-40 Chapter 7: Insurrections at a Height, 1940-60 Chapter 8: The Fall of Empires, 1960-80 Chapter 9: The Variety of Goals and Means, 1980s Chapter 10: After the Cold War, 1990s Chapter 11: Interventionism and Its Failings, 2000s Chapter 12: A World without Shape? The Present Chapter 13: Speculations about the Future Chapter 14: Conclusions Notes Selected Further Reading Index