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Insurgency and Counterinsurgency
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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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.

Reviews

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 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. A significant and timely contribution to understanding the new meaning of war. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. * CHOICE *
Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: A Global Perspective provides the military professional with the vicarious experience of insurgency and counterinsurgency through the ages and across the globe. It fills a crucial gap in the Western understanding of intra-state conflict, particularly the cultural perspective on organized violence for political ends and its utility in cultures other than our own. While the predictions on the future of sub-state political violence may seem trite, Black justifies them by viewing them through the Western ethnocentrism that underpins our analysis. However, Western ethnocentrism is also the reason that this book contributes to the historiography of insurgency; it takes us away from our pre-conceived notions of the political ends and utility of sub-state violence. Despite the recent turn away from COIN, wars amongst the people will be an enduring characteristic of war. * The Strategy Bridge *
This work is essential for anyone with an interest in insurgency and counterinsurgency. Black references the foundational writers of insurgency and counterinsurgency theory to include Clausewitz, Mao Zedong, and David Galula, and combatant commanders of the past two decades such as Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, while also including the analysis of newer thinkers such as John Nagl and David Kilcullen. The conclusion of the work looks to the future of warfare on the hybrid battlefield, heavily influenced by the rise of population, globalization, and the growth of megacities around the world. Black notes that, though every lesson learned in the counterinsurgency operations of the past cannot be neatly applied to those of the future, they should not be soon forgotten either. * Military Review *
As an explicit rejection of analyses that simplistically 'read backward' from contemporary geopolitics to explain away the complexities of insurrection and rebellion, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency is a welcome addition to this evergrowing body of literature. Starting with the central premise that insurgent warfare is decidedly not a modern phenomenon, Jeremy Black is driven by an over-arching concern-one that rises to the level of a warning-that the political and military effectiveness of counterinsurgency measures remains encumbered by limited learning from previous historical examples.... No stone goes unturned in this dense yet highly readable book (its subtitle, A Global History, is no exaggeration or misnomer). Although organized chronologically, it is not merely a chronology; and although explicitly comparative, it is not properly a comparative study. Black seeks to 'probe the linkage between beliefs, events, people, and time progression,' thus making his work akin to an encyclopedic, narrative compendium of exhaustive research that culminates in a vast wealth of knowledge on the provenance of insurgencies throughout world history.... [A] commendable work. * Journal of Military History *
Jeremy Black's Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: A Global History is...a tour de force, discussing the historical evolution of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies. The book takes a chronological approach to the rise of insurgencies, thus making it possible to consider how and why lessons were learned. * MCU Journal *
A masterful survey from the Roman Empire to present-day Syria. Jeremy Black not only discusses the historical evolution of armed rebellions and COIN but also throws light on their probable nature in the near future. -- Kaushik Roy, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway
[Jeremy Black's] global approach reveals that insurgencies are far from being a uniquely modern or uniquely anti-Western phenomenon. Rather, Black takes the reader on a cross-cultural, cross-continental exploration of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies starting with Judas Maccabeus' revolt against the Syrians in 166 BCE and concluding with the current war in Syria. . . . The book is ideally suited for survey reading to understand the wider context of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies. * U.S. Military History Review *
The problem of insurgencies and how to defeat them still poses tremendous challenges to modern militaries. Industrial weapons, modern systems of organization, and now computerized information have all proven elusive as war winners against adaptive insurgents. Jeremy Black brings much-needed historical perspective to this problem, which will be invaluable for all who wrestle with trying to understand where insurgents come from and how to reduce the threat they pose. -- Michael S. Neiberg, author of Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe
Jeremy Black does it again in this comprehensively researched, clearly presented analysis of insurgency and counterinsurgency in a global historical context. A major resource for courses and individual readers alike. -- Dennis Showalter, Colorado College

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