Weapons & Warfare Review

“Technical advances in computational capabilities (specifically AI) and autonomous equipment, as well as the emergence of nonstate combatants on the battlefield, have profoundly changed the face of warfare. This 3-volume set explores equipment, geographical areas or time periods, and cultural aspects of warfare from ancient to contemporary times. Each entry is a comprehensive essay, and each category has its own unique format. Essays on equipment discuss its nature, use, and development. Those on geographic regions or time periods explore political considerations, military achievements, weapons, uniforms and armor, military organizations, and doctrine, strategy, and tactics. Essays related to cultural aspects of warfare provide an overview, significance, and history. In general, each entry has the thoroughness and clarity to provide novices with a strong background in the topic, especially as pertains to the Western world…”

“The essays themselves are well written, thorough, and concise to serve as a valuable reference for the nonspecialist interested in warfare and its ever expanding facets.”
-Booklist, 2023

“This revised edition of Weapons and Warfare has grown from 2 volumes in 2001 to 3 volumes and has added 56 new essays along with 2 new appendixes, for a total of 141 essays and 7 appendixes. The focus continues to be on technical and strategic development but the new third volume discusses the cultural, sociopolitical, and ethical aspects of weaponry and warfare. All previous entries have been updated, and 22 essays and appendixes received heavy revision and expansion. Each essay contains expanded bibliographies and either a new or expanded section on films and other media. Included in all three volumes are maps, time lines for some entries, and photographs and drawings. Over 100 contributors wrote the essays which are arranged chronologically within thematic groups in the first two volumes. Volume 1 covers the ancient and medieval world (up to 1500 C. E.) and volume 2 covers the modern world (since 1500 C. E.). In each of these volumes, the nature, use, and the development of weapons for the time periods are covered first followed by essays on the military achievement; weaponry and uniforms (and armor, if pertinent); military organization; and doctrine, strategy, and tactics of specific cultures and empires. Volume 3 contains 35 overviews of the impact of warfare on culture, society, science, morality, and justice and on the theories, strategies, and policies that take place “behind the battlefield.”

Also in volume 3 are a comprehensive subject index and a grouping of seven appendixes in a section called “Research Tools.” These appendixes include annotated lists of war films, war literature, military theorists, and Web sites along with a lexicon of military terms, a time line, and an annotated bibliography. Volume 1 contains a list of illustrations, maps, and time lines and all three volumes contain the list of contents, an alphabetized index of essays, and a categorized index of essays. The new material adds value to this well organized and accessible resource, which would be a good addition to high-school, academic, and public library collections.”
-Booklist, 2010

“This revised set features 141 clearly written, chronological overviews of weaponry and military tactics from ancient times to the present. It focuses on the technical and strategic development of weapons and tactics more than on providing a narrative chronological history of events. These three volumes allow students of history, political science, and science/technology to gain a broad understanding of the advances made over time and geography. The first two open with overviews of major weapons groups ranging from primitive to sophisticated., followed by chronologically arranged sections covering major historical periods and regions of the world and their contributions to military weapons, technologies, and strategies. The third places these topics in broad contexts - sociological, geographical, cultural, ritual, political, ethical, religious, tactical, and strategic. Fifty-six new essays appear and older ones have been updated. Illustrations are in black and white, and bibliographies follow every essay. Volume 3 contains a complete index. Summing Up: Recommended. Two stars. Academic and public libraries; lower- and upper-level undergraduates, and general readers.”

“BOTTOM LINE This useful overview of warfare’s evolution will be appreciated by students as well as general readers.”
-Library Journal