Invisible Armies: Book summary and reviews of Invisible Armies by Max Boot

Invisible Armies

An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present

By Max Boot

Invisible Armies
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2013,
    784 pages.

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Book Summary

As fitting for the twenty-first century as von Clausewitz's On War was in its own time, Invisible Armies is a complete global history of guerrilla uprisings through the ages.

Beginning with the first insurgencies in the ancient world—when Alexander the Great discovered that fleet nomads were harder to defeat than massive conventional armies - Max Boot, best-selling author and military advisor in Iraq and Afghanistan, masterfully guides us from the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire up through the horrors of the French-Indochina War and the shadowy, post-9/11 battlefields of today. Relying on a diverse cast of unforgettable characters - not only Mao and Che but also the legendary Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi, the archaeologist-turned–military commander T. E. Lawrence, and the "Quiet American" Edward Lansdale, among others - Boot explodes everything we thought we knew about unconventional combat. The result is both an enthralling read and our most important work on nontraditional warfare.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] compelling narrative and perceptive analysis: a must read in today's world." - Publishers Weekly

"[I]mpressively researched, astutely synthesized, and eminently readable." - Booklist

"An expansive nuts-and-bolts historical survey from a keen military mind." - Kirkus Reviews

"A penetrating writer and thinker." - Wall Street Journal

"Fascinating ... Beginning with the barbarians at the gates of the Roman Empire, a wonderful and valuable historic narrative filled with colorful characters." - Walter Isaacson

"Max Boot has written a landmark book about a perennial and important challenge: guerilla warfare." - Jon Meacham, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

"Max Boot has produced the most definitive and comprehensive work to date on the dominant form of warfare of our times. From the origins of guerrilla warfare to current conflicts the reader travels through the centuries of time understanding the nature and character of unconventional warfare yet because of the power of Boot's narrative and sheer ability to tell a story, the reader can live the experience. A must read for scholars, military and government professionals and a fascinating journey for the general public." - General (ret.) Jack Keane

"This is the definitive treatment of guerrilla warfare through the ages—a tour de force by a preeminent military historian who has advised generals, policymakers and political leaders on the subject." - Senator John S. McCain

"Sweeping, meticulous, and exceptionally thoughtful. Max Boot's Invisible Armies is an important, compelling contribution to our understanding of how men make war." - Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle

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A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a renowned military historian, Max Boot is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Savage Wars of Peace and War Made New, he lives in New York.

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