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Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare From Ancient Times to the Present

Smith Auditorium Patricia D. 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. Jack Keane, former Army Vice Chi. 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.


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The word "magisterial" is bandied about far too freely these days, but in the case of Max Boot's sweeping and deeply researched history of guerrilla warfare, it proves fair. Somewhere in the first third of Boot's book, you begin to realize that guerrilla wars and terrorism and insurgencies are the way we fight, while the formal set battles of, say, the Napoleonic wars are but an exception.

There's no better guide to both the past and the future than Invisible Armies, the tour de force of a scholar as well as a man who's seen American adversaries and soldiers at work up close. Boot provides of some of the most important individual actors in military history, insurgent leaders like Washington, T.

Boot's impressive work of military history is destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest as well as the hardest form of war.

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

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More. Audioboom uses Javascript Please enable it in your browser's preferences. Sorry, your browser isn't supported by Audioboom. He sets out to prove this by examining terrorism and insurgencies around the globe from BC to the present.

The History and Future of Guerrilla Warfare

The ancient city of Akkad in what is now Iraq, saw the first description of an insurgency between and BC; this included tensions between nomads and city dwellers in long forgotten places like Sumeria. Of note, these tensions are also part of biblical lore in the stories of Abraham leading his people, the tensions of Abraham and Lot, and of course the famous incident in Sodom and Gomorrah corrupt city dwellers.

We begin to get a more vivid history of insurgency through written accounts of the Ancient Persians and their Scythian adversary who fought unconventionally.


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  • Jewish revolts and resistance against Rome were also fought as an insurgency; the author vividly describes one that cost 5, legions in 66 AD near a village called Beth-horon. There are too many tactical and operational examples to immerse your mind in. The chapter on the abolitionist John Brown is very thought provoking, as the bases of his massacre of slave owners was to spark an insurgency.


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    • As another tidbit, the Chechen Muslim rebel Shamil, though successful in caving out an autonomous Dagestan and defeating Russian forces, his failure was in the imposition of Islamic law in his image that alienated other Muslims and tribes that led to his ultimate defeat.