The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe & the Birth of Modern Warfare
World War I was not, according to David Bell, the first total war. During the age of Napoleon wars devastated Europe for twenty years, and nearly every aspect of modern warfare took root during that period: conscription, unconditional surrender, guerrilla warfare and the paradoxical notion that wars were fought in the name of peace.
In 1914, exactly a century after Napoleon’s first abdication, total war returned to Europe with the war that was supposed to end all wars. Ensuing conflicts until 9/11 and the present day the process of war continues apace with familiar parallels with the past.
David A. Bell writes with a refreshing clarity and offers convincing arguments.
420 (UK), 432 (US)