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War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History - 1500 to Today

Recorded on November 16, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In War Made New, author Max Boot explores how innovations in warfare mark crucial turning points in modern history and influence events well beyond the realm of combat. He focuses on four "revolutions" in military affairs and describes key battles from each period to explain how inventions have remade the field of battle - and shaped the rise and fall of empires. Boot analyzes the Gunpowder Revolution and explains warfare's evolution from ritualistic, drawn-out engagements to much deadlier events. He next explores the triumph of steel and steam during the Industrial Revolution, showing how it powered the spread of European colonial empires. Moving into the 20th Century and the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot examines three critical clashes of World War II - the German army's blitzkrieg, Pearl Harbor, and the firebombing of Tokyo - to illustrate how technology such as the tank, radio, and airplane ushered in terrifying new forms of warfare. And, concluding with the Information Revolution, he focuses on the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq war, arguing that even as cutting-edge technologies have made America the greatest military power in world history, advanced communications systems have allowed decentralized, "irregular" forces to become an increasingly significant threat.

Max Boot is the author of the award-winning The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, which was selected as a 2002 Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. A Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a weekly foreign affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, he lectures regularly at numerous military schools and advises the Department of Defense on transformation issues.