Book Review: War by Lawrence Freedman

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Submitted By zamin
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Freedman, Lawrence.War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
The book War compiled by Lawrence Freedman was published by Oxford University Press Incorporated, New York in 1994. It comprises brief extracts and anecdotes on war. Freedman produced this book for those baffled by the phenomenon of war and to provide possible answers to the following key questions:What are the causes of war? How wars have been fought in the past and what are the prospects forthe future? Are there basic principles which should shape the conduct of war if it is to be successfully prosecuted? In what ways can the conduct of war be moral? Freedman uses contributions from historians, political scientists, philosophers, sociologists, economists and practitioners as material for the book in order to provide an interdisciplinary approach to answer the above questions.
The author uses extracts of war starting from early nineteenth century and those that have a documentary bias as his choice of material for the book. It features some Anglo-Saxon experiences of war including materials from major powers and those who have been the receiving end of their campaigns in the Third World. The book has seven topical sections with a total of 97 extracts/articles. After the first section on the experience of war, the author devotes the second section to illustrate the causes of war. He focuses the next two sections on the phenomenon from sociological and ethical perspectives; and then provides a series of extracts from leading strategists in section E. Finally in the last two sections, the author dwells on general discussions relating to the history of warfare and ideas of strategists from the previous sections. Nevertheless, this review deliberates only on section A, B and C.
The first section, The Experience of War, illustrates the character of war and draws…...

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