'David Parrott's sparkling and deeply-considered study is a seminal contribution to the history of warfare and government in all periods, and reveals that 'military outsourcing' was normal long before the Iraq War brought it into the headlines. Highly original in argument and notably lively in presentation, it will become a modern classic.' Hamish Scott, University of Glasgow
'David Parrott deftly explores the various shades of grey in the public private partnership between early modern state and military entrepreneurs. He proves that more often than not private enterprise simply did perform more efficiently than the state.' Lothar Höbelt, University of Vienna
'This splendid survey prompts many further questions … but the history of early modern warfare will never look the same again.' History Today
'This is an extremely important book. It marks a major reevaluation of almost everything we have believed about warfare in early modern Europe. It is not a picture of technology-driven change (though Parrott is aware of the significance of such innovations as the flintlock musket and ring bayonet), but instead a clear-eyed and unsentimental thesis showing how administrative and economic developments pushed warfare along specific lines. … The range of Parrott's scholarship - especially in the German literature - is prodigious; the footnotes alone are worth the price of admission. Military historians will doubtless debate the details for some time to come, but that is the point: all subsequent work in early modern military history will have to take into account the Parrott thesis.' Renaissance Quarterly
An important re-evaluation of early modern warfare and its relationship to the power of the state. David Parrott reveals how far states devolved to private contractors the raising and equipping of troops, the construction and management of navies, the manufacture and distribution of weapons and even the conduct of war.