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The Renaissance At War (CASSELL'S HISTORY OF WARFARE) [Hardcover]

Thomas Arnold
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Part of a unique venture: the twenty-four volume Cassell History of Warfare series that captures the entire history of warfare.

Thomas Arnold is a world-renowned historian, and Professor of Military History at Yale.

Fully Illustrated throughout, incorporating computer generated cartography that brings the battlefields to life.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 1st Edition edition (25 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304352705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304352708
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19.3 x 8.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A compelling account of the ¿military revolution¿ of the 16th Century: the complete transformation of the art of war in Europe through the introduction of gunpowder and modern military methods.

About the Author

Prof Thomas Arnold is Professor of History at Yale University. His special subject is the gunpowder revolution of the sixteenth century. Geoffry Parker, the Yale University of Military History has specifically mentioned him as an outstanding scholar in his field.

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GUNPOWDER CHANGED WARFARE, and in so doing it changed the world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Interesting book, though I found it basically aimed at the neophyite to the history of warfare in the 15th and 16th centuries. If you are an extensive reader on the theme, don't expect to find much new information on this well-written book. But you can always delight in the many superb reproductions of contemporary paintings and woodcuts, plus excellent maps, drawings and pictures.
As a Portuguese reader, I must point two major flaws in the part concerning the battle of Alcazarquivir: it occurred on the 4th of August 1578, not on the 3rd; and I did not find the battle map much accurate, according to primary sources (not to mention naming the Papal contingent as "English infantry", which seems exagerated).
Very enjoyable book, otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb introductory work 11 Jun 2007
Indeed a very nice book, with a lot of interesting information. The writer avoids the complicated style most historians dealing with the Renaissance prefer, and writes clearly, with regard of and respect to the ones who never have dealt with the complexities of the history of warfare, especially in a period such as this, when the wide use of gunpowder marked a turning point in the style of warfare and the perception of military tactics. Arnold covers every basic aspect of the Renaissance warfare, the decline of the Knight (in that old, medieval sense), the change in styles of fortifications, the change of the role of the general, the use of the artillery, etc, and does so while giving in the same time an accurate account of the main historical events (of military nature, obviously). Thus, the reader has an accurate, viewed from all sides, perspective of the matter. If there were more stars to give, I would definitely give them (!) although one must remember that this is an introductory study, and for particular details and a more in depth analysis there are other books to consider. In all this book is...a great place to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Start right here 25 Jun 2013
By Andy M
I've been interested in warfare in the Renaissance era for years and finding this book a few years ago was a real bonus. It covers all the principle areas, The Italian wars and French Wars of Religion but also the conflicts with Ottoman Turkey but more than that it digs down into a level of detail you don't expect in a small illustrated volume. All the great personalities are covered and the development of permanent professional armies in Western Europe which occurred in the seventeenth century are put into their proper context in this book. The written style is authoritative, assertive and intelligent and one doesn't doubt for a moment that the author is the master of his subject. I've read it several times and keep coming back to it regularly and would recommend this book as the perfect starting point for anyone with an interest in this fascinating period. Great illustrations as well.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Basic introduction 17 April 2004
This book is the foundation of any library on Renaissance Warfare.Both the beginner and the specialist can gain from this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series 6 Jun 2001
By S. Edwards - Published on
this book is part of the Cassell History of Warfare series that is currently being published and is, in my opinion, one of the best books in this collection (along with Hanson's Wars of the Ancient Greeks and Goldworthy's Roman Warfare). The first half of the book covers the developments on siegecraft, artillery, infantry tactics, and strategy of European armies in the 16th century; the second half covers the history of wars between the Ottoman empire and Europe and between Europeans themselves during the same period. The writing is succinct and informative. The illustrations are well chosen - both relevant and pleasing to the eye. Charts and maps are plentiful. You will enjoy this book.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Detailed and Well Crafted Book 4 Jan 2002
By L. Sabin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thomas Arnold is a great writer, and having John Keegan as the editor of could only have helped the text. It is very easy to read and still extremely interesting, covering first the technical evolution of warfare from the 15th to the 17th centuries and then covering the major conflicts of the era.
Added to the strong writing and editing are many computer generated maps of individual battles and some great illustrations, many taken from period tapestries and paintings.
This book is probably the most clear, well-written book available on the subject, while still encompassing many lesser known facets of the Renaissance and even injecting some humor in a couple of passages.
Don't judge it by its textbook appearance and odd is anything but textbook-like and will undoubtedly lead you to buy more of the books in the series.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Surprise- fascinating book with excellent graphics 19 Jun 2002
By D. Keating - Published on
First off, I knew nothing about war during the European Renaissance before reading this book, so I went in with pretty low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised- this book is fascinating. Thomas Arnold writes in a very clear style, that is easy to follow. His research is detailed, but he does not bog the reader down with too many minute details.
Also, this book is full of excellent graphics. It has many period prints, maps, tapestry images, and some well done battlefield graphics. I thought this illustrations really helped emphasize many of the author's key points.
This is the first book in the series that I have read, so now I have rather high expectations for the other volumes I purchased with this one. I highly recommend this book to any military history student, or anyone interested in learning more about how warfare changed in Europe during the Renaissance.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superbly Written Book 16 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on
This book is well worth buying by any history buff or for anyone who appreciates good writing. The author presents his subject clearly and vividly. The arrivial of gunpowder on the medieval scene, the beginnings of battlefield formations and an explanation of siege warfare are all well presented. Mr. Arnold's writing style is flowing and unobtrusive. That together with the beautiful illustrations makes this book a gem. Don't miss it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Renaissance at War 15 Aug 2009
By K. Murphy - Published on
This book serves as a great singular introduction to warfare of the late 15th - early 17th Centuries, describing changes in military thought and practice in detail. The fortifications of this time period, heavily influenced by the increased usage of firearms, are described in detail, as are the pike phalanxes that dominated the Renaissance battlefield in Europe, and in the desperately fought wars between Christendom and the Ottoman Empire throughout this time frame. Included as appendices are ruler lists, timelines, and a dictionary to the major military figures of the era.
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