New chapter on the War of the Spanish Succession
Following in the venerable blogging tradition of self-promotion, a new edited collection has appeared:
Murray, Williamson and Richard Hart Sinnreich, eds. Successful Strategies: Triumphing in War and Peace from Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Successful Strategies is a fascinating new study of the key factors that have contributed to the development and execution of successful strategies throughout history. With a team of leading historians, Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich examine how, and to what effect states, individuals and military organizations have found a solution to complex and seemingly insoluble strategic problems to reach success. Bringing together grand, political and military strategy, the book features thirteen essays which each explores a unique case or aspect of strategy. The focus ranges from individuals such as Themistocles, Bismarck and Roosevelt to organizations and bureaucratic responses. Whether discussing grand strategy in peacetime or that of war or politics, these case studies are unified by their common goal of identifying in each case the key factors that contributed to success as well as providing insights essential to any understanding of the strategic challenges of the future.
Befitting a group project initiated by the Department of Defense, 70% of the 13 case study chapters deal with modern military history. Thus my early modern chapter – “Creating the British Way of War: English Strategy in the War of the Spanish Succession” – is bookended by two Ancient examples (Themistocles, and the Roman Empire), one medieval (Edward I and Wales), and Prussia in 1806. Represent!
Two other notable details:
1. I will likely never publish anything in a book as inexpensive as this, $30 for the paperback. Sneaking an early modern in with a herd of moderns does the trick, I guess.
2. In (perhaps) a publishing first, I offer a pre-publication errata:
p101: “After a day’s deliberation, Louis accepted the will…” should in fact be after a week’s deliberation. That edit somehow got missed, most likely an error on my part.
So if you want my take on the War of the Spanish Succession from England’s grand strategic level, have at it.