The Ultimate Experience Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450-2000

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-04-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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For millennia, war was viewed as a supreme test. In the period 1750-1850 war became much more than a test: it became a secular revelation. This new understanding of war as revelation completely transformed Western war culture, revolutionizing politics, the personal experience of war, the status of common soldiers, and the tenets of military theory.

Author Biography

YUVAL NOAH HARARI is a military historian specializing in the study of war experience and war culture. He lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. ix
Prefacep. xii
Acknowledgmentsp. xiv
Introduction: War as Revelation, 1865-2000p. 1
The Supremacy of Mind: 1450-1740p. 27
Suffering, Death, and Revelation in Early Modern Culturep. 29
The Absence of Revelation from Early Modern Military Memoirsp. 35
The conversion narratives of Christian soldiersp. 35
Secular military memoirsp. 56
Why War Revealed Nothingp. 95
Bodies should not thinkp. 96
Conclusionsp. 124
The Revolt of the Body: 1740-1865p. 127
Bodies Begin to Thinkp. 129
The War of Austrian Succession and La Mettrie's L'Homme-machinep. 129
Sensationism and sensibilityp. 135
The novel of sensibility, the Bildungsroman, and the ideals of Erlebnis and Bildungp. 145
Romanticism, nature, and the sublimep. 150
The Rise of the Common Soldierp. 160
Common soldiers begin to thinkp. 160
Common soldiers begin to writep. 190
Conclusions: War and Bildungp. 193
The Rise of the Revelatory Interpretation of Warp. 197
Sentimentalizing and Romanticizing warp. 199
The key experiences of warp. 213
Flesh-witnessing: Those who weren't there cannot understandp. 231
The master narratives of late modern military experiencep. 240
Conclusions: The Things Which Make You Know, 1865-2000p. 299
Notesp. 307
Works Citedp. 347
Indexp. 373
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