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Introduction to the English Edition

John Childs


Subject History » Military History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631168485.1994.00004.x


Extract

It did not take long to decide to accept the invitation to edit an English version of André Corvisier's Dictionnaire d'Art et d'Histoire Militaires (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1988). Among the innumerable dictionaries, encyclopaedias and reference books devoted to military history, Professor Corvisier's work was new, original and approachably academic. Rather than producing the traditional list of battles and potted biographies of famous generals, Professor Corvisier concentrated on important themes, topics and developments within military history. Engagements and soldiers only earned space if and where they had contributed to the advancement of the art of warfare. The recitation of the chronology of individual wars was also deliberately eschewed. Instead, Professor Corvisier devoted himself to studying the military history of the major countries of the world with a particular emphasis on the interplay between armed forces and societies. Additionally lie investigated themes and sub-themes within military history, demonstrating its propinquity to the other branches of the historical discipline. It was this integrative and wide-ranging approach which struck a chord that was fresh and modern. A further attraction was the substantial nature of the major entries, many of article length, enabling the presentation of detailed arguments supported by sufficient illustration. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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