Updated 01.17.08 – Link added for Wall Street Journal Review
Updated 01.14.08 – Link added for London Times review
Updated 01.12.08 – Link added for Washington Post review and others
Updated 01.11.08 – Link added for Podcast on New York Public Radio
It’s not often that I talk about books on my site, being primarily focused on technology…and I can’t truly remember that last time I did some serious reading (aside from trade articles, blogs and other publications) but I felt that I should do a little plug on a book that was recently published by James J Sheehan (my father). Called “Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?: The Transformation of Modern Europe,” this book has recently hit a variety of online and brick-and-mortar stores. If you would like to order a copy, please feel free to use my Amazon Store link. It is available elsewhere as well.
Book Synopsis and Editorial Reviews (from Amazon):
From Publishers Weekly
After two cataclysmic wars, argues Stanford historian Sheehan, Europe has been transformed from a place where the state was defined by its capacity to make war into a group of civilian states that have lost all interest in making war. Rather, they are marked by a focus on economic growth, prosperity and personal security. To explore this transformation, Sheehan examines the changes in modern warfare and in its infrastructure and the mobilization of national economies for war. Sheehan looks at the impact in the early 20th century of universal conscription, including its social consequences (such as bringing together different social classes), and its eventual decline; the peace movements marked by the 1899 and 1907 Hague conferences; the effects of the Cold War; the growth of the European Union; and the Euro-American split over the Iraq war. Sheehan’s style is clear and fluid, and his work is just the right length. Perhaps his only failing is to scant Europe’s fitful and ineffective interventions in the Balkans and more distant strife-torn countries, but this pales besides the information offered by this fine contribution to European studies. (Nov.)Copyright Â© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
An eminent historian offers a sweeping look at Europes tumultuous twentieth century, showing how the rejection of violence after World War II transformed a continent. In the last decade we’ve seen an ever-widening rift between the United States and Europe, most visibly over Iraq. But as James J. Sheehan reminds us in his timely book, it wasn’t always thus. How did America and Europe come to take such different paths? In Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? Stanford historian Sheehan charts what is perhaps the most radical shift in Europes history. For centuries, nations defined themselves by their willingness and ability to wage war. But after World War II, Europe began to redefine statehood, rejecting ballooning defense budgets in favor of material well-being, social stability, and economic growth. Sheehan reveals how and why this happened, and what it means for America as well as the rest of the world. Succinct yet broad in scope, Sheehan’s authoritative history provides much-needed context for understanding the fractured era in which we live.
About the Author
James Sheehan is Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University and the author of several books on German history. He has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and American Historical Review, among other publications. He recently ended his tenure as President of the American Historical Association. He resides in Stanford, Ca.
While I have not read it yet (I do plan on doing so though), other people have received advanced copies. One notable review is from The New York Sun and can be read here. As other reviews are made, I will try to update this post with them. To start the list (and updates will show below), please see:
- The New York Sun – “Heralding the End of War”
- Write up by Selma Lagerlof
- Washington Post
- New York Public Radio – The Brian Lehrer show (podcast)
- Soldiers Gone – blog post by Mike Treder
- London Times – “The Monopoly of Violence: Why Europeans Hate Going to War by James J Sheehan”
- Wall Street Journal – A Battlefield Goes Quiet
Details on the book (from Amazon):
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (January 10, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 1.1 inches
HTD says: Engage your brain!