journal of world history, june 2004 serious problem with most military history, as there is a tendency to treat the remainder of the world in terms of a crude paradigm /diffusion model. Instead, there is a need for an appreciation of the multiplicity of military systems and strategic cultures that interacted without any clear pattern of hierarchization. The contribution of area studies to the central narrative of military history is still weak. Furthermore, the determinism latent in many technological accounts is being repeated, albeit less explicitly, in much of the work that puts an emphasis on organizational factors. In a relatively short book (thanks to the generous typeface), Alfred Crosby follows mankind's penchant for and skill with projectiles and combustion and their consequences from the Pliocene to the future, ending with the possibility that projectile technology may permit the future of the species when a comet hits Earth or our Sun explodes by providing the basis for life elsewhere. Well-written and fascinating throughout, the book is particularly instructive in linking developments in prehistory with those in more recent times. The ability of mankind to throw in an organized fashion is presented as important to human success in ascending
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
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