This chapter provides an introduction to the book and outlines the historical and intellectual context in which it is situated. The chapter describes how the book aims to take some account of the unique archive of evidence about combat which is currently emerging, especially from Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, the chapter claims that this volume should be read as a contribution to an emergent paradigm in military scholarship about cohesion and combat. This paradigm rejects the classical primary group thesis and instead understands combat performance in terms of training, professionalism, and drills. The chapter concludes by arguing that this paradigm has close, though often ignored, parallels with military writings from the early modern period including Machiavelli, Guibert, and du Saxe.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.