Magazine December 19, 2011, Issue

School for Fighting

(Stephen Maturen/Reuters)
Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War, by Eliot A. Cohen (Free Press, 432 pp., $30)

What does the “Western Way of War” — or its subset the “American Way of War” — mean? Most have inferred from the phrase a dynamic military tradition of some 2,500 years that dates back to the dawn of the Greek city-state. Despite frequent detours and occasional dead-ends over the centuries, it bestowed on Europeans — including Alexander the Great, the Successors, Roman legions, Hernán Cortés, and the 19th-century British imperialists — innate advantages over their non-Western enemies.

On any given day, a greater commitment to decisive battle, discipline (as defined by drill and solidarity of rank), superior technology (made possible

To Read the Full Story

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Gonzo Files

A review of Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson, edited by Jann S. Wenner.


The Week

The Week

The case for Newt is that he’s nothing like that guy who used to be governor of Massachusetts. The case for Romney is very similar.


The Latest