Revolution and Resistance: Moral Revolution, Military Might, and the End of Empire

Revolution and Resistance: Moral Revolution, Military Might, and the End of Empire

by David Tucker


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In this provocative history, David Tucker argues that "irregular warfare"—including terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and other insurgency tactics—is intimately linked to the rise and decline of Euro-American empire around the globe. Tracing the evolution of resistance warfare from the age of the conquistadors through the United States’ recent ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, Revolution and Resistance demonstrates that contemporary conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia are simply the final stages in the unraveling of Euro-American imperialism.

Tucker explores why it was so difficult for indigenous people and states to resist imperial power, which possessed superior military technology and was driven by a curious moral imperative to conquer. He also explains how native populations eventually learned to fight back by successfully combining guerrilla warfare with political warfare. By exploiting certain Euro-American weaknesses—above all, the instability created by the fading rationale for empire—insurgents were able to subvert imperialism by using its own ideologies against it. Tucker also examines how the development of free trade and world finance began to undermine the need for direct political control of foreign territory.

Touching on Pontiac’s Rebellion of 1763, Abd el-Kader’s jihad in nineteenth-century Algeria, the national liberation movements that arose in twentieth-century Palestine, Vietnam, and Ireland, and contemporary terrorist activity, Revolution and Resistance shows how changing means have been used to wage the same struggle. Emphasizing moral rather than economic or technological explanations for the rise and fall of Euro-American imperialism, this concise, comprehensive book is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the character of contemporary conflict.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421420691
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Tucker is a senior fellow at the Ashbrook Center, Ashland University. He is the author of The End of Intelligence: Espionage and State Power in the Information Age and Illuminating the Dark Arts of War: Terrorism, Sabotage, and Subversion in Homeland Security and the New Conflict.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1. Conquest

2. Revolution

3. Resistance

4. Retreat



What People are Saying About This

Jakub Grygiel

"A cogent book with a sweeping argument that explains how moral rules affected Euro-American imperial rule by limiting the use of violence against those who resisted. Counterinsurgency is the modern way of countering the ‘skulking’ way of warfare within those constraints. Crisp, thought-provoking, and original."

Dennis E. Showalter

"Tucker balances analysis of the more often discussed material factors, machines, weapons, training, and discipline with a convincing demonstration that attitudes and ideas were important as well. The book's broad scope and clear, concise writing should attract general readers and academicians seeking a reliable introduction to a complex subject."

Patrick J. Garrity

"A new interpretation of the history of military affairs from a well-recognized authority in the field. Tucker offers a clear and provocative argument that both complements and challenges the existing literature concerning international politics and irregular warfare."

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