A respected scholar of military history and an expert on strategy, Martin van Creveld argues in The Culture of War that there is much more to war than just soldiers killing one another.
War has always been a deeply fascinating subject. Fighting itself can be a source of great, perhaps even the greatest, joy - and out of this joy and fascination an entire culture has grown - from the war paint of tribal warriors to today's 'tiger suits', from Julius Caesar's red cloak to Douglas McArthur's pipe, from the decorative shields of ancient Greece to aircraft nose art, and from the invention of chess around AD 600 to cyber era combat simulators.
The culture of war has had its own traditions, laws, rituals, music, art, literature, and monuments since the beginning of civilisation.
Through the ages, the culture of war has usually been highly esteemed.
Not so in many countries today, which tend either to mock it ('military intelligence is to intelligence what military music is to music') or to denounce it as 'militaristic'.
This provocative book sets out to show how wrongheaded, and even dangerous, such attitudes are.
The Culture of War argues that men and women today, contrary to the hopes of some, are just as fascinated by war as they have been in the past.
A military that has lost touch with the culture of war is doomed not merely to defeat but to disintegration.
Innovative, authoritative, and riveting, The Culture of War is a major work done by one of the world's greatest and most insightful military historians.